‘Rain hits West Bay Holiday’: June 1952
To celebrate the Platinum Jubilee the Discovery Centre has looked back at some of the key events in West Bay since the Queen came to the throne seventy years ago. The June Bank Holiday weekend of 1952 might have been at the beginning of Queen Elizabeth II ‘s reign but the headline in the Bridport News could have been written last week! It is still a very familiar one: ‘Rain Hits West Bay Holiday’
Nineteen days of fine weather were followed by a weekend of hail, blizzards and 70 mph winds that struck the coast with especially disastrous results for the West Bay Kiosk traders. Sunday started sunny but there were very few summer dresses to be seen. Even so, many motorists made their way to the resort in the afternoon and, astonishingly, there were over 400 cars in the carpark! And we think parking is a new problem?
‘Tent Dwellers cling all night to their belongings’
During the Sunday evening the weather worsened resulting in the tent dwellers on the Municipal campsite enduring a ‘thrilling’ experience. Mr. F V Cable, the Camp Supervisor told the Bridport News reporter they all had a sleepless and anxious night fearing at any moment they might ‘become exposed to the full element of the storm’. Fortunately, all the tents were ‘rigged’ at the foot of the hill which gave them some protection.
The storm also wreaked havoc on Bridport Corinthian Sailing Club’s first fixture of the season which had to be postponed to the following weekend. When the race finally took place, the winners were The Jolly Roger sailed by Rex Trevett who beat his father in Sylva.
Similarly, the Angling Club competition had to be rearranged for a later date but as the Bridport Golfers were playing away at Sherborne their match went ahead. Sadly, they were beaten 9 matches to 3 so perhaps they wished they’d had a postponement too!
Fingers crossed for sunnier weather for our Platinum Jubilee celebrations at the end of this week. Look out for our short slide show in the Centre this week showing some of the changes in West Bay over the last 70 years.