Many will recall the Cliff Richard film where a bunch of youngsters enjoy a summer holiday together.  As a youth I enjoyed a couple of holiday camp trips. We had a great time. We entered the fancy dress competition. We even entered a talent competition. My guitar expertise amounted to five chords but somehow as the ‘Folk Four’ we won. Dad even won the knobbly knees contest. It was all such innocent fun. 

We learnt this week of the demise of Pontins at Southport. Holiday choices have changed. A cheap flight to the sun and the increase in cruise holidays has seen traditional holiday choices change. My parents never had a holiday abroad and for most of their lives they did not own a car. 

The cruise industry seems to dominate adverts at the moment. The latest ship claims to be able to accommodate 7,500 people with a crew of 3,500, a floating town. Such ships boast multiple bars and restaurants, swimming pools and large shopping halls, a world away from the traditional camping holiday in the pouring rain in Cornwall.

The current day holiday options sound very glamorous but there are many obstacles to overcome if you want such an adventure. If you have schoolchildren, your options for escaping is dictated by the school holidays. Holiday destinations always increase the costs at peak time. My own experience has seen the hire cost of a mobile home double from May to August. 

This has led to an increase in parents taking children out of school in termtime. Paying the fine for doing this is offset by the cheaper holiday costs.

 My own experience has seen the hire cost of a mobile home double from May to August. Record numbers of parents are following this method as the only way to afford a holiday. Thus the holiday option is not as easy as the adverts would suggest. 

Wishing for a summer holiday in the sun is a great aspiration yet for vast numbers of families it must be a low priority. The cost of living is causing real hardship. 

The recent reduction in National Insurance will be swallowed up by higher energy bills and the certain April increase in community charges. Food prices remain high and the Suez Canal and Red Sea attacks on shipping will increase food costs. Mortgage and rents remain high despite the fall in inflation. Foodbanks are as busy as ever. Thus many families can only look at the adverts for holidays with envy, knowing they are out of reach. 

Perhaps the windy wet camping holiday in Britain is not so far out of reach. Some companies provide a tent fully equipped. In ideal circumstances using your own equipment will make the trip far less expensive. For many, though, days out is all that will be possible. Even here, entrance fees to attractions can be an unwelcome surprise as they are not cheap.

Yet despite all this, holidays are vital to recharge batteries after a long year of work and struggle. In the post war years money was in short supply. 

Our demands were far less than those of the modern generation. Mobile phones did not exist and we were happy just to escape to a wooden chalet with no heating and industrial catering in the holiday camp restaurant. Travel was by train and eventually for me on a scooter. They bring back many happy memories of friends, family and fun.