This study of the seaside resorts of the Bristol region seeks to reconstruct the detailed story of an important process of urban and industrial development which has not hitherto been described and analysed systematically. It seeks to explain how, within a framework of a growing consciousness of the potential for seaside leisure, particular places were chosen as the sites for resort development, and why some - and especially Weston-super-Mare proved to be more successful than others. It illustrates how the resorts encouraged some industries and services and failed to sustain others, and by revealing some of the complex inter-relationships of social, geographical and personal factors throws new light on the general pattern of resort development in Britain. Evidence is provided to support an evolutionary theory whereby resorts may be seen as developing through the past two centuries in response to the pressures for continuing adaption to changing social needs and tastes. But it is also suggested that there v:as no inevitable progression through this evolutionary pattern, for the contribution of individuals with vision and determination has been of outstanding importance, as also have the organizational conditions within which such individuals were able to operate. A critical review is made of the growing mass of literature on resorts and leisure, and the study concludes with an assessment of the current state of our knowledge on the history of the seaside leisure industry in Britain.
|Date of Award||1971|