Thursday, October 07, 2010

Seaside resorts

Interesting little piece about seaside resorts in the Independent to day.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/joan-smith/joan-smith-whod-want-to-be-beside-the-seaside-2099724.html

The English resort "is a dismal row of tattoo parlours, slot machine arcades and takeaway food shops."

"it's impossible to escape the pervasive smell of frying fat, as though there's an unbreakable link between the seaside, fast food and caf├ęs with formica tables."

Sound familiar?

Worth a read, even to disagree.



Posted by Anonymous to swanageview at 10:47 AM

14 comments:

The Postman said...

extract: What's needed to revitalise the English seaside is a bold approach that puts the sea and the beach at the very heart of the town's amenities. It's an amazing fact that what people expect when they arrive in an English resort (and indeed what they get) is a dismal row of tattoo parlours, slot machine arcades and takeaway food shops. What happened to the entrepreneurial spirit that gave us piers, oyster bars, art-deco lidos and even the Brighton Pavilion? Art galleries and seaside art installations are a start, but we also need seafood restaurants, modern hotels and a range of activities including sea fishing and boat trips. Otherwise, what's happening to English seaside towns really will turn into the end of-the-pier show.

Anonymous said...

Tut tut, unless of course you're trying to provoke .....

When quoting something, please remember that context is King

"... and in some areas of town it's impossible to escape the pervasive smell of frying fat, ...."

I do feel that it's a good article, that may provoke discussion amongst the 'chattering class' - which as we blog, includes us!

But this has really been done to death, the decline of the seaside town crops up every Autumn, with big ideas coming along, followed by ...... nothing.

Seaside towns developed because life was getting easier, some people had money, and flying was done by birds.

Swanage had Mowlem and Burt, both who had oodles of dosh, no H&S or Planning Laws to worry about.

In modern times, probably the best 2 examples are the Railway, I could include the Pier, and Mr Storer.

STC hated the Railway at first, but a phenomenally committed bunch of volunteers struggled away, and are now a success, loved by most.

Mr Storer - not meant to be offensive - but he's taken risks and possibly sailed a little close to the wind, he's given us a great foodie place and tonnes of controversy. With the Pier Head he's the nearest chance Swanage has of getting something special - or horrible - depends on your point of view.

I think that we need to get away from the Seaside Town issue, Swanage and possibly Wareham need to market themselves as 'hubs' for the Purbeck Experience, where our attractions come together to offer a 'package'.

Tank museum, Monkey World, Turn Wareham back into a 'proper' market town for one day a week, Corfe and it's history, Swanage Railway/Pier, a working Quarry, bankers on the forshore. In between this there are acres to be walked over, or ridden upon (Horses). A history tour, we go back to the Beaker folk, why aren't there guided tours, showing this? We have evidence from the Bronze, Iron, Roman, Dark, Medieval etc Ages. Nothing is made of this, no-one has the drive, the time, the money, or whatever it is that's necessary, so we all wallow in the past bemoaning the loss of something that probably isn't returning, unless radically changed.

RANT over!

Anonymous said...

Tut tut, unless of course you're trying to provoke .....

When quoting something, please remember that context is King

"... and in some areas of town it's impossible to escape the pervasive smell of frying fat, ...."

I do feel that it's good article, that may provoke discussion amongst the 'chattering class' - which as we blog, includes us!

But this has really been done to death, the decline of the seaside town crops up every Autumn, with big ideas coming along, followed by ...... nothing.

Seaside towns developed because life was getting easier, some people had money, and flying was done by birds.

Swanage had Mowlem and Burt, both who had oodles of dosh, no H&S or Planning Laws to worry about.

In modern times, probably the best 2 examples are the Railway, I could include the Pier, and Mr Storer.

STC hated the Railway at first, but a phenomenally committed bunch of volunteers struggled away, and are now a success, loved by most.

Mr Storer - not meant to be offensive - but he's taken risks and possibly sailed a little close to the wind, he's given us a great foodie place and tonnes of controversy. With the Pier Head he's the nearest chance Swanage has of getting something special - or horrible - depends on your point of view.

