‘A Day at the Seaside’ at Scarborough Art Gallery

A new exhibition sparks nostalgia for the British summers of yesteryear

‘Scarborough, the Tonic Holiday’ poster, 1951, produced by the Scarborough Corporation 

A celebration of the great British seaside splashes into action as the Scarborough Museums Trust launches ‘A Day at the Seaside’ at the city’s leading art gallery.

The exhibition explores Britain’s rich coastal heritage, displaying posters and objects ranging from holiday souvenirs to bathing costumes. Visitors are immersed in Scarborough’s history as the UK’s first seaside resort, with exhibits including a 1930s Deplacido ice-cream tricycle and a rare surviving ‘penny lick’ (a glass vessel used to serve ice-cream in the mid-1800s). Also featured is a video specially produced by the Yorkshire Film Archive, bringing to life memories of summer holidays past through archive footage gathered from Yorkshire and the North East.

‘Alice in Holidayland – Walrus and the Carpenter’ poster, 1914, by Frank Henry Mason

The exhibition goes back to 1626, when mineral spring waters were discovered at Scarborough, charting the town’s establishment as a spa and the impact of tourism on the area. Visitors are then invited to capture their nostalgic experience by taking family photographs with a peep-through board, as well as to create their own postcards and dress up in outfits reflecting the summer fashion trends of days gone by.

A swimming cap made from red rubber with white plastic flower decoration, 1960s

‘A Day at the Seaside’ runs until 24 September at Scarborough Art Gallery, The Crescent, Scarborough. Entry is free with a Scarborough Museums Trust Annual Pass, which costs £3, and under-18s go free. 

***

MORE CULTURE:

What to book: Eadweard Muybridge at Beetles + Huxley

What to book: The Ritz x National Portrait Gallery

What to book: ‘Picasso: Ceramics’