Research document - An Overview of Victorian and Edwardian Society

This bustling summer’s day in Edwardian Hastings was probably a Bank Holiday, when numbers were swollen with day trippers arriving by train from London.

The Victorians invented the sea-side holiday, they took to bathing in the sea and invented the bathing machine, this was a beach hut on wheels drawn into the sea by a horse, to allow ladies to discreetly enter the water, having changed into their bathing suits, which covered them from the neck down to their ankles, out of sight of any men.  Women were not seen paddling or walking on the beach in their bathing costumes. Men only wore striped one-piece bathing suits after 1850, prior to this they swam naked at designated areas of the beach. Men and women were not allowed to swim within 100 yards of each other until 1903 when mixed bathing was finally allowed.

Hastings Pier Charity Volunteer

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