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The English Seaside Paperback – 28 Jun 2006
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Available in paperback for the first time, "The English Seaside" captures every vestige of English holidays by the sea. Gaudy beach huts, model villages, amusement arcades, fun fairs, fish and chips all are represented in this evocative collection of seaside photographs from up and down the English coast line. The book features every type of seaside, from fishing villages with quaint harbours packed with boats, lobster pots and seagulls, to resort towns with piers, grand hotels and pavilions. For too long, the English seaside has suffered from bad press, accused of being tatty, cold, grey and windswept, but Peter Williams finds the seaside to be warm-hearted and welcoming, about having fun, riding the rides and seeing the shows. You can experience the warmth and colour of the seaside - past and present.
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The photographs are grouped under subjects which are often less than obvious and serve to remind us that we may not fully appreciate the many nuances of our coastal resorts. The author provides a short introduction which succinctly sets the scene, in stark contrast to the verbal quicksand of the foreword. This, a no doubt worthy piece of work by an academic, appears to belong to an entirely different type of work and the fact that its nine pages are backed up by a full page of references in minute type certainly proves the hackneyed phrase about a picture being worth a thousand words.
The foreword also ignores the word 'English' in the title and speaks of Scotland and Wales. Similar volumes covering the other countries of the British Isles would indeed be more than welcome, but for now simply enjoy the many delights and simple pleasures depicted here.