Sheffield retro: When the 'club trip' to the seaside made you feel like a millionaire
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I think it can also be said of Elvis Presley.
August 16 1977, was the day Elvis ‘The King‘ sadly passed away at the age of 42.
I remember it vividly, not because I was a big Elvis fan - I was 12 – but because I was excited about going to a ‘club trip‘
Southey Green Social Club had put on a coach trip to Skegness.
I was lucky enough to get a ticket for this free trip,I was full of excitement.
A trip to the seaside was a rare occurrence back then, most kids would jump at the chance to go.
As we sat on the coach we were given a brown paper bag, which contained a packet of crisps, sandwiches, a chocolate bar, and a can on pop – no questions asked about allergies or dietary needs.
As well as the brown paper bag we were all given an envelope with a crisp brand new £5 note - which is nearly £25 in today's money no wonder I was excited - I felt like a millionaire. That was the good part, an all expenses trip to the coast.
This wasn’t a unique state of affairs,many Working Men's Clubs (WMC’s) all over Sheffield offered similar trips for children and their families in the city.
After a long trip to our destination we’d dash off the coach with our money, and what we had left of our packed lunch?
Trying to remember the drop off point, and the time we needed to get back to the coach,but best of all, no adult supervision.
The sun always shone on these day trips.
It was great to be at the seaside, what to do first?
We would normally head to the souvenir shops and spend time looking, and going through saucy postcards, I wasn’t the only one there , there would always be quite a gathering.
Many of the postcards were very funny - maybe not by today's standards, but very popular at the time.
Still with a crispy £5 note in my pocket and any additional funds I had, We would normally head to the chip shop, or doughnut store or both, the smells were always enticing.
Depending on which sea resort we were at would determine what we could do.
Rides were always expensive so they were always at a minimum.
I would spend a good amount of time in the arcades.
Video games were in their infancy and really basic in comparison to those of today, a game game called Grand National was popular then, it relied of speed of hand rather then thumb,no Call of Duty in these arcades
A popular game would always be the Penny Falls.
We could spend a lot of time and money trying to accrue more than we put in, never getting there, but killing lots of time.
The popular TV game Tipping Point was derived from this arcade game,I wish I’d thought of that.
At the end of the day, It would be hoped, I would have enough money for a stick of rock or two.
Brilliant times back then.