Friday, 17 July 2009

Oh I Do Love To Be Beside The Seaside

Marauding gangs of Mods & Rockers at Brighton, in one of several seaside skirmishes in the summer of 1964

For most, the English seaside in the postwar years has a particular nostalgia.

Donkey rides, Punch & Judy, sandcastles, holiday camps, beauty competitions, pink peppermint rock, crazy golf and the fun fair featured in the gregarious public imagination.

At the margin between land and sea was the liminal sense that authority was diluted and permission given to go a little further in every direction than one did at home. For children it seemed an essential part of their growing up: the fresh salt air, the paddling, the civil engineering projects on the sands, the thrills of the fairground rides, the picnics and the relationship with wasps - and all in the company of jolly, indulgent adults. Your forgot the inclement British weather, the lousy catering and the tetchy landlady at your bed + breakfast.

Typical saucy 50s postcard

One of Beryl Cook's quintessential images of the public at play in the 1980s

'Last year it was seaweed flies' George Sprod 1954

from 'The Best of Punch Cartoons'

This beautiful film of Blackpool comes from the BFI

And finally, Cliff Richard & The Shadows and a red London bus star in Summer Holiday 1963


  1. I do like that tag line: "So much to do—so little to pay".

  2. Yes AAL and would that it was always like that.

  3. Did you ever see the Caravan Gallery in Pompey?

    They have a great collection of seaside photos and sandy bottoms!

  4. Hey you two! Great blog. Felt strangely fingered as a Pompey girl till
    I checked you out. xx

  5. Where did those Mods and Rockers images originally appear, are they from a book? I saw them last week but can't track them down again

  6. Hi Jimm Leaf.. I found the images unattributed on the web but have just trawled through some again. Against the deckchair picture, I found this. Hope it helps.

    Image courtesy of


Related Posts with Thumbnails