Weston developed from a tiny fishing village to a popular seaside resort when the fashion for sea-bathing began in the 1800’s. These days not many local people swim in the sea off our sandy beaches; the water although technically clean is full of mud particles from the might rivers which flow into the channel further up, chiefly the River Severn and the River Avon. We have lovely sand, but not far out it is mud, mud, mud, and sticky horrid clingy clay-ey mud!
In Victorian times it was a poplar place to bathe; ladies and gentlemen swam separately as the gentlemen swam naked. The ladies, fully clad from head to toe, bonnet to slipper, entered the water from bathing machines; these were little wheeled huts with doors on either end. Ladies climbed into them from the back, were helped to undress by an elderly respectable woman, the hut was drawn by horses into the sea and the ladies were then helped into the sea.