Villa Marina, Isle of Man


Villa Marina, Royal Hall and Gardens
Postmarked 1947
Publisher: Punch Bowl Press

Google Street View (approximate).

The Villa Marina is an entertainment venue in Douglas, Isle of Man, which forms part of the wider Villa-Gaiety complex. It is located on Harris Promenade, looking out onto Douglas Bay, and comprises the Royal Hall, Broadway Cinema, Promenade Suite, Dragon’s Castle and the Colonnade Gardens. . . . After unsuccessfully advertising the lease for continued use as a hotel, Henry Noble purchased the shares held by John Firth and set about turning the Villa Marina into his personal residence; although there was a degree of consensus at the time that the estate should have been bought and turned into a pleasure ground with a proposal put forward to raise £10,000 in £1 shares for the purchase. . . . The entire site was bequeathed in Noble’s will to the Henry Bloom Noble Trust. The site was used as the venue for several summer garden fetes and parties and provided a particularly good vantage point for the running of the Gordon Bennett Trials, first held on the Isle of Man in 1904. On several occasions the Villa Marina’s grounds played host to open air religious services, one such instance being the annual session of the District Synod of the Primitive Methodist Church (Liverpool District) which was held in Douglas in the Spring of 1906. Following Noble’s death there was a degree of uncertainty as to what would become of the estate, with a fear that it could be sold to property developers as this was the height of the Isle of Man’s tourism boom. However, the trust donated the entire site to Douglas Corporation which then redeveloped the site as an entertainment venue. Upon completion the venue was opened by the Lieutenant Governor, Lord Raglan, on 19 July 1913.

The original name of the venue was the Villa Marina Kursaal. In part this was seen as an attempt by the Corporation to address the town’s perceived lack of sophistication and to raise the town’s profile to visitors. The Germanic term for the venue was dropped at the outbreak of World War I and the venue was renamed the Royal Hall.
Wikipedia.

Lake, St Leger Thermal Spa, Pougues-les-Eaux, France


Pougues-les-Eaux (Nièvre) – Le Lac
c.1910
Pubilsher: Thibault

A drive of a few minutes had landed us in the heart of this little Paradise, baths and Casino standing in the midst of park-like grounds. Apparently Pougues, that is to say, the Pougues-les-Eaux of later days, has been cut out of natural woodland, the Casino gardens and its surroundings being rich in forest trees of superb growth and great variety. The wealth of foliage gives this new fashionable little watering-place an enticingly rural appearance, nor is the attraction of water wholly wanting. . . . A pretty little lake, animated with swans, varies the woodland scenery, and tropical birds in an aviary lend brilliant bits of colour. The usual accessories of a health resort are, of course, here—reading room, concert hall, theatre, and other attractions, rapidly turning the place into a lesser Vichy. The number and magnificence of the hotels, the villas and cottages, that have sprung up on every side, bespeak the popularity of Pougues-les-Eaux, as it is now styled, the surname adding more dignity than harmoniousness.
“East of Paris: Sketches in the Gâtinais, Bourbonnais, and Champagne”, Matilda Betham-Edwards (1902), p. 50

Pougues les Eaux is a town in the Center of France with a Spa and Gambling heritage. Although the Health Spa stopped in 1970, it was known for it’s miraculous water and gambling Casino since the renaissance.
Deserted Health Spa and Casino – Pougues les Eaux

Site is now Parc Saint Léger – Contemporary Art Center, which is here.

Ski jump, Fiskartorpet, Sweden


“Fiskartorpet”, skidbacke vid Stockholm
c. 1910

Fiskartorpet is a recreational area north of Stockholm, Sweden, in the Djurgården area. It features a small hotel, a conference center, and a number of restaurants. Sporting facilities include an ice hockey rink, a soccer field, and a K-47 ski jump. The owners advertise it as the “world’s smallest ski resort”.

The first ski jump at the site was built in the 1890s.
Wikipedia

The first ski jumping hill at Fiskartorpet was built already in 1890, but the construction which still can be seen today has its origins in 1928. However, in 1982 the hill was closed down for jumping and despite no plans to tear down the extraordinary tower (it should be kept as an historical building), at least the inrun was slowly becoming a ruin. In 2005 Kristian Entin from ski club in Enskede decided to revive the hill and he managed to engage some other ski jumpers and ski friends for the idea. In fall 2005 both hills were repaired and in March 2006 the first competition after 23 years took place.
Ski Jumping Hill Archive

Street View