Scarborough and Bridlington – A photographer’s paradise
I never really had holidays as a kid. No transport, no father and no money. The closest we got was the ‘club trip’. Once a year, members and their relatives from the local Working Men’s Club were bundled onto a coach that invariably smelled of disinfectant and headed for the seaside. Scarborough or Bridlington on the Yorkshire coast was the most likely destination. Blackpool was a little too far and some kid would inevitably throw up so it was usually avoided.
Even then there was something that seemed quaintly old-fashioned about these places. But they had a certain charm and, for quite a few people it was one of the big events of the year.
When I got into photography these were the places I used to head to with the camera. Boats in the harbour made for easy photos, of course, but I become more interested in the people there. I was fascinated by how they seemed to be trying so hard to enjoy themselves. They had paid good money to be there so it had to be good. Parents would march their kids up and down the sea-front whatever the weather, gradually becoming more and more stressed as the kids got tired.
Out of season was my favourite. They became totally different places. Nowadays, of course, there is no real ‘close-season’ – whatever the day, whatever the weather, people are there ‘enjoying’ themselves.
We recently spent a few days in the Scarborough area in October. In many ways very little has changed. Despite some redevelopment, there’s still the amusement arcades, the sea-food stalls and the boat trips that they had when I was a kid. Even the cafes still offer the ‘pensioner’s special’ – fish and chips with a slice of bread and a cup of tea.
These seaside towns will be like this forever, always old-fashioned, always popular, always great for photography.