Sunday, 3 September 2017

Coastal Communities

I usually watch about half an hour of Breakfast Television each morning (any more and I see the same news over again; that is the nature of the programme).   This morning, and all the week in fact, they are concentrating on coastal communities and how they have 'gone down'.

I rarely go to the coast these days living, as I do, in the very centre of the country, but when I do go I am struck by the run down nature of the sea front in many instances and also by the number of elderly people around.

I guess there are many reasons for this, not least of which is the relative cheapness of air travel to much warmer places where the summer heat is more or less guaranteed.  Also the fashion has moved away from the 'Boarding House' towards fairly cheap hotels which offer facilities like swimming pools, all day accommodation and the like.

I recall my first seaside holiday (aged 17) with my friend.   How grown up we felt to be going on holiday together without our parents, albeit to stay in Cleethorpes in a Boarding House run by a lady called Mrs Cheffings who my parents knew.  Apart from a ferry trip over to Hull one day, across the mouth of the Humber, I don't remember much of the holiday.   What I do know is that it would not do for today's seventeen year old.

Perhaps therein lies part of the answer.  Seaside towns have gone out of fashion because they just have not moved with the times.   The Minister in charge of such things said this morning that Blackpool was an example of a town which had tried hard to keep up with the times, opening a huge Conference Centre which was much used.

To see these beautiful sea front sites full of boarded-up shops and arcades is a sad sight.   What is to be done about it?

 

23 comments:

Librarian said...

Dear Pat, when my husband was still alive, we regularly spent a week in Scarborough every summer - it was our favourite place together, and I have fondest memories of those days. The weather wasn't always good, of course; in fact, one holiday we had such dismal conditions that one afternoon, when we were resting in our room, reading and watching TV, our landlady knocked and brought us a cake she had just made, still warm from the oven! She called it a "bad weather cake" and said she felt so sorry for us. Wasn't that really kind of her?
We used to stay at the same B&B every year, so we knew each other relatively well.

Scarborough had many run-down and boarded-up places then, but I hear it has changed for the better. A new complex of modern flats has been built on North Bay, and where the remnants of a children's playground were rusting among nettles and brambles, new entertainment areas have been created.

Since Steve's death, I have not been back to Scarborough. I keep telling myself that I will go some time, just not yet...

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

All except for parts of N Norfolk like Burnham Market which is overrun with 4x4s and people called Nigel and Camilla.

Seasidelife15 said...

Cleethorpes, Mablethorpe and Skegness are all thriving seaside towns in the summer - loved by families who come year after year. In the winter the towns resume normal life as us oldies have the towns to ourselves. I moved from Shropshire to live here and wouldn't go back for anything.

mrsnesbitt said...

As you know Pat, we live only minutes away from the sea - we have a quiet little hamlet - Skinningrove which we visit most days with the dogs. The wonderful Staithes is now occupied mostly by second home residents and Whitby remains ever popular. Your post has prompted me to visit more often. When is the move? We must meet for a cuppa - Leyburn?

Rachel Phillips said...

Great Yarmouth is a sad case in point. Boarding houses have been taken over by landlords with the specific intention of renting the rooms out to the local authority to house the homeless, with a guaranteed, regular local authority income. (You can do the same inland of course, there is much demand for it). Other places around the coast have a six week window in which to do 52 weeks of trade, i.e. the school summer holidays, with those who still like an English seaside holiday. Cheap holidays in Spain started off the rot, cheap flights let the rot flourish, the weather has a lot to answer for, the downward spiral let the place go down and down and in came the migrants believing Great Yarmouth was the promised land. The only thing that flourishes there now is teenage pregnancies.

Seasidelife15 said...

I should have said that families now holiday in static caravans, not guest houses. It's the freedom to do as you please that's the attraction.

Frugal in Essex said...

The South East coastline is surviving because its adapting quickly. Since Butlins closed in Clacton on Sea the caravan camps have gone from strength to strength. The pier and seafront at Clacton has had millions spent on it and attracts hundreds of east Londoners during the summer as its just over an hours journey away. Its interesting that Clacton is part of the Tendring Council and Tendring as a whole is classed as an area of deprivation. The flourish of cheap shops over the last few years has enabled it to survive. I don't live in Clacton but visit it often as we have friends there. I prefer Holland on Sea and snobby Frinton!

Derek Faulkner said...

Rachel pretty much had the similar opinions as myself. I've lived all of my 70 years in a seaside area on a small island called Sheppey on the North Kent coast. The eastern end of the island, called Leysdown has always been a traditional holiday resort for Londoners with arcades, caravan parks and chalets and still is. It's like most seaside resorts, bloody tacky, full of shops selling plastic spades, buckets, junk food and undesirable people from London who like wearing tracksuits and swear a lot. Fortunately in the 1970's, cheap package holidays abroad came along and halved the number of people now going there. In the summer months most of us locals avoid it like the plague.

