Out of season


Photographer Andrew G Fisher sent a link to his web galleries recently, among which there’s a great series of shots from various seaside towns. If I respond to these more than the others it’s because I grew up by the sea. Views like this are an indelible feature of my childhood memories, they often recur in dreams. The peculiar melancholy of an out-of-season holiday resort isn’t exactly an unknown quantity, but if you’ve grown up in one of these places it becomes an ingrained feature of your life. Resort towns have no industry other than catering to holidaymakers; for half the year they lie fallow and appear semi-deserted when their population has been so drastically reduced. Add to this the disparity between the sunny days for which all the facilities cater, and the winter when many of those facilities have been closed down and the weather brings gales howling off the sea, and you have a curious parallel existence which the inhabitants of other towns and cities never experience.

Andrew Fisher’s photographs capture some of this parallel life: the abandoned shelter under a grey sky, empty promenades with iron bollards corroded by the salt air, a line of unused seats made even more cheerless by the presence of a floral tribute. That last shot fixes the nature of the seaside resort as an absolute boundary; the built environment can extend no further than this. Yes, I miss the sea.





Previously on { feuilleton }
Old lighthouses

One thought on “Out of season”

  1. Me too, mate. Eighteen years in the area of Kent between Dover, Broadstairs and Margate leave an indelible print, especially this time of year. Never been that excited to go to the coast in the summertime, but out of season, the beach scoured clean but savage by gales and tides, just divine.

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