• bathers,  captains & sailors,  etching,  nautical,  prints

    Aquatic party

    “Members of the Brighton Swimming Club entertain the crowds gathered on  Brighton’s West Pier by holding a tea party on a wooden raft. (The Graphic, 1881). Some of the men swim out to the raft, but others attempt to reach the refreshments by riding wooden horses made from barrels. The man on the raft pouring the tea is believed to be John Hawgood (1844-1896), a clothier and furniture dealer of North Road, Brighton. Hawgood was a local swimming champion who went on to become the Honorary Secretary of  the Brighton Swimming Club in 1886. The Aquatic Tea Party at Brighton was a traditional event that had been staged near the West Pier since the 1860s. For instance, a Brighton newspaper informed the public that on 3rd August, 1868, “Captain Camp (John Henry Camp ), the one-legged swimmer, will prepare and partake of breakfast on the water“.”

    Again, I could see the hipsters of Brighton still doing this! More info here.

  • bathers,  beards,  hats,  nautical,  photography,  top hats,  victorians

    Brighton Bathers 1863

    An amazingly informal early photo of the Brighton Swimming Club c. 1863. probably by Benjamin William Botham. Funny thing is hipsters still pull funny poses like that one guy in Brighton, 150 years later…I suspect he was trying to do an ‘Indian’ or Buddhist/yoga pose – which seems incongruous for the time but as the site explains, it otherwise seems genuine.

    More info here. (thanks to Duckie for the tip)