We don't have many beach huts on the Yorkshire coast. Consequently, the very idea of a beach hut is not embedded in the collective memory of Yorkshire families. However, in Southwold on the Suffolk coast there are lots of beach huts - owned I expect by people who live inland and come to the coast for leisurely days out.
Billy Bumpkin and Edward III
What is a beach hut? I know that visitors from foreign climes will be puzzled. Well, it's essentially a large and colourful garden shed that is situated close to the beach. Inside you will find seats, a table, beach items and perhaps a worktop with a camping stove. There is never any electricity or a water supply. The beach huts act as day bases for families or couples. They sit and read or run from the beach hut down to the shoreline. They laze their days away breathing in the sea air.
|No. 156 - a beach hut called Doris|
Recently a Southwold beach hut exchanged hands for £120,000 - $154,000 US.
Yesterday we left Clint in the village of Walberswick and took a rowing boat ferry across the mouth of the River Blyth. Then we walked half a mile into Southwold. It is a splendid seaside resort with a long sandy beach, a pier, a beautiful parish church, an excellent little museum as well as the usual pubs and fish and chip shops. The town has a feeling of genteel affluence.
|Beach huts north of Southwold Pier|
And there are beach huts. Lots of them. Each one looks a little different from the rest. They have been personalised and they often have quirky names. Being a shy sort of fellow, I was reluctant to take any pictures of people sitting in open beach huts. Besides, one doesn't wish to risk a fight while snapping seaside photographs.
Down at The River Blyth, before we were rowed back to Walberswick, I noticed a different kind of beach hut on the riverside. Tarred working huts for fishermen. They did not have names or deliberate ornamentation but I liked them just the same. In the picture below you can just make out Southwold's white lighthouse in the distance.