Love, Laughs & Fancy Dress - Merton Holidays in the 1930s

In 1946 the Merton Hotel was marketed as the Honeymoon Hotel. George Seymour realised that now the war was over, couples in the UK were rushing to get married. The honeymoon marketing campaign was a success, and during April of that year they had no less than 11 newlywed couples staying with them!

But one of the oldest stories of love blossoming here at the Merton was brought to our attention earlier this year by Ian Jones, the son of former guests Doug and Mary Jones (née Ward).


Summer romance & entertainment

Doug and Mary spent two summer holidays at the Merton in 1937 and 1938 - long before the Honeymoon Hotel days. Their days were filled with beach games at Harve Des Pas and courting in the gardens.

In the evenings, everyone would head down to the Star Room for the nightly entertainment. Productions back in those days were a little more rudimentary than today's shows, but what they didn't have in lighting and sound systems, they more than made up for with enthusiasm,

Guests were quick to join the festivities. As you can see in the photo below, even in those days the Merton team knew how to host a good party, and fancy dress was more than encouraged!

The quality time spent together at The Merton had the desired effect for Doug and Mary, who went on to marry in the summer of 1940 and have children - including Ian who kindly shared their photos and story with us.

Merton Hotel guests. 9th August 1938.

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.

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.