There’s the beach, and then there’s the English seaside. In this photo essay, Sheila Rock views it through American eyes, as “a forgotten England”. Text by Jasper Rees.
The seaside the English do like to be beside looks different depending on who’s doing the looking. “King Lear” conjures up the coast of Albion as a place of epic scale and dizzying perspectives. Vera Lynn made the white cliffs of Dover a wartime symbol of home. There’s another coast that is altogether more domesticated and slipshod: bawdy in Donald McGill’s postcards, seedy in Graham Greene’s “Brighton Rock”, gaudy in the Technicolor snaps of Martin Parr.
Pictured: "I was photographing something else", Sheila Rock says, "and I just chanced upon these children. I happened to be far enough away and on the right lens to get the right dynamic. They were like fairies on the beach." Rock shot only three frames