Robin Seymour was a junior manager at the Merton hotel in the 1950s and remembers the honeymooners fondly.Can you remember the fifties here in Jersey? A time when the island was recovering from the oppression of occupation, and trying to attract visitors from overseas.One of the most successful initiatives was the honeymoon trip, when newlyweds were given a great deal on their accommodation and entertainment.This scheme attracted hundreds of couples to the island every year and they would regularly fill the floor of the West Park Pavilion.John Layzell was the manager of the West Park Pavilion at the time and he said they used to put on special shows.Mr Layzell said: “They came in their droves really, we used to put on various dances and one in particular, the States of Jersey, used to put on the honeymoon ball.”We would have 350 couples dancing away there, we gave them souvenirs of the island and they were very popular.”Getting things ready for several hundred honeymooning couples wasn’t an easy task for any hotel, especially when you didn’t have enough double beds.Mr Seymour said: “It was a very very busy time for the hotel, especially the run up when 200 bedrooms had to be fitted out with double beds which we didn’t have.”We had to chase around, beg, borrow or steal double beds wherever we could get them, and when we ran out of double beds we would have to bolt the twin beds together, stick the mattresses together as best we can.”But it was all worth it, Mr Seymour said the organisation was hard work but people loved it and keep coming back.”The place was buzzing, buzzing like a hornets nest. It was important as it introduced so many new people to the island.”We’ve had 20th, 25th and hopefully next year we will have some 60th,” said Mr Seymour.For the couples, young people unlikely to have left the UK before Jersey was Britain but abroad and there were tax breaks for getting married early in the year.Mr Seymour said: “If they got married before 5 April in any one year that man could carry a married man’s allowance for the whole of the previous year.”No doubt that was probably worth a few bob, it probably paid for the honeymoon.”Have your say Did you, your grandparents or your parents visit the island on their honeymoon in the 1950s? Why not share your story. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
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