Holiday Souvenir Sun Hat

Holiday Souvenir Sun Hat

Sunshine Days are Happy Days!

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.

Quick Facts

  • Accession Number C2007.360
  • Place and date of manufacture unknown
  • Purchased at Sunshine Holiday Camp, Hayling Island
  • Date purchased 1937
  • Dimensions Diameter 18 cms (about), Height 10cms (about)
  • Made of cotton (unlined)


  • Purchased within two years of the outbreak of the Second World War, this little cap is a rare survivor of a brief period when the wearing of a hat conveyed respectability, but young people could have something a little quirky, at least during informal holidays.
  • We don’t know who the other people were who added their signatures to the brim of this hat, nor whether they too purchased a similar cap and had them signed.
  • This hat will go on display as part of the ‘England at Leisure’ exhibition at Andover Museum from 15th November 2012 to 19th January 2013. 

Did you know?

  • A famous cartoon character who loved eating spinach wore a very similar type of hat.

Fact Sheets

A selection of photos of Sunshine Holiday Camp

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