IT’S tempting to say that this is a summer just like we used to have. . .
Glorious sunshine, blue skies and hours spent down on the beach at Littlehampton.
Now Littlehampton Museum is bringing back to life those halcyon days when every summer seemed to have a heatwave.
Its Snapshots of Summer exhibition, which continues until September 6, generated a good response to an appeal by museum staff asking people to send in their photos of happy days they spent on the beach and other places around the town in the holidays, and the memories that went with them.
All are gathered in the Community Gallery for the display, running alongside the major exhibition celebrating 150 years of the railway coming to town.
The walls are awash with the sunshine of the resort’s golden era from the 1930s through to the 1960s, before package holidays signalled the start of the decline for British seaside holidays.
Cherry Jones lent two photos showing her cousin Eric Hayward as a child in Mewsbrook Park in about 1943, with his grandparents Mr and Mrs Lewis.
A year later, an evocative photograph shows carefree children digging in the sand on West Beach, at about the time that Operation Overlord, to recapture France from the Germans, was in full swing across the English Channel.
Irene Durrant and her family are pictured enjoying a hot August day in 1966 in Beach Gardens, shortly before a swarm of flying ants descended to drive trippers away from the seafront.
“It’s a wonderful display, with lots of fantastic images,” said Cllr Malcolm Belchamber, chairman of the town council’s community resources committee. “A big thank-you to everybody who submitted photographs.”