April 21, 2017
Richard’s painting of Hengistbury Head has been so popular he felt it was time to revisit the area and he chose the row of beach huts further along towards the headland. The idyllic sandpit can only be reached by foot, bicycle, land train or the ferry from Mudeford Quay and has always been a popular day out for the Watkin family. More than 350 multicoloured beach huts stretch along Mudeford Spit bordered on one side by Christchurch harbour and on the other by the Solent and unlike the normal beach hut, the Mudeford ones have residential status and the owners can stay overnight from February to November.
History of the Beach HutBrightly coloured beach huts are an essential part of the British coast. They go together with ice creams, sandcastles and the unreliable British weather to form part of our experience of summer by the seaside.
Formerly known as bathing machines they once stood on wheels and were initially designed to preserve ones modesty. Men and women bathed on separate beaches and changing for a dip in the ocean was performed out of view in the bathing machine, which was towed a safe distance out to sea before the nervous bather took his or her plunge into the often uninvitingly cold sea water. The wheels were discarded at the turn of 20th Century and the bathing machines many were left abandoned on the beach.
In the Edwardian era and in the years following the First World War, the sight of people of both sexes in bathing costumes had become acceptable. However, changing in public was frowned upon and could result in a fine. Enterprising people made use of the abandoned bathing machines turning them into beach huts.
In the inter-war period, sunbathing became popular and the old bathing machines were outdated and gradually replaced by blocks of beach huts. Today it is estimated that there are at least 20,000 beach huts located in seaside resorts across Britain. They are now so sought-after that there are 10 year long waiting lists for council
Today candy coloured beach huts have become a quintessentially English phenomenon. So what exactly is their appeal? The idea of a minimal ‘home from home’ in a beautiful location which the majority of us could only dream of living in on a full-time basis maybe. Or in the ever-more demanding technology led world we live in the humble English beach hut offers the joy of enjoying the simple uncomplicated pleasure of relaxing by the shore.
December 04, 2017
April 20, 2017
March 06, 2017
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