Jersey postcards of the past: Seymour Hotels as you've never seen them

Today's holidaymakers broadcast their trips through social media, but during the post-war tourism boom, friends and family learnt about their loved-one's holiday antics through postcards.

Seaside souvenirs

The first postcards were sent during the 1890s, but it wasn't until the 1930s that they'd become synonymous with trips to the seaside.

Early postcards gained popularity through their saucy drawings and sexual innuendo. But after the war, the newly elected conservative government put an end to the smutty seaside souvenirs in a bid to stop "the deterioration of public morals".

From the 1950s, seaside postcards would feature landscapes, landmarks and photography of the hotel responsible for producing the card.

Camera's were still an expensive luxury, so postcards became the most affordable way to document your holiday - and to have a little brag when you returned home!


Sadly not many holidaymakers send postcards any more, but the sense of nostalgia they can create for the buyer and recipient is still immense.

Earlier this year Bob Mallet, Chairman of The Jersey Postcard Study Group, shared his collection of Seymour Hotels postcards with us.

Bob is the owner of close to 28,000 Jersey postcards! The examples that follow are some of our favourites from his collection, all of which were produced during our 100 year history in Jersey.

The Watersplash

Over the years, The Watersplash has undergone its fair share of refurbishments.

The nightclub is now considered one of the UK's best drum and bass venues, but during the post-war tourism boom, it had a very different purpose.

The photo in the postcard above is taken from what is now the DJ booth. Where revellers now rave until the early hours, diners used to sit and enjoy a meal.

Late nights and live music have always been at the heart of what the Watersplash offers. Even in the 1950s there was plenty of space dedicated to dancing. Once dinner was served, the band would strike a tune and guests were quick to hit the dance floor.

The decor and clientele may have changed, but structurally the nightclub remains much the same.

Portelet Hotel

In 1921, George Andrew Seymour and his wife Mary, the parents of George Frederick Seymour, purchased Kalimna Hall in St Brelade, overlooking Ouaisne.

George Andrew and Mary operated one of the most luxurious guest houses on the island, complete with electrical lighting throughout, multi-spring mattresses and a tennis court which is picture in the postcard below.

After the war, Kalimna House was redeveloped into the Portelet Hotel.

The new premises were renowned as a silver service hotel, offering guests great food, attentive service and luxurious bedrooms.

But it was always the uninterrupted view across St Brelade's Bay that was the hero of Portelet Hotel postcards.

The Pomme d'Or Hotel

The Pomme d'Or Hotel has been front and centre for some of the island's most iconic moments throughout history.

But the Pomme d'Or Gardens, pictured in the post card below, are a lesser known part of the hotel's history.

The gardens occupied the space between the Boule d’Or Hotel, situated on the corner of Conway and Wharf Street, and the Pomme d’Or at Liberation Square.

By the time the post card above was in circulation, the gardens had gone, and so had the Nazi commandant. Jersey's post-war tourism industry was booming, and nothing induced a sense of jealousy like sending one of these to friends back in the UK!

The Merton Hotel

In 1965 the new heated swimming pool area at the Merton Hotel was opened to guests. The pool was the first of its kind in Jersey, featuring multiple pools and lots of sunbathing space, as well as 3 metre, 5 metre and 10 metre diving boards.

The pool, now a part of the Aquadome complex, continues to provide plenty of enjoyment for families staying at the Merton today.

One feature that has been consigned to history - but we wish hadn't - is the light-up dance floor pictured in the post card below.

The Star Room still encourages plenty of movers and shakers to get up for a boogie, but with an illuminated dance floor, there'd be no stopping even the most reluctant dancers!

Maybe one to consider Luis?

More Seymour Hotels history

As we continue into our 100th year, we'll be taking more deep dives into the history of our hotels. If you'd like to keep up to date with our articles and learn more about our history, please visit our dedicated centenary website here

Many thanks to Bob Mallet and The Jersey Postcard Study Group for sharing their collection wish us, and for their permission to publish the images.

Share your stories

Do you have your own amazing Seymour Story to share? We would love to hear from you - our extended family of friends, customers and colleagues - with your own memories, photos and stories. You can share them with us here, and we will be delighted to publish them on this website, with your approval.