Glorious sunshine! Assistant Curator Georgina looks at stamp designs featuring the best of the seaside.

Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside…

The culture of going to the seaside dates back to the Victorian era; with the increase in rail links, it became easier and affordable to get to the British seaside. This led to an influx of entertainment for the visitors and the creation of the seaside resorts.

Seaside Postcard:

The first picture postcard was produced in France for the Paris Exhibition of 1889. Shortly after it was used in Britain, though some people had reservations about the visibility of their message. However by 1903 around 600 million postcards were being sent annually. In 1994 Royal Mail celebrated 100 years of the picture postcard with a set of stamps looking at British seaside goers.

Two stamps depicting a women being bitten by a crab and a man looking for his son.

19p, 25p, Picture Postcards, 1994

Two stamps depicting a man in a deck chair and children watching a Punch & Judy show.

30p, 35p, Picture Postcards, 1994

Classic seaside activities:

Ice cream has to be my favourite bit about the seaside! The below stamp depicts a giant 99 Flake, enjoyed by many, which hasn’t been 99p for a while.

Stamp depicting a large '99 flake ice cream.

1st NVI, Ice Cream, Beside the Seaside, 2007

The rest of the 2007 ‘Beside the Seaside’ stamp set looks at other seaside activities such as building sand castles, merry-go-rounds and relaxing in a deck chair.

Two stamps depicting a sand castle and a merry-go-round.

46p & 48p, Beside the Seaside, 2007

Three stamps depicting beach huts, deck chairs and donkeys.

54p, 69p, & 78p, Beside the Seaside, 2007

Stamp Artwork

The below images are unadopted artwork for the ‘Beside the Seaside’ issue. These images also depict quintessential aspects of the British seaside. Louise Weir painting of ‘Ella’ the donkey with her sunflower hat looks at the donkey rides up and down the beach for children. The painting has a plastic overlay to show how the image would look with the stamp perforations.

Painting of donkeys on the by Louise Weir.

Unadopted original painting of the donkey Ella by Louise Weir, 2006.

Painting of children watching a Punch & Judy show by Louise Weir.

Unadopted original painting of a Punch & Judy show by Louise Weir, 2006.

Rachel Ross also submitted designs for the seaside issue. Here the pastel beach huts lead your eye down the beach to the pier with ferris wheel.

Painting of beach huts and children playing by Rachael Ross.

Unadopted original painting of beach huts by Rachael Ross, 2006.

Seaside Architecture:

It’s not only the activities of the beach goers that have been documented on stamps. ‘Seaside Architecture’ featured in September 2014. Looking at some of the iconic seaside sites such as; the band stand, lighthouse and even a lido, which is always a bit daunting in British weather.

1st, Eastbourne Bandstand, Seaside Architecture, 2014
1st, Tinside Lido, Seaside Architecture, 2014
97p, Bangor Pier, Seaside Architecture, 2014
97p Southwold Lighthouse, Seaside Architecture, 2014
£1.28, Bexhill-on-Sea Shelter, Seaside Architecture, 2014
£1.28, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Seaside Architecture, 2014

I hope everyone has a lovely summer, enjoys the sunshine and perhaps joins us here at The Postal Museum.

– Georgina Tomlinson, Assistant Curator (Philately)