Unique History of Croyde Bay

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david mckeown

david mckeown

You may or may not know a little bit about the unique history of UNISON Croyde Bay Holiday Resort. Originally opened in 1930, it’s has gone through some eventful times to now be one of the top holiday resorts in Devon.

NALGO, one of the unions that merged to become UNISON many years later, originally purchased the site for the benefit of their members, following suit from other trade unions as well as labour and socialist movements to give members a break to turbulent time during the Great Depression.

A few years past since the resort was first purchased and members started to holiday and recuperated by the seaside in Croyde Bay, but then World War 2 began and holidays were put on hold for the hard years to come. As the war started NALGO moved their staff from the head office in London to Croyde Bay, where they were based until 1943 when the US Army commandeered the site as well as others in the local area to practice manoeuvres for the D-Day landings on Saunton beach/Braunton Burrows. You can still see re-enactments as well as find US military memorabilia down here today in the museums, which are quite special to see.

After the war was over, the holiday resort returned back to providing well earned breaks and holidays and people continued to journey down and stay in the chalet accommodation for many years to come. Enjoying holiday camps style activities like sports tournaments, apple bobbing and putting! Later on during the holiday camp years, the famous Benny Bear moved on to the resort as their own mascot and brought along his own camp song which can be heard during the school holiday weeks today (Do you know it? We are the Benny Bear Club, Happy as can be…).

Then, in the late 1990’s plans were put in place to build self catering cottages which replaced many chalets through into the 2000’s and the building of a 56 bedroom hotel followed this in 2011, really changing the face of the holiday resort and ensuring a high standard of accommodation for guests- both members of UNISON and non members.

Now it is 2017 and UNISON continue to invest in the resort with big plans to improve the accommodation further in the coming years as well as maintain the high standard of experience for guests. It really is a unique place with a unique history as many other similar establishments have been sold on or closed UNISON Croyde Bay Holiday Resort continues to thrive, offering members 15% off their regular tariff and a 50% discount scheme for low paid members, which has enabled hundreds of affordable holidays for members over the years.

The future looks bright here in Croyde with big plans for development of the old chalets over the next year and a continuation of other improvements on-site to make sure you have your best holiday possible.

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