Reading the papers by the beach
The British have a long love affair with the seaside. In the 1700s, Scarborough became the first coastal spa town and others followed, signalling the start of the British seaside resort. The expansion of the railways in the 1840s turned lots of small fishing villages into seaside destinations. Over the next 150 years or so the seaside increased in popularity, especially amongst mill workers where factories would close for a week to allow maintenance work to be done and families travelled to the seaside.
Early in the 20th Century beach huts became popular as they allowed families a discreet place in which to change and they became associated as holiday homes for the working classes. In the 1930s, Royal patronage resulted in the upper classes taking an interest in them. After the Second World War there was a resurgence in seaside holidays for all.
Beach huts started out as timber constructions and these are still very popular. During the 1960s concrete became a favourite and today some of the huts bear greater resemblance to a modern apartment than a wooden garden shed!
Today’s beach walk had a mixture of all types. The traditional wooden hut, the concrete version in the photo above, and the swanky glass and stainless steel versions.
On a sunny Winter’s day, this couple took the opportunity to relax in the sun, read their papers and let the world pass them by ......
Documenting Britain: seaside
Poole, January 2022