An Englishman on sand

Anglorama nr 2/2006 (34)

An Englishman on sand

Nadmorskie kurorty w Wielkiej Brytanii nie słyną może z piaszczystych plaż i łaskawej pogody, ale i tak pełne są plażowiczów. Na brytyjskich plażach nawet wypoczynek ma swoje rytuały i tradycje.

English tourists are far too often seen as drunken youths who enjoy nothing more than drinking games and risqué sexual activities. The truth is that an English tourist at the beach in his own
country is far removed from these antics.
Visits to the seaside became popular in England when the railway system opened inthe 1900’s. People would flock to the seaside for the day in order to get away from bigger cities. A day at the seaside is still a great day out for the English family. They have 11,000 miles of coastline to enjoy and are not usually put off by cool winter weather. Blackpool, Brighton and Bournemouth are some of the most famous English resorts but wherever you are, you can’t escape from some of the (civilised) traditions.

Fun for everyone
Some of the most loved seaside activities are aimed at children and, as they have a long tradition, they are still enjoyed by their elders who can remember the times when they watched the Punch and Judy show. The humorous show has been around for over 300 years. It did not originate in England but has been adopted by many seaside resorts. The show sees Mr Punch and his wife Judy in a number of sketches with their baby, a crocodile and a string of sausages. Once the show has finished you shouldn’t go home without a ride up and down the beach on a donkey.

The pier and promenade
The English enjoy these aspects of the seaside as much as any other nations. Traditionally, English promenades would host a number of sideshows and entertainers. These have now become replaced by amusement arcades featuring computer actiongames and slot machines.
Piers have become exciting places for younger people, who cannot remember the days when a band used to play at the end. Many piers host shows or have been turned into nightclubs to enhance the increasing amount of nightlife in England’s seaside towns.

England has some great traditional dishes, but when people go to the beach they expect to eat the special seaside favourites. Fish and chips is a traditional English take-away food and is an essential part of your visits to the seaside. The meal, which first became popular in the 1860’s, requires white fish (usually cod) to be deep fried in a flour batter and eaten with chips, sprinkled with salt and malt vinegar (often pickled eggs and battered sausages accompany the meal). Traditionally, this dish is wrapped in, and eaten straight out of a newspaper.
For something a bit sweeter, a ‘stick of rock’ can be bought at almost every seaside town in England. This sugary sweet, usually peppermint flavoured, is made so that the name of the town or resort runs through the middle of it. It was first made by the Victorians and although it can be found all over the world now, sticks of rock were first made for the Blackpool resort in north-west of England.
Lastly, no sunny (or even cloudy) day is the same without an ice cream. The English particularly love ‘99’s’ served from an ice cream van. A 99 is a soft vanilla ice cream served in a cone wafer with a stick of crumbly chocolate pushed into it.

Hayley Harp

risqué – niecenzuralny, drastyczny
antics – wybryki
flock – gromadzić się
coastline – linia brzegowa
put off – zniechęcony
string of sausages – pęto kiełbasy
amusement arcade – salon gier
slot machine – automat do gier
batter – panierka
sprinkled – skropiony

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