This month we are shining a light on one of our newly opened exhibitions at Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum. Holidays to the seaside are a big part of many of our lives, from children excited to going to the beach to spending time with the family, fish and chips, arcades, and the all-important ice-cream. Many people shared their memories of seaside holidays for the exhibition, and we will be sharing some of their stories here too.
Seaside holidays started to become popular in the Victorian era, when new train lines meant that those living in towns and cities could get to the coast quicker and easier. From 1846, people in neighbouring towns could visit the sands at Redcar and being by the sea was thought to be good for health, leading many coastal towns becoming spa towns – places to go to revitalize yourself. The seaside town of Saltburn-by-the-sea was created by Henry Pease in 1861 and boasted a long pier and promenade for people to take leisurely walks in their best clothes.
From the early 1900s holiday handbooks were produced as guides for people visiting the towns as well as railway posters advertising these glorious beaches. Railway posters produced some iconic pieces of artwork that had a distinctive style of its own that’s instantly recognisable.
Have a look at some of the wonderful objects on display in the exhibition below!