So the old song goes :-
I do like to be beside the seaside!
Oh, I do like to be beside the sea!
I do like to stroll along the prom, prom, prom,
While the brass band plays tiddleyompompom!
It is a song that dates back in the UK music halls and was written in 1907. Here is an old film that might amuse.
Basil Rathbone from “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” (1939)
Why is it that the sea seems to draw us to it? It does for me. The sound of the waves. The ever changing patterns of waves. The smell. The energy. The relaxation.
I was such a lovely day, and the seaside called.
Brighton, an English seaside town on the south coast is about an hour journey from Kingston upon Thames, (click to see video) my home town. The train was quick and easy, five stops from Norbiton Station (click to see SouthWest train arriving at Norbiton Station) to Clapham Junction, then a fast train from Clapham Junction to Brighton with only two stops.
Exiting from Brighton railway station, the sea can be seen, but it is a long walk down to the prom or sea front.
How many times as a young boy, did I long to be the first to see the sea when we went away on holiday with my mother and father?
“First one to see the sea gets six pence,” my father always said, and always I got the six pence.
Brighton beach is pebbles, not a sandy beach, which plays havoc on ones feet, and can be quite uncomfortable to sit on, but thousands do, especially on such a warm sunny day.
The sea water is a little too cold in May to go swimming for the masses, only the brave few could be seen in the calm waters. But, there were the odd one or two bikinis to be seen, and bare chests as people tried to get a suntan. I think I caught the sun as my face is quite red now.
It was relaxing just to spend an hour on the steep pebble beach between the two piers.
Brighton had two piers. A pier is a strange British custom, mostly built and dating back to pre First World War.
Ther are either a wooden or metal structure, built out to sea, so that holiday makers could promenade up and down the pier taking in the sea air. Often there would be a theatre built on the far end, and amusement arcades and kiosks placed along the length. Many would have fun fairs or lunar parks.
Brighton’s pebble beach
Brighton beach and pier
Fun fair or Lunar Park
Due to the materials used in the construction of piers, many have been washed or blown away, or as in the case of one of the Brighton piers, burned down.
The remains of one of Brighton’s piers
Another tradition of the seaside experience is a fish and chip meal, perhaps with mushy peas, and in my case a glass of Champagne. Sorry folks, I am a man of tradition, and I was hungry.
Traditional British Fish n Chips