Q&A with Beach Hut of the Year Judge and Historian, Dr Kathryn Ferry

What do you love most about beach huts?

Their colourful presence between land and sea always makes me smile, it’s what got me hooked in the first place! Beach huts differ from place to place and for me they just capture something special about our national psyche; that desire to be beside the sea in our own little space with an endlessly changing view and the company of other devoted hutters.

Your favourite seaside memory?

I collected many brilliant memories when I travelled around the nation’s beach huts for my book ‘Sheds on the Seashore’ but now I’m really enjoying making new memories for my children. We holidayed in Suffolk a couple of years ago and they had a great time digging holes on the beach at Felixstowe – you don’t really need much more than that.

Favourite Beach Hut from last year’s top ten - and why?

My Happy Hut was a worthy winner last year but I also had a soft spot for Buggleskelly just because the railway-inspired design was such an individual reflection of its owner, train driver Chris Dewey. It’s always nice to see something different crop up in the competition.

Why do you think Towergate's Beach Hut of the Year is such a great campaign to be involved with?

It’s brilliant to have a way of celebrating what the humble beach hut means to British people. They may be small but owners invest a lot of time, energy and emotion in their huts and our coastline would be a far less interesting place without them.

 Five must-haves for a day at the beach hut:

  1. Tea-making apparatus (of course!)

  2. Bucket and spade because there’s still no better accompaniments to a day playing on the beach

  3. Swimming cossies

  4. A good book (though you won’t actually read much of it)

  5. Binoculars, so you can watch the changing seascape in detail

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