‘Bathing boxes’ evolved from the wheeled bathing machines used in the early nineteenth century to protect the modesty of the Victorians. Their popularity gradually increased and, as they became available to a wider social mix, they were labelled ‘holiday homes for the toiling classes’. During World War II all UK beaches were closed, but their re-opening in the late 1940’s and 1950’s led to the heyday of the beach hut.
Several seaside resorts have to this day maintained the beach hut tradition. Some huts are privately owned, others are rented from the local council. In North Norfolk, where these pictures were taken, rental prices in high season have been reduced to £135 per week to attract custom. The huts lack utilities but have splendid panoramic sea views.
The occasional hut acknowledges that we are now in the twenty-first century – as Harry Potter fans will appreciate!
8 responses to “Beside the seaside”
The huts are charming. I’ve never seen anything quite like them.
The huts certainly have a unique character and there is a good deal of variety. The ones shown are typical of the lower end of the market. but some can be quite substantial and more elaborate in their design. The price range for privately own huts is around is roughly £6000-£35000 (varying according to location and the amenities available) but auction prices have occasionally exceeded £200,000
Fascinating history; I never realised that was their origin – thank you!
Some of these sell for thousands now; £180k I think being the most expensive – the mind boggles!
Yes, they can fetch very high prices, particularly if the previous owner was a celebrity. For example, a few years ago Tracey Emin sold her hut at Whitstable for £75000 to Charles Saatchi. Unfortunately/ironically, it was then destroyed by fire!.
Ha! That does have a twist to it!
Funny, I have just tonight completed a project that takes these huts as its inspiration – a painted chest of drawers! That is, if you ignore the blue swimmer crab handles that started the ball rolling. Maybe I will upload an image … I love these huts. I love your pictures Louis! Sorry about the absences here and everywhere else – Ive been in the garden (mostly!) and am only now on a meal break 🙂
Many thanks for your kind words Gigi. I’m sure we’d all like to see your drawers! It sounds as if you’re now getting more settled after the uncertain start. No doubt you’ll turn your ‘estate’ into a much envied paradise.
Hahahaha!!! Do I detect a very sly, very funny piece of English humour? I choose to say “yes” and keep laughing my head off! 🙂