Sunday, 27 May 2012

Beside the See Side at the Seaside

Hurrah! The sun is shining and summer is here! What better way is there to celebrate the sunshine than with a holiday on the coast? So with my ukulele, badminton rackets, summer suitcase and sunglasses at the ready, I was all set for a sun soaked week away. 

Although my blog is 'beside the see side’ and not specifically about the seaside I must confess to being slightly obsessed by the sights and sounds of the seaside, and so I could not resist posting a blog about my trip to Dorset. There is so much to be inspired by at Poole, Weymouth and Lyme Regis. I hope you enjoy the photos. So please pull up a deck chair, grab an ice cream, and take a look. 

I do like to be beside the seaside…

 Pastel pink, convertible Beetle = my dream car

Live for leisure time

 So much more fun than travelling on the tube

 This is the method of transport we used to get our first glimpse of Durdle Door


 Time to leave the sandals behind and go paddling in the sea

 Durdle Door

Look at the people who have managed to climb to the top

 Sadly Punch & Judy were not in when we popped round

 All the fun of the fair. Weymouth’s carousel at night

 I loved these colourful beach huts at Lyme Regis

 Sunshine and shadows

 On top of the world

 The harbour at Lyme Regis

 Cooling down in the sea

Thanks for taking the time to look at my blog :-)

All photographs © Samantha Edgley. All rights reserved 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Happy 350th Birthday Mr Punch!

Clearly we just can’t get enough of the mischievous Mr Punch, which is why hordes of people (many clutching puppets) descended upon Covent Garden to join the 350 year celebrations on Saturday. 

The first record of Mr Punch was made by the diarist Samuel Pepys who referred to a puppet show he had observed in Covent Garden on 12 May 1662. Pepys enthused that he had seen: "an Italian puppet play that is within the rayles there, which is very pretty, the best that ever I saw..." The date of this performance has become the acknowledged birthday for Mr Punch in Britain. To mark 350 years the ‘Big Grin’ organised a day of festivities which included a parade, a huge birthday cake, a giant strings of sausages, a marching band and, of course, Punch & Judy booths. Even the sunshine made a welcomed appearance. Although I’m not totally sure whether the ‘Big Grin’ organised that too…

I can still remember being completely transfixed whilst watching Punch & Judy at the seaside as a child. Observing the reactions of children and adults at the celebrations this weekend it was clear that Mr Punch still has the ability to capture our imagination and amuse us in a way that few other shows can. With his anarchic nature, distinctive giggle and slapstick humour, Mr Punch’s popularity shows no signs of diminishing. His appeal has endured despite all the odds in recent times and there are now more Punch puppeteers (aka Professors) in London than ever before. That’s the way to do it! Here’s to another 350 years! 

Punch, the Professor, and the pocket sized puppet

It’s show time!

 That’s the way to do it! Mr Punch hits his adversary, the crocodile, with a large wooden stick known as a slapstick. The term 'slapstick comedy’ originated from its use in Punch shows.

 View from the backstage area

The stars of the show

Joey the Clown arrives to infuriate and confuse Mr Punch

Mr Punch the Marionette. Punch shows were originally performed using marionette puppets until glove puppet performances became more popular towards the end of the 18th Century.

All the colours of the rainbow

The parade. Punch Professors, enthusiasts and collectors from around the world gather in Covent Garden to celebrate 350 years of Mr Punch 

 Introducing the Band

The balcony of the Punch & Judy pub in Covent Garden was a perfect spot to watch the festivities

Say Cheese!

 Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop

Thank you for visiting my blog. Please pop by again soon! :-)  
All photographs © Samantha Edgley. All rights reserved

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Hello and thank you for visiting my new photoblog, it is most kind of you to pop by. Please feel free to make yourself at home, kick off your shoes and put the kettle on. 

My blog will focus on British visual culture. To be more specific (and simultaneously more vague) I will photograph and record the sights and spectacles that intrigue, fascinate and inspire me. I hope that my enthusiasm for these topics will prove to be infectious. Please do drop by again soon.