Kiss me quick for a pint of whelks
August 22, 2006 8:57 AM   Subscribe

The life and times of the British seaside holiday. The BBC explore the Victorian beginings of this British cultural export, its history and heyday, and the slow decline into genteel decay - and not so genteel - decay.Perhaps buoyed by nostalgia for childhood memories of lemonade ice lollies, sticky gobs of tar underfoot, and sand sandwiches, there's a move to promote regeneration and reinvention. Especially now that the beaches are cleaner than ever, although some still occasionally subject to unpleasant bobbing objects.

Although any regeneration might play on icons like the piers, beach huts, grand hotels, architecture, and classic cafes, it's perhaps less likely to feature traditional and dubious delights like Punch and Judy, end of the pier shows, fearsome landladies and holiday camps. The builders of new sandcastles have grander plans, whether that be the Las Vegas of the northwest, the artist's paradise of St Ives, the surfer's paradise of Newquay, or Hove's multi-coloured pleasure dome. Anyway, would you like this open or wrapped?
posted by reynir (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I used to love going to Southport as a kid, it was always a big treat. I've lived in the US for the past ten years but went back to visit a few years back and it's still a fun spot to visit. Now would I rather holiday in Southport/Blackpool/New Brighton etc or hop on a plane and be in the med in an hour or two....
posted by zeoslap at 9:11 AM on August 22, 2006

No St. Margaret's at Cliffe? Perhaps buoyed by nostalgia for childhood memories
posted by tellurian at 9:36 AM on August 22, 2006

Newquay isn't really a surfer's paradise, it's a shithole town for stag nights and chavs to pile into, spend the day by the sea shouting 'dude' and 'cunt' at each other then get wrecked on cheap booze, kick off and start hospitalising each other. A surfer with any sense will go a few miles up the coast and find plenty of less troubled breaks.

I haven't been to Blackpool since I was about 12, I've heard it's not fared too well. Loved it when I was a kid though, Southport and New Brighton too, and not forgetting the downmarket sparkle of Rhyl.
posted by biffa at 9:43 AM on August 22, 2006

I remember reading in the local paper - many years ago - that a swimmer (an American I believe) was quite upset upon encountering a lump of 'shite' in the English Channel whilst swimming.
posted by tellurian at 9:54 AM on August 22, 2006

It's a very nice, dense post, but wouldn't it have benefited from a "more inside" after the first paragraph? Twenty one links in the "front" section of an FPP seems excessive.

Just my opinion, though.
posted by Dunwitty at 11:53 AM on August 22, 2006

Nice post -- though no collection of links on the British seaside holiday would be complete without Martin Parr, John Hinde and Butlins Memories.
posted by verstegan at 11:16 AM on August 23, 2006

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