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Eastbourne Ashridge Circle|Founded 1947

Lecture Date: February 19, 2024


Speaker: JACKIE MARSH-HOBBS - Illustrated

A Brighton social historian presents a picture of how the British love of seaside holidays has evolved in 200 years: grand hotels, lidos, end-of-the-pier, etc.

The British seaside holiday started in the 18th century when wealthy people began visiting coastal towns like Brighton and Scarborough to get the benefits of sea air and salt water. Sea bathing became popular as well as promenading along the sea front or pier.

However, it was the advent of the railways in the mid-19th century that really opened up seaside resorts to the masses and small coastal towns rapidly expanded to cater for the ever-increasing crowds of visitors. This trend was encouraged by various legislative measures in Parliament like “The Bank Holiday Act;” and also by cheap rail fares.

This talk takes a close look at how seaside holidays have evolved over time and how they have shaped lives and memories. Photographs will reveal the fashions and the ever-changing architecture from Georgian terraces to grand hotels and 1930s lidos, not forgetting the wide variety of amusements and entertainment.

Jackie is a lecturer and specialist guide who has worked at the Royal Pavilion and Brighton museums since 2000. In adult education courses at the University of Sussex she has focused on local history and architecture, researching many landmark buildings in the Brighton area including Eastbourne pier.