Sunday, August 18, 2013

Lyme Regis, Dorset

Lyme flavoured

Small, colourful wooden buildings sitting on the boundary between land and sea, beach huts have been with us since the end of the 19th century. They have their origins in the movable 'bathing machines', the sheds-on-wheels that could be pulled out into the sea to give the Victorians the ability to change and to bathe in privacy. Since then, stationary beach huts have become a familiar sight at seaside resorts all over Britain. Prized by owners for their convenience and by passers-by for their appearance, beach huts are much loved.

The huts are often brightly coloured and usually have gables and pitched roofs, but these simple examples with mono-pitch roofs caught my eye as I walked along the beach at Lyme. I admired the paint colours too – pastel shades that are gentler and more subtle than the seaside norm. Especially appealing are those with pink, green, and yellow doors, shades that reminded me of the strawberry, mint, and vanilla bands of Neopolitan ice cream. Simple, clean, and stylish: perfect for a sunny day at the seaside.


Hels said...

*nod* Stationary beach huts have became familiar sight at seaside resorts all over Britain. And from there spread to the rest of the Empire, at least the rest that had hot summers and lovely beaches.

What is surprising about these Dorset beach huts is the roof line. I have never seen that before, I believe.

Thanks for the link

Philip Wilkinson said...

Hels: Yes! Clearly the huts are useful in Britain as shelters from the cold, wet weather!

The roof line of the Lyme examples is indeed unusual. I was going to post some of the lovely pagoda-roofed huts on the Lincolnshire coast that I remember from my childhood, but don't have a photograph - I usually post my own images, but maybe I'll make an exception for these.

Anonymous said...

I think beach huts suffered a decline in popularity and were removed from many sites but now seem to be enjoying a renaissance. There are stories of them changing hands for thousands of pounds and of long waiting lists. This is all the more remarkable when you remember their spartan lack of facilities and the fact that local bye laws normally prohibit staying in them overnight.

They certainly add colour to the seaside, especially when sited sensitively with regard to the environment.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Silver Tiger: Yes, that is about the size of it. Beach huts are now generally highly valued, and in many places they are beautifully kept and a real asset to the coast both visually and in terms of the shelter etc that they offer for the owner. I wish I had more photographs of beach huts to share, but anyone who wants to google can find great ones on stilts in places such as Wells Next the Sea, pagoda-roofed ones in some places, and brightly coloured paintwork all over the place.