There is something very particular about small British seaside resorts out of season. All those closed souvenir shops and cafés, boarded-up beach huts, deserted beaches and empty promenades conspire to give them an air of melancholy, of abandonment. They were built for sunny days and holiday crowds, for paddling children and inflatable beach balls and ice creams on the prom. Deprived of these things, they seem tentative and uncertain.
These photos were taken in a seaside town on the north east coast. My parents moved there very much out of season in 1988, around the time that Morrissey released his first solo album Viva Hate. My favourite track was Everyday Is Like Sunday, later released as a single.
The lyrics seemed to sum the place up, apart from the references to nuclear armageddon, although back then even that felt like a distinct possibility. And really, the video could have been shot there (it was actually filmed in Southend-on-Sea). The two have now become inextricably linked in my mind. Whenever I hear the song, I think of this place, and whenever I visit, I hear this song.
“Trudging slowly over wet sand
Back to the bench
Where your clothes were stolen
This is the coastal town
That they forgot to close down
Armageddon—come, Armageddon! Come, Armageddon! Come!
Everyday is like Sunday
Everyday is silent and grey”
The photos were taken much more recently, and whilst it would be wrong to say that the place hasn’t changed in over 20 years, it still has that same closed-up, out of season feeling during the winter months. Which is how I prefer it, if I’m honest.
You can see more off-season photos on the The Daily Post blog.