Hotel’s discovery invites guests to reel off old times

Manager of the Midland Hotel, Morecambe, Matt Stanaway and duty manager Lindsay Price and the DVD of an old cinefilm, and pictured right, showing Morecambe resort in its 1950s found at a car boot sale and now shown in guests rooms
Manager of the Midland Hotel, Morecambe, Matt Stanaway and duty manager Lindsay Price and the DVD of an old cinefilm, and pictured right, showing Morecambe resort in its 1950s found at a car boot sale and now shown in guests rooms
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Its flickering scenes recall an era when a Lancashire town was a top draw for British holidaymakers.

And yet this wonderful cine reel of 1950s Morecambe was found buried among old junk at a car boot sale.

The rare film, showing seaside scenes of the resort in its heyday, was uncovered by the parents of one of the architects involved in the redevelopment of the town’s iconic Midland Hotel a few years ago.

And the art deco-inspired hotel has brought the footage back to life by digitally restoring it to allow it to be shown on the bedroom televisions.

Matt Stanaway, manager of The Midland, said: “The Midland has such a wonderful history and to be able to show guests the film of Morecambe as it used to be is a nice addition to the rooms. I’m sure some local people will also have similar footage and if so we’d love to hear from them.”

The 1959 film shows scenes of young families enjoying the blazing sunshine on deckchairs at a bustling seafront, youngsters splashing in an outdoor swimming pool and enjoying a Punch and Judy puppet show.

It also gives a glimpse into the fashions of the day, with stylish young women lounging in the sunshine over-sized sunglasses and printed bikinis.

And Happy Mount Park also puts in an appearance, with its gardens, miniature train and a small zoo, complete with bears, pelicans and seals, all featuring on the film.

The footage also turned up a surprise for IT manager Harvie Rollins, who works for English Lakes, which owns The Midland. He spotted his parents and elder brother on screen as he worked on turning the cine reel into a DVD.

Harvie said “I was just checking the film to see if it was in the correct format for digital conversion and was only about 30 seconds in when, by chance, I spotted my family in one of the scenes on the seafront. It was a nice surprise.”

Designers used the film to inspire the decor in the four-star hotel’s bedrooms during its redevelopment.