Postcards sent from Selsey in the early 1900s show that the strip of grassy cliff in front of the recently built Marine Hotel at the end of New Road, (now Hillfield Road), was a popular place to pitch bell tents in the summer. Mill Farm, further to the west, allowed groups such as the Boys’ Brigade to hold camps on their land, in the field by the windmill and farm buildings.
After WWI The National Camping Club was formed and camping holidays became increasingly common. Some people came by car but bicycles or motorcycles were also used as transport. By the 1930s Mill Farm was a popular camping ground for both groups and individuals.
In 1938 the site was advertising in Kelly’s Directory as Mill Farm Camping and Caravan Site and at that time was described as the largest camping ground in Southeast England. Jack Wakely managed the site and installed a number of caravans which he let out to holidaymakers, while his father John ran the farm.
In the summer of 1937, the British Union of Fascists chose Mill Farm for a Blackshirts summer holiday camp in the field behind the windmill. It had been organised to give East London children a holiday by the sea, and about 200 people camped there. Sir Oswald Mosley arrived with his bodyguard and joined his supporters for a night.
After WW2 more caravans were introduced. The campsite eventually became part of Bunn Leisure and was subsequently built on to become the original entrance to West Sands and the fun fair area.
An old online postcard refers to a site called Medmerry Farm Camp, 1933. It is likely that this this is the same campsite as the Mill Farm site.
British Newspaper Archive