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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 35

To See the Sea

A brief window onto the history of the seaside holiday.
Words by Tristan Rutherford. Photograph by Romain Laprade / Aesop.

A brief window onto the history of the seaside holiday.
Words by Tristan Rutherford. Photograph by Romain Laprade / Aesop.

Railways created the British seaside resort during the Victorian era, offering millions their first ocean view. By “millions,” read “the masses.” The horsey set already had access to seaside escapes; it was the working classes who took advantage of the cheap vacations that trains provided, seeking respite from the dark satanic mills.

Fish and chips and cotton candy unbuttoned Victorian morals, although track-drawn bathing cabins ensured that not an inch of thigh was shown when taking a dip. Airplanes sent the tide away. By delivering bargain packages that included flights, hotels and transfers, travel agents like Thomas Cook offered the British everyman his first glimpse of the Greek Islands or Spain’s Costa del Sol. During the 1980s, accommodations back in Blackpool were boarded up or rented cheaply to the unemployed. Even

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This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Five

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