This may be a heads up for a future collectible – the good old British sea-side deckchair is almost extinct.
We used 68,000 of them at resorts in 2003 but since then they have been fast disappearing, even Blackpool Council sold all their stock of 6,000 a couple of summers ago.
Blackpool’s deckchairs were sold in 2014.
If you’ve got one look after it – or maybe get a new stripe in it – we’ll all be wanting them back before you know it.
A little background history – it seems the first ‘folding chair’ dates as far back as the Bronze Age and bits and pieces of Ancient Egyptian and Roman ones have been discovered too. These were not exactly like the deckchairs that we know and love today, however although they were believed to be used as a furniture piece, their primary function was to enable those using the chair the opportunity to ‘lounge’
Folding chairs with material were given the name steamer chairs when they came to the UK and in approximately 1860 they were introduced to ocean liners. Passengers had the luxury of being able to ‘lounge’ in these steamer chairs on the decks of the ship whilst they took in the views as they set sail. An Englishman named John Thomas Moore was one of the first manufacturers to jump on the bandwagon, taking out a patent in 1886 and offering two models: ‘the best ship or lawn tennis chair’ (the Waverley), and the Hygienic, which was sold to aid those facing the discomfort of ‘constipated bowels’. This is where the name deckchair was born and has been used ever since. Because they were designed to be used on ships, they were made of hard wearing material in order to withstand all weathers. In addition the flexibility of being able to fold them away meant that they were perfect for the use on liners as they were easily stored when space was tight.
Of course the ones we know and love are the ones we associate with days at the seaside with sticks of rock, a donkey ride and maybe fish and chips with a mug of strong tea. Exactly who came up with this version is open to debate, but a British man named Atkins is widely credited with the invention – of course it’s British.