By The Sea
When the Festival of Britain opened more than 60 years ago, one of its main exhibits was a complete replica of a typical seafront. As the entry in the Festival’s guidebook explained: “Whenever the British feel the need to relax – either after a heavy week in their industrial cities, or a hard year on the land – they tend to head to the sea.” In the 17th century, it was sold to the great British public as a kind of gigantic medicine bath that could cure everything from leprosy to syphilis.
Ah to be besides the sea. It’s easy, isn’t it, to imbue it with a mythical significance. Every summer we play at its edges: we dig, we read, we run, we eat, but mostly we switch off.
Who wouldn’t agree with the author, Travis Elborough that its allure is visceral or that perhaps every trip to the beach as an adult is an attempt to recapture lost innocence, or at least to feel as carefree as a child.
Aside from recalling salty, sun-drenched holiday memories, it seems it is also the last place where children can roam free.
THE BOYS ARE WEARING: