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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

The Great British Seaside Sell-Off

This piece of mine appears in The Guardian.

In 1979, the state met almost all of British holidaymakers' needs, from transport to hotels to the fun stuff. Then Thatcherism changed everything. Neil Clark looks back at how our summers used to be

Who doesn't like to be beside the seaside? Who doesn't love the first glimpse of sun sparkling on bright, blue-green waves, a salt tang in the air?" Around Britain's Seaside, published by the AA in 1979, described itself as an "exciting new publication", a "guide to the resorts of Britain from the larger and most popular to the smaller, hidden-away spots", including descriptions of "where to eat, places to see, what's on and where, plus town plans". I paid £1.50 for a secondhand copy a few years back and have never regretted the purchase. The book provides a window into a very different world: the last summer before Thatcherism kicked in and transformed everything – including the AA and the British seaside holiday.

You can read the whole piece here.

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