The tide will drag you in

Since the 1970s and the rise of cheap package holidays British seaside resorts have fallen out of favour, the recession-enforced trend for “staycations” attempted to make some local resorts a popular option again. But others remain deprived, and show no sign of coming back. Seaside resorts have to compete with cheap deals that promise the weather.

The seaside piers around the coast of Britain stand as a powerful reminder of the achievements of Victorian engineers and entrepreneurs. At the beginning of the 20th century, almost a hundred piers existed: now only half remain and several face an uncertain future. The building of Britain’s seaside piers was a direct legacy of the industrial revolution. The fruits of that revolution, often harshly exacted and only slowly shared, were wealth and leisure and new demands for entertainment and travel.

With this in mind, Paul Bradley has documented the landscapes of these British seaside resorts surrounding piers and the people that they attract. It will show the position seaside resorts now have in British culture, whether they are holding their own against the giants of the cheap package holiday deals or whether they are fast becoming a distant memory of what they once were.

There is a pervading sense of nostalgia that echoes past glories of the seaside holiday, which conflicts with the quiet emptiness of the landscape as evidenced in the present.