Thursday, 9 June 2011

BEXHILL ON SEA

Bexhill is one of those south coast towns favoured by the older generation, and has a reputation for being a bit sleepy, especially after dark. However, as with many such places, efforts are being made to drag the town kicking and screaming into the 21st century, in Bexhill’s case courtesy of the restoration of a 1930s architectural masterpiece, and its conversion into a swanky arts venue. The building in question is the De La Warr Pavilion, built in 1935 for the 9th Earl De La Warr. The Pavilion was the country’s first public building built in the Modernist style. For a list of events at the pavilion, see here. There is also a cafe described as a “beach on the roof” and a sophisticated restaurant.

The Edwardian period, when Bexhill became a playground for the aristocracy, was an important time for the town, and it was during this period that Bexhill witnessed two events which put it in the vanguard of English resorts. In 1901, Bexhill was one of the first resorts in Britain to allow mixed bathing, and the following year the town hosted the country’s first ever motor race, causing it to be thought of evermore as the spiritual birthplace of British Motor Racing. Back in the present, and following on from the Pavilion’s regeneration, the New Wave project is now underway, an ambitious plan to update and beautify the town’s seafront. However, the project has been met with a mixed reception from the locals, and a recent edition of the local paper included a report about furious local residents fed up with the dust being chucked around the place by the construction activities, getting into every nook and cranny of peoples’ balconies, and even inside their properties. One lady complained of knee-deep sand on her balcony, adding “It looks a bit like the Sahara desert”. Oh well, no gain without pain as they say.

Map of the area.


File:The Beach at Bexhill - geograph.org.uk - 295353.jpg
Photo by Nigel Stickells, via Wikimedia Commons

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