Sands at Whitby, c1910
We don’t know who painted this view of Whitby beach, but the artist shows us a fascinating glimpse of social history. It was painted in about 1910 and shows families enjoying the beach just as they still do over 100 years later; couples strolling, children playing with buckets and spades, an artist painting, people paddling or preparing to swim and groups sitting around chatting. The main differences from a beach scene today are the clothing, (these early visitors are wearing far more clothes then we would consider appropriate for a day by the sea), and all the bathing machines in the background. These were changing rooms on wheels designed to maintain modesty and respectability for swimmers.