Gwil W said...

Very sad. But at least not as bad as Rimini. Not yet.

donna baker said...

That is sad Pat. Stateside, at least where I've been, you can't get close to the beach as it is so expensive. That is truly a shame as I love the beach, the sounds, the sea - everything about it.

jinxxxygirl said...

Most of my 'beach time' has been spent on the Florida beaches... Destin... Ft. Walton... sugar white sand... For a long time they didn't used to let the hotels build on the same side of the road as the ocean.. so as not to obstruct the view and the beaches were all public beaches... But quite some time ago now that changed and you are hard put to find a public beach to enjoy.. As much as i loved the sugar sand and turquoise clear water of the Gulf of Mexico in my mid 40's i found a new beach to love.. the west coast beaches of northern California.... Pat they are ALIVE... starfish.. sea anemones... crabs ... sea lions.. otters.. I was introduced to whole new kind of beach and i fell in love.. I found lots of empty shoreline to walk and enjoy... how i miss it.. But even there everything is run down... I did not find one 'nice hotel to stay in and even the run down ones are terribly expensive... Luckily we lived close enough to make day trips... Hugs! deb

Rachel Phillips said...

I was in Sheringham recently which is a very typical small seaside town on the North Norfolk coast, next to Cromer, and does well in the season. The large hotels closed down long ago and some are abandoned waiting for developers to agree with the local planners what to do with them. I went into a nice gift shop with good quality local wares and chatted to the owner. She said whilst the town was busy that day and all through the school holidays it only lasts six to eight weeks. And then she was very glum and shrugged, and said that's it, your year is just about over. Survival for local businesses is difficult even in relatively popular resorts because it is very much what it is and "during the summer" is not enough to survive on for the whole year.

Anonymous said...

From our first daughter being born in 1980 and the other on the way we did 8 years in Scarborough. Money was tight and we hired a very basic flat midway between the North bay and South bay. Our children got so excited about going anticipating the Tree walk, the maze and the pinics on the beach. We preferred the North bay especially catching the little train in Peasholme park round to Scalby Mills and the the litle cafe and play area. Now they have Sea Life on there and the North bay is almost unrecognisable - the Lido and corner cafes and shops are gone. I am not sure I like the new flats that replaced the cafes and bucket and spade shops I like the old seaside quality it had. I do think that the park is in need of some attention last time we visited the flower beds that used to be planted with pretty annuals like most seaside towns are almost non existent. Our granddaughter gets just as excited doing the same kind of things at Saltburn - so maybe it is the parents who prefer the holidays abroad. My daughter once worked in Ramsey on the Isle of Mann at the huge and once very popular Grand Island Hotel situated almost on the beach - sadly that is no more now and has been demolished. It will be such a shame to lose all our seaside towns just because they are not fashionable at the moment.

Heather said...

Maybe people expect too much these days. Hotels abroad are relatively cheap and even B and Bs over here provide far superior facilities than the old boarding houses did. Competition must be very high in all types of accommodation and youngsters want more sophisticated entertainment than we did in our teens.

Tom Stephenson said...

I'll fix it. I am going on a British trip myself soon to spread my money around like the man who broke the bank of Monte Carlo.

Chris said...

I remember going to the Isle of Man with friends as a teenager. Don't remember much about it but it was a great adventure at the time!

Cro Magnon said...

We have a home in Brighton. Although the masses arrive from London every time the sun shines, Brighton is not really a 'seaside resort' as such; it's a thriving residential town. A great place to live at all times of the year, and no boarded-up shops.

Alphie Soup said...

I've come a bit late to commenting on the new photograph. I like it, an open view of the countryside in contrast to the church photo which I also liked.
As they say, a change is as good as a holiday.

Alphie

The Weaver of Grass said...

These make interesting reading don't they? Some agree that things have deteriorated and others feel there is still a lot to admire about British beaches. Obviously depends upon what you want to expect. Thanks for putting your two pennorth into the mix.

Gerry Snape said...

Well they obviously didn't make it to Morecambe this last weekend fir the annual Vintage Festival...based in the Midland and backed by Wayne Hemmingway...it was just fabulous!!

justjill said...

The North East of Scotland where I live has working ports. But also beautiful beaches. No Bingo, etc. We have b&bs, glamping, self catering, all in the 5 star bracket. The centre of my town has its share of charity shops. But also has independent dress shops, butchers, proper pharmacists where you can get treatment and advice. I dont really want you all to come and live up here but come and have a look! And I am from Yorkshire.
Weave what happened to the frustration x

Unknown said...

I am going on a British trip myself soon to spread my money around like the man who broke the bank of Monte Carlo.


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