A SEASIDE break unearthed a nostalgic surprise, when Sarah Oliver discovered old footage of her family in a hotel room.

When Sarah, from Skipton, checked into her sea-view room at Morecambe’s art-deco Midland Hotel she started to watch archive black and white footage, taking a trip into the hotel’s past.

Sarah’s grandparents, Morag and Rennick Hodgson, bought the hotel from the London Midland and Scottish Railway Company and ran it in the 1950s, so she was delighted to watch the historic film, available for guests to view. But little did she know it included footage of her father as a child, and other family members.

The footage, thought to have been filmed by her grandfather, had been discovered at a car boot sale.

“I’d taken my partner to the Midland Hotel to celebrate his birthday. It turned out to be more than a night away,” says Sarah. “As the video neared its end, I was stunned to see my granny and grandad in their bathing suits, bouncing my baby uncle up and down while my dad is learning to ride a bike.

“There’s also footage of my Aunt Winnie, Uncle Paddy and their children - two little toddlers in red dresses. Not only that, we also found a photograph of Aunt Winnie on the bedroom wall. It was a genuinely heart-warming surprise, all the stories we’ve heard over the years leapt to life during our stay.”

When Sarah mentioned the trip down memory lane to hotel staff they arranged for her father to return to the Midland, where he spent his childhood.

“It’s lovely to see how the hotel’s past permeates through the building, décor and staff," says Sarah. "Talking to my dad, who lived at the Midland as a child and remembers it well, we think the film was made by his father in the 1950s but had been lost to my family for decades.”

Sarah and her family, who run Coffee Care in Skipton, were invited by the hotel for a complimentary stay, and her father was treated to a guided tour to see how it looks today, following its restoration.

Mark Needham, general manager of the Midland Hotel, said: “Sarah was thrilled to recognise her family members in the footage, so we thought it would be a real treat for her father to come back as our guest.

“We were originally given access to the video by the room designer, whose mother had found it at a car boot sale. By complete coincidence, Harvie in our IT department was also astonished to see his own mum, dad and little brother on the video when he was transferring it onto our TV system.”

The Midland Hotel was designed to look like an ocean liner and built in a single year, opening in 1933. It has enjoyed a revival in fortunes since re-opening in 2008 after an £11m refurbishment and is now run by family hotel group English Lakes Hotels, Resorts & Venues.

Once affectionately known as 'Bradford-on-sea', Morecambe has a place in the hearts of people in the district, who recall childhood holidays and day trips there. Many people from here retired to the Lancashire resort.

* To view the vintage footage visit englishlakes.co.uk/the-midland/the-midland-vintage-video