This hat was purchased at the Sunshine Holiday Camp on Hayling Island, Hampshire, by Miss Macrae in 1937, and given to Hampshire Museums 70 years later by her granddaughter.
The badge pinned on the side of the hat carries the words ‘Sunshine Days are Happy Days’ on the back, but perhaps the most exciting thing is that the brim was signed by Miss Macrae herself (who appears as MAC) and by a dozen or so other holidaymakers.
The cap is in ‘matelot’ style to resemble the headgear of the US Navy rather than that of Britain. It is made up of six segments of alternate blue and white cotton with a blue and white upturned brim. The signatures are carried on the white, or lower stripe round the brim.
Hayling Island had one of the earliest holiday camps in the UK and is still a popular destination for local people. This little hat is a rare survivor of those more innocent times and has clearly been kept as a much loved memento – it has, after all, survived a war and all the usual events in the life of the original owner.
A selection of photos of Sunshine Holiday Camp
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