To cheer me up on this cold day I have chosen Designing the Seaside: Architecture, Society and Nature as this week’s book of the week. It is one of several new books relating to seaside architecture and piers, purchased to support a unit for postgraduate students in the School of Architecture. This particular book looks at the development of the idea of the seaside holiday from the 18th century onwards, not just in the UK but in the USA and Europe too. It is beautifully illustrated with photographs, postcards and posters. You can read a summary and view the table of contents from Blackwell’s Online.
Growing up in Cornwall, the seaside has always been an important part of my life and when I haven’t lived by it, I’ve spent as many weekends as possible riding my scooter to various seaside resorts around the country. Flicking through the book has brought back lots of happy memories; there’s a postcard of the Winter Gardens in Great Yarmouth (p.250) where a pane of glass fell from the roof as we were dancing, the Midland Hotel in Morecambe (p.303) in its heyday which it wasn’t when we visited, The Spa in Scarborough (p.248) (more dancing) as well as Penzance’s Jubilee Pool (p.188) – where I spent many hot summer days… If you want to find some related books in the library search for seaside architecture and piers.