British Seaside in Winter by Emily Madeline Bradshaw
For my whole life I have grown up next to the sea. I live in a small village on the cliffs, nestled between two seaside towns. When the sky is clear, you can see across the sea to France.
When I was a child my nearest town was a thriving place in the summer; we’d visit the amusements and a miniature theme park near the beach. We’d spend days laying on the beach waiting for the tide to come in and then run away from the shore when it suddenly rushed to our feet.
As I got older, things slowly started to change. People didn’t visit. Shops closed. The fun fair was demolished. It seemed our town was dying; there was nothing to do… there was no energy left in this once vibrant town.
Luckily, art has revived the town. Now, people visit to see the art and to experience some originality of a British seaside town.
I decided to make this project during winter, the beaches are not full but there were still some brave tourists experiencing typical British weather.
I am based in the South of England and so were the locations I visited for this project; Eastbourne, Hastings, Broadstairs and Folkestone.
Each town has different quirks and qualities. Eastbourne’s seafront is lined with Victorian architecture and has a gold-domed pier stretching out to the sea. Hastings is historically famous for the Battle of 1066. It has castle ruins and an interesting old town. Broadstairs has small streets of brightly coloured houses which match the huts on the beach. The beach is called ‘Viking Bay’ and still looks beautiful in bleak winter weather. Charles Dickens was a regular visitor and once said “You cannot think how delightful and fresh the place is and how good the walks”. Folkestone has a rejuvenated Harbour Station; no longer in use but you can walk the tracks and look out to sea. Continue walking and you’ll meet the Harbour Arm where small businesses flourish. Nearby is the creative quarter with more small businesses, art galleries and a coffee shop lined with books.
I’m hopeful for the future of these places by the sea — you don’t have to wait until the summertime to experience the beauty that resides in them.
Emily Madeline Bradshaw is a British photographer