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Growing Up At Alum Bay

A Memory of Alum Bay

I grew up at Alum Bay, as my parents, John & Irene Groves were managers at the Needles Hotel from 1948 - 1954. My brother Neil is 2 years older than me and we have some wonderful memories of playing in the grounds, which were very different to how they are today. There was a cafe, a bazaar, (where you could fill up your sand phials), a restaurant and a bar. The hotel was non residential, but my parents worked long hours and because of the danger of coaches and traffic, we spent a lot of time in Freshwater with our grandparents.
My uncle Harold used to be a West Wight coach driver and my grandad would be the driver who would collect the bread and cakes from the baker in Freshwater and would often take us with him. Doughnuts were our particular favourite and he would promise us one each if we were good, which was not always.
At the top of the Chine, before the chair lift arrived, there was a photographer, (whose name I can't remember), who had a stuffed lion and bear and a spotted horse. We have a lot of photographs sitting on these and a lot of the many staff that worked at the Hotel. Unfortunately I can not remember all of the names, very few.
We moved to the mainland in 1954, but have never stopped loving the Island. My parents, granparents, aunties & uncles are all gone now, but my memories are very sweet.

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