I think that we need to get away from the Seaside Town issue, Swanage and possibly Wareham need to market themselves as 'hubs' for the Purbeck Experience, where our attractions come together to offer a 'package'

Cont'd ....

Anonymous said...

Tank museum, Monkey World, Turn Wareham back into a 'proper' market town for one day a week, Corfe and it's history, Swanage Railway/Pier, a working Quarry, bankers on the forshore. In between this there are acres to be walked over, or ridden upon (Horses). A history tour, we go back to the Beaker folk, why aren't there guided tours, showing this? We have evidence from the Bronze, Iron, Roman, Dark, Medieval etc Ages. Nothing is made of this, no-one has the drive, the time, the money, or whatever it is necessary, so we all wallow in the past bemoaning the loss of something that probably isn't returning, unless radically changed.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about that, blogger told me that my post was too long, so I split it.

Hope you haven't read it twice!

Anonymous said...

The article seemed to focus on the poorer resorts. I notice that following on from the opening of the maritime museum, Falmouth now boasts Rick Stein’s “fish and chips”, showcasing the local fish and shellfish. Next week end the Falmouth Oyster Festival begins. It’s all very well the blues, jazz, folk and comedy festivals; but I agree with the columnist that “This is the weird thing about the traditional English seaside holiday: most of it doesn't have much connection with the sea.” Perhaps the owners of the Pier Head can be persuaded to get Rick Stein to open up in the new building and really get Swanage motoring. Some boutique hotels, a working marina then perhaps. But perhaps it's a chicken and egg situation...

The Postman said...

Who needs Rick Stein when we have Nick Storer?

Anonymous said...

Rich Stein says in his biography it took 10 years for him to get any national recognition. That was for winning the Times best Sunday lunch award!!! From a humble beginning on the quay in Padstow he precipitated the transformation of the town including brilliant hotels and B&B's, many fine restaurants (not all owned by him), and the standard of fast food is exemplary. Not only has he the celebrity appeal, but he may also have the contacts and business infrastructure to quickly get a destination restaurant up and running to help fill the trains from London when they start. Imagine people from London coming for a seafood lunch day trip!

Anonymous said...

Any chance of rejoining the real world?

2 of Dorsets seaside towns have recently attracted famous chefs.

Gary Rhodes and Mark Hix, neither chose Swanage, please stop dreaming!

Anonymous said...

Falmouth now boasts Rick Stein’s “fish and chips”,

Its next to tescos, and recycling bins where feckles chavs hang about, and the grotty watersports centre not actually the highlife is it.

Oh and dont forget trago mills near by.

The Postman said...

Let's encourage our own talented people to show what they can do rather than bringing in outside businesses.

Anonymous said...

Nick Storer once told me that he had no intention of ever cooking in a restaurant again.
That is, of course, a great pity as his restaurant 'The Galley' was a great asset for Swanage in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Swanage is uniquely blessed. No matter the economic climate, because of its proximity to London and the home counties, people will come here (after all, the number of overnight visitors is limited only by the number of beds available in the high season). The town has the usual challenge of off-season drop off in trade, but May-October it does well, and there are mid-winter weekend special events that bring in the visitors.

What I find strange is the refusal of those involved with toursim to acknowledge the 'draw' of the naturist beach at Studland. I believe it pulls in more visitors than any other such beach, except perhaps Brighton. Yet we pretend it is not there (but ring the tills when 'they' come to visit, stay or eat in Swanage.) Is not our prudishness a bit hypocritical, if we take in the trade?

Personally, if you want to ensure Swanage hotels and B&Bs are full most of the year, just designate the beach at the north end of Swanage 'clothing optional' and see what that does for 'business'.
There should be no protest from the people of Swanage, who benefit from the trade from those visiting Studland.

No doubt Swanage cannot handle the idea on 'noodists' despoiling themselves on our pristine shores, but it happily handles the naturists who stay, shop and eat in Swanage after a day at Studland.

Anonymous said...

Swanage is a family resort and does not need a nudist beach which would not only cause embarrasment but keep some families away, thereby damaging trade. Nothing wrong with the nudists visiting Swanage to do their shopping, dine out etc. They should not however be on display on an established family beach.