February 25, 2012

Mandalay’s history

Mandalay was built as a beach holiday chalet in 1935

Mandalay older shot

At the time Mandalay was built in the mid 1930s, the stretch of Southwold beach near the harbour featured a large number of such holiday chalets, but today, there are only three, mainly due to German bombing in June 1941.

Of these, Mandalay, and its next-door neighbour Seaholme are the only originals still standing.

Built entirely of timber, the design is simple and Tardis-like, with all of the rooms leading off the central living space. Comments from its many visitors and holiday makers show that Mandalay retain its original charm.

During the Second World War, Mandalay was commandeered by the army for officers commanding the beach defences. Visit this link to see what the beach looked like then, and you will be taken on an incredible virtual tour through gun emplacements, searchlight batteries watchtowers and bren-gun emplacements, all within yards of Mandalay

During the Second World War, Mandalay was commandeered by the army for officers commanding the beach defences. Visit this link to see what the beach looked like then, and you will be taken on an incredible virtual tour through gun emplacements, searchlight batteries watchtowers and bren-gun emplacements, all within yards of Mandalay. Of course, these no longer exist.

After the war, Mandalay was bought by a turkey farmer as a holiday home, and eventually his wife lived in it all the year round until 1997, when bought by the present owner.

No more cottages of this type will ever be built on the beach in Southwold, as it is now designated as a Conservation Area, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The vacant sites will remain that way, allowing the beach’s space and freedom to continue to be enjoyed.