The outbreak of war in 1939 brought Jersey’s flourishing tourism industry to an abrupt halt. After the Liberation in 1945, the Island needed to re-invent itself as a holiday destination. In the 1950s, the enterprising Seymour family started bringing honeymooners to the Island to stay in their hotels and tourism really began to boom.
1. A busy weekend at Jersey Airport in 1962
2. Beach games for honeymoon couples at St Ouen, 1967
3. Honeymoon couples are greeted at Jersey Airport in 1964 with champagne and flowers
4. Honeymoon Special’ coach tour laid on by the Merton Hotel in April 1956
5. Honeymooners on the beach at St Brelade in April 1964
I joined the company as a very junior assistant manager at the Merton Hotel in 1952 and one of my first jobs was to help put single beds together to make double beds. The first 3 or 4 weeks of the season, the hotel would be full of honeymooners who had married in April to take advantage of UK tax breaks. It was a great start to each season. We made them very welcome and looked after them very well. Every week we would take them on a honeymoon picnic, usually on the beach at St Brelade. We would also organise sports days on the beach.
Robin Seymour, Seymour Hotels
In the postwar period, air travel became cheaper and many honeymooners travelled to the Island by plane, adding a touch of continental glamour to their holiday.
The larger hotels had ballrooms with resident bands and nightly entertainment. Holidaymakers could also take coach tours to the Island’s many nightspots like The Watersplash in St Ouen’s Bay and Caesar’s Palace at Greve de Lecq.
Honeymooners reported back to friends about their wonderful holiday in Jersey and soon the tourism industry was booming.
We were married in Birmingham at 11 o’clock on 16th June 1962 and at 5 o’clock we were on a flight to Jersey for our honeymoon. Jersey seemed affordable, glamorous, a million miles away from Birmingham, like going to Italy.
We stayed at the Sunshine Hotel, along with about 12 or so other honeymoon couples. We hired a car for the first week to explore the island. In the evenings we went to the Tartan Bar for sing-a-longs and the hotel had dances with bands playing regularly.
Melvyn and Brenda Roche (pictured)