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Golden Sands Holiday Camp and Sands Holiday Motel

Golden Sands

The Golden Sands holiday camp was located down Dunstall Lane and backed onto the RH&D Railway line. The camp, originally owned and built by Robert Briggs, was sold to Maddiesons in the late 1950s and became known as Maddiesons Golden Sands.

Golden Sands Holiday Camp
Golden Sands Holiday Camp  [ack 10.]

Given its popularity and proximity to the railway, the Golden Sands Holiday Camp was given its own station/halt on the railway, at the point where the line crossed Dunstall Lane.

Golden Sands Pool
Golden Sands Swimming Pool  [ack 10.]

The camp prospered during the 1960s and early 70s, with its facilities of chalets,ballroom, kidney shaped swimming pool, bar and dinning room providing many thousands with a holiday by the sea.

The Pink Elephant Bar Golden Sands 1967
The Pink Elephant Bar Golden Sands 1967

However, the arrival of charter holidays let to the camp closing down in the mid 1970s and in the early 1980s it opened as a Hoseseasons holiday camp and then became a caravan site.

The camp finally closed in about 1994, with the main buildings not being demolished until 2006. Some of the remains are still visible today.

The Sands Holiday Motel

The Sands Holiday Motel, and accompanying Bahia Bar, was sited on the seafront roughly opposite the turning to Jefferstone Lane on the A259. It opened in 1971, being built on the site of the earlier smaller Sands Hotel. The Sands Hotel had been built on land previously occupied by the Jesson Club, which itself was on land formally part of Jesson Farm. The Sands Hotel was demolished in September 1970.

During the second world war St. Mary's Bay was a victim of bombing raids and the Sands Motel sustained a direct hit, killing the boilerman. The Sands Hotel was repaired and again it became a popular holiday venue for many years after the War.

Sands Hotel during the war
Sands Hotel during the war

The hotel and bar were demolished after being badly damaged in the Great Storm of 1987. The remains of the Sands Motel are still visible today, with part of the land being used as a car park.

Sands Motel Site Nov 2012
Part of the Sands Motel Site Today

The site is earmarked for development, with planning applications being made in 2000 and again in 2006 for the 'Erection of 85 dwellings with associated parking and landscaping and formation of a roundabout and access.'  Currently (November 2012), the site owners are progressing with the application to build 85 houses and are in discussions with Shepway District Council over related issues, including the introduction of new flood risk requirements.

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