Life through a lens – all at the seaside

Pics taken by Jill Reidy, Blackpool photographer on her trip around seasides of the UK
Pics taken by Jill Reidy, Blackpool photographer on her trip around seasides of the UK

Blackpool photographer Jill Reidy has been putting seasides in the picture.

With her 65th birthday approaching, she decided to set off on a road trip of a lifetime.

She packed up her camera in her Smart car and headed off around the county, to explore England’s seaside towns outside of season.

Among the towns she visited, spoke to people and photographed were Whitley Bay, Whitby, Scarborough, Great Yarmouth, Southend, Margate and Brighton.

The project was born out of a love for the seaside and the wealth and variety of opportunities for photography that it brings.

She stayed just one night at each location, exploring and shooting during daylight hours.

Jill, who lives in Bispham, said: “I’m interested in what makes these towns tick out of season. I love to find the unusual, the quirky side of places I visit and the seaside has always held a magic for me.

“I’d been thinking about a road trip for a long time before I finally got my act together, organised a Kickstarter campaign, planned my route and booked the B&Bs. Then I was committed.

“As I had less than 24 hours in every seaside town I knew I had to be organised.

“My cameras were permanently around my neck and me eyes constantly scanning.

“Doing so much solo driving gave me plenty of concentrated thinking time – from wondering where the next toilet stop was going to be to pondering on the meaning of life (where I was heading, literally and philosophically.)

Looking back, there were some great highlights: the day I set off driving through dull, grey drizzle, feeling disheartened, when I rounded a bend to see a brilliant rainbow.

“I thought that was a good omen and yet, in every town, I was treated to the most fabulous skies and fantastic afternoon light; the memories that surfaced as I visited seaside towns from my childhood; the day I phoned my mum from Yarmouth and talked her through memories from her childhood as I walked the route from my mother’s shop (now a house) and down an alleyway towards the sea; the people I met and the friends I made along the way, and the places themselves, that made me realise Blackpool is no better or any worse than any other seaside town – they all have their own beauty and charm.

“The response to the daily blog posts kept me going – even when things got a bit tough. It was lovely to know so many people were cheering me on, and the writing gave me something to do in the evenings when I began to wonder what I was doing in some of the strange B&Bs along the way.

“Now I am back and getting on with printing out and delivering rewards for people who pledged through Kickstarter. Then I shall be sorting out publication of a book for the whole experience and organising an exhibition later in the year.”

• Visit facebook.com/redsnapperphotography.co.uk or see Jill’s blog at www.jillreidy.wordpress.com