Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Beside the Seaside by John Heywood

book cover
Beside the Seaside
by John Heywood


ISBN-13: 9781526704641
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Pen & Sword
Released: Jan. 31, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
Almost all of us have happy memories of excursions and holidays spent beside the sea. For many in the UK, these will have included the Yorkshire coast which runs unbroken for more than one hundred miles between the two great rivers, the Tees and the Humber. Within those boundaries are the popular seaside resorts of Whitby, Scarborough, Filey and Bridlington as well as numerous smaller and quieter but equally well-loved destinations.

How did the love affair with the area start and how did it develop? Over the years, all the ingredients for the perfect holiday are there - the spas, the sea and sun bathing, board and lodgings, entertainment and just as importantly, the journeys there and back. “Beside the Seaside” takes a detailed but entertaining look back at the history of these resorts over the last four hundred years. Packed with information, this book is fully illustrated with photographs, old and new, together with paintings and etchings. Coupled with the thoughts and memories of tourists and travellers from the 17th century through to the present time, it gives a fascinating insight into how our ancestors would have spent their time at the coast.


My Review:
Beside the Seaside describes the development of the Yorkshire coast seaside resorts from their origins to the present day. He talked about Scarborough, Whitby, Filey and Bridlington as well as Redcar, Saltburn, Hornsea, Withernsea, and others. He included some quotes from journals about people's experiences at the resorts throughout the years and some newspaper accounts about notable happenings at the resorts. There were also photos and illustrations of the resorts and some ads for them. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting book to anyone curious about how the Yorkshire coast resorts developed over the years.

He started in 1620 when the first spring was promoted for health-giving properties and followed their development into the early 1900s. After covering several aspects of the early development, he looked at the overall development of the resorts in the 1900s to present day, exploring how the World Wars affected these towns and how they've continued change. The first part of the book was organized topically: the development of the spa buildings around springs; the rise of sea bathing (including information about bathing machines, changing huts, etc.); the changing fashions in bathing suits; where people stayed (hotels, lodging houses, camps, etc., including the names of people offering lodging as listed in a guide book) and the building, updating, and closings of various hotels; how people traveled to these resorts (carriages, trains, cars, and such) and the building of roads, cliff lifts, and bridges to help people get to the beaches; the rise of excursions and day visitors; entertainment options found on the beach; entertainment options in the town (ballrooms, orchestras, etc.); and the building of and accidents involving the pleasure piers.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


No comments: