This is not the way to do it! Five things we miss on the British seaside
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This summer, thanks to the pandemic, thousands of families have ignored the stranger and set off for a nostalgic getaway to the British seaside.
Whether it’s cockles in Clacton, tans in Southend or pottery in Penzance, traditional family vacations are experiencing a revival, aside from the torrential rains. But while parents and grandparents can look back on nostalgic British vacations, some familiar aspects of the old-fashioned seaside vacation are sadly disappearing.
Online games have replaced puzzles, and the sleek Airbnb has overtaken the old-fashioned owner with its booming breakfast gong. More regrettably, however, the long tradition of Punch and Judy is also in decline, according to reports – and ironically, this is mostly due to bad manners.
The puppeteers behind the performances said they could no longer cope with threats and foul language from parents, because when asked to pay the required £ 2 to watch, many unleash a flurry of abuse and “f-bombs”. Now, there are only a handful of shows left each summer.
Punch and Judy dates back to 16th-century Italy and features the warring couple, Baby, Constable, and The Crocodile, along with a chain of sausages.
Some activists also argued that the show scared children and glorified domestic violence. Now the only full-time shows left are at Weymouth and Swanage in Dorset and Llandudno in Wales.
Joe Burns, 29, started professional punch and judy when he was just 12 and currently performs at Swanage Beach in Dorset, where a show has been held since 1904. He said that it was by far the worst abuse of the year.
“What we’re doing is so important from a heritage perspective. But the amount of abuse puts that heritage at risk and it looks so much worse this year.
“There is a misconception that we are funded and subsidized to play on the beach, but in reality we are not. We have to pay to organize the show, for the license and to rent the beach in the area.
“It’s a children’s show and I don’t understand the mentality that drives people to behave this way.”
He adds: “Years ago every seaside resort in the UK had a Punch and Judy. Over the past 50 years, we have lost hundreds of them.
The decline of Punch and Judy isn’t the only change. Here are five declining British seaside traditions – and while some may be a good thing (naughty postcards have had their day and we all want donkeys to have happy lives) others will be sorely missed.
On the positive side, we will always have buckets and spades. And it will always rain.
1 Penny arcades
Extremely popular penny arcades developed from traveling fairs in the early 19th century, typically on boardwalks or piers, their heyday was in the 1960s, when concert halls fell into disuse and were quickly transformed into Aladdin’s caves of fruit machines and pinball machines – and by the 70s, electronic games like Space Invaders.
The rise of home gaming and changes in gaming laws have made arcades less appealing – and many smaller resorts have been closed. More than 56 amusement parks and arcades have closed since the start of the pandemic, and developers are increasingly taking over old sites with activity centers such as the trampoline and escape rooms.
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According to Beach Retreats research, around 75% of Britons sent holiday postcards 30 years ago, but now only 30% care. With email, instant messaging and Whatsapp, greetings that take three days to arrive seem unnecessary to most of us, and postcards have been downgraded to ‘nostalgia’ – hence the popularity of the Twitter account. “Postcard from the past”, which reproduces the old messages. vacationers.
Postcards can still be bought of course – but the ‘sauce’ of yesteryear Donald McGill, the most prolific ‘crass joke’ postcard artist of all time, including images of blondes in skinny nightgowns , hatchet wives and morons, crazy for sex men have sold millions, it is long gone – fortunately, some would say!
3 donkey rides
Thirty years ago, 64% of vacationers enjoyed a donkey ride on Dobbin or Misty, but today less than 18% wobble on the beach on a workhorse. This is in large part thanks to animal rights activists, who realized that forcing elderly donkeys to carry big children (and adults) on the sand was more cruel than crucial for a seaside vacation. Legislation now prohibits runners over 8 stones. While several beaches, including Blackpool, still offer donkey rides, fewer parents want to encourage rides and recently the RSPCA has been inundated with complaints about Weston-Super-Mare donkeys working during a wave of heat.
4 Rock by the sea
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Bringing home a seaside rock memory has grown from 79% to 38% over the past three decades. Rock has also been hit by European labeling regulations, dental campaigns and rising costs (“It’s too laborious. No machine can do one batch that says Brighton, then another that says Clacton,” said said Roy Morgan of rockmakers Grosvenor Confectionery.) Now, memories tend to giant lollipops and plastic candy tubes that can be produced cheaply, and the old favorite is seen as a tooth-destroying throwback. . It’s still available – but future generations might be less than impressed.
The piers were the absolute pinnacle of the seaside experience, with great comedians and singers putting on summer shows, endless entertainment, and shops selling all the seaside accessories you could possibly need, from nets to crab comb with your name on it.
Less than half of Britain’s Victorian piers remain, with iconic structures such as Brighton’s West Pier ravaged by fire and left to rot, and others battered by storms simply collapsing into the sea. TV and home entertainment means that live broadcasts are less appealing and simple, “sticky” entertainment is less appealing. But many piers are still thriving, with a new generation drawn to their nostalgic charm, fairgrounds and architecture.