New Leeds exhibition looks at Yorkshire seaside traditions through the years

The Discovery Centre, Leeds, is showing a number of seaside exhibits part of the summer programme. Pictured Emily Nelson, Learning and Access Officer, at Leeds Discovery Centre, looking at an antique Punch and Judy puppet show. Picture: James Hardisty.
The Discovery Centre, Leeds, is showing a number of seaside exhibits part of the summer programme. Pictured Emily Nelson, Learning and Access Officer, at Leeds Discovery Centre, looking at an antique Punch and Judy puppet show. Picture: James Hardisty.
0
Have your say

It’s a quintessential British tradition that’s been a cornerstone of summer for generations of Yorkshire children and families.

And with the east coast being a particular favourite of Leeds folk, most of us have a childhood memory of a trip to the beach at Scarborough, Whitby or Filey or the rockpools of Robin Hood's Bay.

The Discovery Centre, Leeds, is showing a number of seaside exhibits part of the summer programme. Pictured Emily Nelson, Learning and Access Officer, at Leeds Discovery Centre, looking at an antique Punch and Judy puppet show. Picture: James Hardisty.

The Discovery Centre, Leeds, is showing a number of seaside exhibits part of the summer programme. Pictured Emily Nelson, Learning and Access Officer, at Leeds Discovery Centre, looking at an antique Punch and Judy puppet show. Picture: James Hardisty.

Now a new school holiday workshop in Leeds will reveal how all the fashions, fun and games of a typical trip to the seaside have changed over the decades.

Taking place at Leeds Discovery Centre this week, the workshop will give families a chance to see vintage beachwear sported by trendy tots more than more than a century ago, alongside retro swimwear from the 1970s.

Also plucked from the museum’s state-of-the-art store will be a buckets, spades and other classic accessories taken to the coast by Victorian holidaymakers, which visitors will get the chance to handle.

That will be followed by some seaside-themed arts and crafts and a tour of the Discovery Centre, which is home to more than a million objects.

The Discovery Centre, Leeds, is showing a number of seaside exhibits part of the summer programme. Pictured Emily Nelson, Learning and Access Officer, at Leeds Discovery Centre, holding postcards from Bridlington and Filey.

The Discovery Centre, Leeds, is showing a number of seaside exhibits part of the summer programme. Pictured Emily Nelson, Learning and Access Officer, at Leeds Discovery Centre, holding postcards from Bridlington and Filey.

Emily Nelson, Leeds Museums and Galleries’ learning and access officer, said: “A trip to the seaside has been a fixture of summer that’s endured for well over a century, with families flocking to the same coastal towns for generations to enjoy the many different sights and sounds.

“This workshop will give our visitors a chance to see some of the different ways we’ve dressed for the beach over the years and also how some of the fun activities and games we still enjoy today are rooted in the past.

“They’ll also get the opportunity to explore the store and hopefully get a whole new perspective on the history of being beside the seaside.”

Before foreign travel became commonplace, trips to northern coastal town were hugely popular for Victorian Yorkshire families.

With improved railway links, towns like Scarborough and Morecambe became some of the regions premier tourist hotspots, with the latter even affectionately becoming known as ‘Bradford on Sea’ because so many people travelled there from the other side of the Pennines.

Beside the Seaside takes place tomorrow at Leeds Discovery Centre on August 7 from 10am until 12pm and is free to attend.

Booking is essential and can be done by emailing discovery.centre@leeds.gov.uk or by telephone on 0113 378 2100.

The Leeds Discovery Centre also hosts free drop in tours of the store every Thursday.

For more details, visit: https://museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/events/a-day-at-the-seaside/