This article broadens our knowledge of post-war holidaymaking (c. 1950–80) by adopting the Isle of Man as a case study. A popular holiday resort from the late nineteenth century, the Isle of Man experienced considerable political turbulence during the 1950s and 1960s about how best to stay competitive as a seaside resort, where authorities employed uniquely stringent methods to contain rowdiness and protect the island’s ‘respectable’ atmosphere. The first two sections examine the leisure habits of the young and working class in a holiday context, integrating this analysis with perceptions of their behaviour gleaned from oral interviews with local residents. The concluding section explores how the presence of holidaymakers on the Isle of Man – uniquely among seaside resorts in the British Isles – informed (and in some cases emboldened) a sense of national identity. Oral history, complemented by the Hansard reports of the Isle of Man parliament and local press coverage, sheds light on the activities of the post-war working class at play, and how the presence of holidaymakers fortified Manx national consciousness.
- Oral history