AFTER more than a century, Britain’s oldest beach hut will be basking in the spotlight during a ceremony on Bournemouth seafront today.
The very special wooden chalet, the first council owned hut in the UK, will be honoured by the unveiling of a Blue Plaque at noon.
A team from Bournemouth Beach Office worked hard yesterday, sweeping sand and polishing walls, to make sure hut number 2359 was looking it’s best for the big day.
Service development manager, Andrew Emery, discovered the exciting news through research for his book, ‘A History of Bournemouth Sea Front.’ He said: “I was very happy to come across the news. We want to celebrate the fact that Bournemouth is home to the first hut of its kind.
“We are absolutely proud that the hut is here. I feel that this proves Bournemouth is the UK’s ultimate seaside destination.
“Beach huts give visitors the chance to explore and enjoy the area. They are such a traditional part of the seaside experience and are always in high demand.”
Pioneer of the beach huts, this one is as authentic as they come. It was built in 1909 and still has its original structural foundations, with just a few maintenance updates.
Mr Emery added: “This hut has been used and enjoyed throughout the years. I’ve seen images of people using it many years ago, just the same as they do nowadays. The beach huts are an important part of our seaside’s history.”
From traditional styles like this one, to the modern and multicoloured, beach huts are an essential part of seaside history. Here in Bournemouth, they are as popular as ever.
Jean Smith, a seaside enthusiast, will unveil the plaque. Mrs Smith has been a hut tenant for over 20 years, and even won an award for ‘Best Kept Beach Hut’, so was the ideal candidate to do the honours.
Beach huts are available for rent all year round from Bournemouth Beach Office.