Holidays for the Disabled'
The following is from an interview with Grace Thrower, wife of Gorleston Holiday Camp Managing Director Lin Thrower. Mrs Thower was interviewed in 2004 by Anglia Television.
We used to have a fancy hat competition and wanted someone to judge it, and the people at the pier came in the afternoons to judge it. One was Harry Worth and also Bob Monkhouse. It was a great treat for them to see these famous people. We found that they'd like to go out on outings and if we could do something to help to pay for their outings - they really hadn't got a lot of money, so Lin suggested to the visitors that perhaps it would be nice to give their odd pennies and change from whatever they were buying, to start a Pile of Pennies. The bar manager made the pile and he would start it while the summer visitors were there at so they could see how it was going. They kept giving us more - they were most generous!'
In 1953 the Norfolk Association for the Handicapped introduced a scheme for holidays for the handicapped and found an ideal place at Gorleston Super Holiday Camp. It had the space, the facilities and few steps. Managing Director at the time was Lin Thrower. His widow Grace remembers why they gave the idea their full support:
'I think it was because the handicapped had never had a holiday and didn't think they could go on holiday and didn't think the people would have them. It hadn't been done before. We certainly did start it, and that was why Lin thought it was a good idea and felt quite proud!'
The whole camp was put at their disposal for the last two weeks of the summer season. They had the same sort of holiday as the summer visitor, all inclusive of meals and entertainment. It was such a good cause that celebrities appearing in the seaside shows in Yarmouth would lend their support:
Mrs Grace Thrower, widow of Lin Thrower, Managing Director, during an interview for Anglia TV 2004
Pile of pennies. Left to right: Mr Lin Thrower, Mrs Grace Thrower, Eddie Olsen Entertainments Manager 1960's - 1970's, two on the right unknown
Wendy Gibbs nee Thrower, daughter of Lin and Grace Thrower with the pile of pennies on the bar in 1961
Bob Monkhouse appearing as one of the judges of the Fancy Hat Competition