Feb 2, 2012

Dreaming of your own Beach Box this summer?

 Living by the bay, 
as we do,
often makes me dream of the notion 
of having my very own beach box.
Right on the sand. 
Just like this.
This one, which has just come on the market,
is at Ranelagh Beach, Mt Eliza, 
and looks rather splendid in his coat of blue & yellow paint.

The local Ranelagh beach
is a favourite walking spot of ours,
because the sheltered cliffs behind the sandy beach
are full of interesting plants & houses,
and the view across the bay is quite spectacular.
(I better not tell Rumbah about his wild cousins who are 
out here for breakfast.
Might put ideas in his crazy head...)

As part of the curious 19th century British notion 
of beach boxes & bathing machines,
Melbourne's beaches sport lots of these vernacular 
architectural treasures from days long past.
Some were built in the 1800s, 
some in the 1900s.
The different eras mean no two are quite the same.
Our fellow is one of over 1,300 beach boxes on the Mornington Peninsula,
stretching from Mt Eliza down to Portsea.

 Based on those in Brighton, England, the young Australian colonists
obviously thought they were a splendid way of cooling off
in the hot summer sun,
as they provided a private place to get changed,
before dipping into the waters in a suitable neck to knee outfit.
Of course, this was a risky business, 
because open sea bathing was only legalised in 1917.
And ten years later, men and women were allowed 
to bathe in the open sea. 
At the same time. 
Shock!
 These days, the beach boxes are largely used to store
kayaks, snorkels & the like,
as well as being a fabulous spot to house the barbecue
and picnic supplies.
Some of them, like this one,
are large enough to have a little table.
And a handy spot for a collection of beach hats.
Oh, don't get me started on that idea...
it would solve the problem of where to keep all my vintage hats...
Wouldn't this be a lovely spot for Sunday breakfast?
For me, alas this remains a dream,
but for somebody, 
it would be the most heavenly piece of history to own.

Would you like to be here?


18 comments:

  1. The rain is pouring down here in Newcasyle NSW so i'm dreaming of some sunshine, let alone a Beach Box!! Anyway they do look fantastic, I would love one. x

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  2. Talk about the shoe being on the other foot! Normally we look dreamily north in summer, jealous of your sunnier weather! Hope you stay as dry as possible. V x

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  3. I love the idea of a beach box. We don't have these at our NC beaches, and they are not only handy, but so charming!!

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    1. Aren't they just charming? The only part of Australia which has them, as far as I know (but I am happy to be corrected) is Melbourne and the adjacent Mornington Peninsula. But now I wonder if they occur anywhere else in the world apart from England. V x

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  4. These beach boxes are so charming and practical (perfect to store all the beach essentials)! I wonder if they are for rent?

    www.mixandchic.com

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    1. Good question Jessie. Not sure if anybody actually rents them out - I have never seen a sign for it. They are in such demand though - and often a couple of families will band together to buy one, so there is always somebody wanting to use it. V x

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  5. AHHH Virginia, I would adore a beach hut - anything with beaches - but somewhere warm - as the summers here are not all that hot, you need a blanket to lie under ha ha:)
    Gorgeous stuff, happy Thursday
    Axx

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  6. Oh my. I am already decorating it in my head. Get rid of one of the benches on the wall and install one of those drop down beds--unless upstairs could be a sleeping loft? I honestly don't think that I would need much more than this to be happy...

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    1. Ah - I should have mentioned that there are already beds in the mezzanine area. You can just see one of them if you look very carefully in the interior shot which shows the table. So you would be utterly happy! V x

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  7. Virginia, I love those little boxes, sorry we don't have them here in Brasil.
    I wonder what would say people from 1917 about brazilian bikinis.
    Beautiful post, as always.
    Have a sunny day.
    Tereza

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    1. Good gracious Tereza! They would have died of shock at such an outrageous notion! How times have changed. V x

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  8. A dream of mine too! Can't believe how much they have increased in value since I came to Melbourne.

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  9. They are just darling ... and so very English. Recently my husband and I were away for the weekend in the south of England (Hampshire) at the lovely Chewton Glen hotel and spa and went for a walk along the beach and stumbled across these very cute beach boxes in their pastel shades and I imagined the owners sitting there on a rather cold day in the middle of the summer ... probably protecting themselves from the wind rather than the sun!!

    I wonder why Sydney didn't get into them like Victoria did? I've always loved the notion of them in Australia!
    Hope you're having a great week.
    xx

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    1. Yes, why didn't Sydney, or anywhere else in Australia, have them? I better go do some more research I think! V x

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  10. I remember these spotting the beach when I lived in Melbourne 15 years ago. I thought they were so charming and useful! This one is fabulous and so colorful. Love it!

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  11. I have just come across your lovely blog and am your newest follower! Can't wait to have a good look around! xo K

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    1. Well hello and welcome aboard the Glamour Drops Express! Lovely to have you join - and I am looking forward to checking out your own fresh looking blog when I sort out a roof design I am currently working on this morning! (At the moment surrounded by terracotta samples and many sheets of drawing details...) V x

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  12. I would LOVE to have one of those!!!!! So cute, in such perfect environment!
    You have a beautiful blog. I really enjoy it.
    I follow!
    www.tatianadoria.blogspot.com

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