This is not the way to do it! Five things we miss on the British seaside

Watch: The American influencer went viral after visiting a British seaside for the first time

This summer, thanks to the pandemic, thousands of families have ignored the stranger and set out for a nostalgic getaway to the British seaside.

Whether it’s cockles in Clacton, tans in Southend, or pottery in Penzance, traditional family vacations are experiencing a revival, aside from the torrential rains. But while parents and grandparents can look back on nostalgic British vacations, some familiar aspects of the old-fashioned seaside vacation are sadly disappearing.

Online games have replaced puzzles, and the sleek Airbnb has overtaken the old-fashioned owner with its booming breakfast gong. More regrettably, however, the long tradition of Punch and Judy is also in decline, according to reports – and ironically, that’s mostly due to bad manners.

The puppeteers behind the performances said they could no longer cope with threats and foul language from parents, because when asked to pay the required £ 2 to watch, many unleash a flurry of abuse and “f bombs”. Now, there are only a handful of shows left each summer.

Punch and Judy in Weymouth. The Victorian Vacation Netflix. (Getty Images)

Punch and Judy dates back to 16th-century Italy and features the warring couple, Baby, Constable and The Crocodile, along with a chain of sausages.

Some activists also argued that the show scared children and glorified domestic violence. Now the only full-time shows left are at Weymouth and Swanage in Dorset and Llandudno in Wales.

Joe Burns, 29, started professional punch and judy when he was just 12 and is currently performing at Swanage Beach in Dorset, where a show has been held since 1904. He said that it was by far the worst abuse of the year.

“What we’re doing is so important from a heritage perspective. But the amount of abuse puts that heritage at risk and it looks so much worse this year.

“There is a misconception that we are funded and subsidized to play on the beach, but in reality we are not. We have to pay to organize the show, for the license and to rent the beach in the area.

“It’s a children’s show and I don’t understand the mindset that makes people behave this way.”

He adds: “Years ago every seaside resort in the UK had a Punch and Judy. Over the past 50 years, we have lost hundreds of them.

Punch and Judy’s decline isn’t the only change. Here are five declining British seaside traditions – and while some may be a good thing (naughty postcards have had their day and we all want donkeys to have happy lives) others will be sorely missed.

On the positive side, we will always have buckets and spades. And it will always rain.

Edwardians knew how to spend a British vacation properly.  Great hats.  (Getty Images)

Edwardians knew how to spend a British vacation properly. Great hats. (Getty Images)

1 Penny arcades

A young boy watches the wide arms of a Penny push / fall game in the amusement arcade at the Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare.  While waiting for coins to get caught in the traffic jam and drop into the price plateau below, the boy seems mesmerized by luck and the potential possibilities although the odds are stacked against him.  Images of 1970s dancers, including John Travolta, strut the nightclub.  2 cents pile up until they tip over and overflow.  (Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)

Penny Falls in Weston. No one has ever made a fortune this way. (Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)

The extremely popular penny arcades developed from traveling fairs in the early 19th century, usually on boardwalks or piers, their heyday was in the 1960s, when concert halls fell into disuse and were quickly transformed into Aladdin’s caves of fruit machines and pinball machines – and by the 70s, electronic games like Space Invaders.

The rise of home gaming and changes in gambling laws have made arcades less appealing – and many smaller resorts have been closed. More than 56 amusement parks and arcades have closed since the start of the pandemic, and developers are increasingly taking over old sites with activity centers such as the trampoline and escape rooms.

2 postcards

A rare postcard recently discovered and first published in 1962, two years before the Tokyo Olympics.  The card is sent to Andrew Hunt, the general manager of the BOA, wishing the GB team all the luck in the world and a successful Olympics.

An early 1960s Bamforths postcard. Clean by most! (Photo by Anna Gowthorpe / PA Images via Getty Images)

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According to Beach Retreats research, around 75% of Britons sent holiday postcards 30 years ago, but now only 30% care. With email, instant messaging and Whatsapp, greetings that take three days to arrive seem unnecessary to most of us, and postcards have been demoted to ‘nostalgia’ – hence the popularity of the Twitter account. “Postcard from the past”, which reproduces the old messages. vacationers.

Postcards can still be bought of course – but the ‘sauce’ of yesteryear Donald McGill, the most prolific ‘crass joke’ postcard artist of all time, including images of blondes in skinny nightgowns , hatchet wives and morons, sex-crazed men have sold millions, long gone – luckily, some might say!

3 donkey rides

Two adorable long-eared donkeys await customers by the sea.

“Seriously? He has at least twelve stones.” (Getty Images)

Thirty years ago, 64% of vacationers enjoyed a donkey ride on Dobbin or Misty, but today less than 18% wobble on the beach on a workhorse. This is in large part thanks to animal rights activists, who realized that forcing elderly donkeys to carry big children (and adults) on the sand was more cruel than crucial for a seaside vacation. Legislation now prohibits runners over 8 stones. While several beaches, including Blackpool, still offer donkey rides, fewer parents want to encourage rides and recently the RSPCA has been inundated with complaints about Weston-Super-Mare donkeys working in a wave of heat.

4 Rock by the sea

HASTINGS, UK - 09/04/2020: Colorful seaside rock for sale in a seaside shop. Hastings in East Sussex is one of the five medieval harbors and a popular seaside resort.  It has the largest fishing fleet launched on the beach in Europe.  The city has a large pier and Pleasure Beach is now open after being closed during the coronavirus lockdown, tourists have started to return.  (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

Is rock a toothbreaker that has no place in today’s candy world? (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

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Bringing home a seaside rock memory has grown from 79% to 38% over the past three decades. Rock has also been hit by EU labeling regulations, dental campaigns and rising costs (“It’s too laborious. No machine can do one batch that says Brighton and one that says Clacton” Roy Morgan of rockmakers Grosvenor Confectionery said.) Now, memories tend towards giant lollipops and plastic tubes of candy that can be produced cheaply, and the old favorite is seen as a throwback that destroys the teeth. It’s still available – but future generations might be less than impressed.

5 piers

A view along Llandudno Pier on a busy summer day with the wind farm on the horizon beyond.

Some piers are thriving, others are collapsing. (Getty Images).

The piers were the absolute pinnacle of the seaside experience, with renowned comedians and singers putting on summer shows, endless entertainment, and shops selling all the seaside accessories you could possibly need, from combed crab nets with your name on them.

Less than half of Britain’s Victorian piers remain, with iconic structures such as West Brighton Pier ravaged by fire and left to rot, and others battered by storms simply collapsing into the sea. TV and home entertainment means that live broadcasts are less appealing and simple, “sticky” entertainment is less appealing. But many piers are still thriving, with a new generation drawn to their nostalgic charm, fairgrounds and architecture.

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