27 October 2010

At the Seaside - Part One

Does your family love the beach? Are you someone who thinks of bliss as walking along a beach at sunset, hand in hand with a special person? Are your childhood memories brightened by remembrances of sandcastles, rock pools and shell collections?

Whatever your recollections, the sea holds many varying memories for people. My paternal grandmother has always loved the sea. In her London childhood, she went to an open-air school as that was thought to be the way to cure her chronic bronchitis.

Holiday times were spend at the seaside with her family. I have photographs of her and her brothers happily making sandcastles in the sunshine. My grandmother is on the right of the picture. To her left is her cousin Eileen. By her figure, you may think she could become a supermodel today.

Eileen worked in a hat shop as a milliner in the West End of London while my grandmother worked in a variety of jobs, including at the spice warehouse where Eileen's father was the manager. The poor air quality and damp weather of London would have made a sunny day trip to the seaside a very pleasant change:

A history of sea bathing - Wikipedia

British weather and health - BBC

A history of an outdoor school (in the north of England) - Local Heritage Initiative

Fresh air for sick children - Historic Hospital Admission Records Project

You may have noticed that this is the beginning of another series of my blog posts. You may find the following youtube video appropriate, too:

Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside - Basil Rathbone

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I especially appreciate historical insights.