Allan Brodie and Gary Winter
English Heritage, hardback, £24.99
This is an extensive and fascinating overview, which includes hundreds
of beguiling prints and colour photographs of the many and diverse seaside
resorts in England.
The book was compiled over a four-year period by the two authors, who
are both English Heritage architectural historians. They conclude that,
as a result of overseas travel increasingly superseding trips to the English
coastal areas (which used to be the predominant means of holidaying in
this country up until the 1970s) there is an increasing need for a structured
programme of regeneration of England's seaside heritage.
Brodie and Winter point out that the preservation of these resorts is
of crucial importance because, not only would it preserve the English
seaside heritage but also boost its tourist economy by providing people
with cheaper and more environmentally user-friendly locations to visit
(i.e. not jetting off to hither and thither twice or three times a year).
The book delves into subject matters such as the earliest seaside resorts;
transport and seaside holidays in the eighteenth century, trips to the
seaside in Victorian England, seaside holidays in the twentieth century,
a geography of the seafront, and industry and the harbour.
The architectural styles of seaside buildings are also covered, as well
as the many forms of entertainment provided for visitors; and the rise
of seaside lodgings (I failed to spot any jokes about bed & breakfast
landladies!) holiday camps, caravan parks and hotels.
In the concluding part of this book, Brodie and Winter express the view
that "...it is difficult to envisage a time when people in England
did not go to the seaside, and it is inconceivable that the seaside will
entirely lose its appeal....However, whatever challenges face the seaside
resort in the future, it will always retain a special place in this island
Comment left by james wood on 28th May, 2008 at 14:27
Blackpool is my favourite lancs place to visit,but is getting some very bad young people visiting for so called hen and stag nights,making it a bit unsettling for the elderly visitors
Comment left by Melody on 9th June, 2008 at 22:21
I visited cleathorpes and was impressed. I am a texan so that was kinda nice