Chic Le Havre Beach Huts Celebrate the City’s Sailing Heritage

BeachHutAt this time every year owners of beach huts all over Normandy get out the sandpaper and the paint to spruce them up in time for summer.

But owners of huts in Le Havre can take a different approach as each year the city’s tourism office organises an open air exhibition featuring photographs on the end of the huts.

This year the theme revolves around sailing scenes in keeping with the region’s Impressionism festival featuring works and ideas from the great Impressionist painters, many of whom lived in Normandy.

In keeping with the water theme that can be found throughout the various events, the beach huts are decorated with old photographs of regattas this year.

In moody black and white, they are quite different from the brighter colours often used to decorate many of the huts. Some 49 different photos are being used provided by the tourism office as part of its annual open air exhibition.

‘The beach huts become a museum in the open air and for four months until the end of September they will be promoting the area and its sailing heritage,’ said a tourist office spokesman.

Sailing has a long history in Le Havre. The city has one of the oldest regatta sailing societies in Europe which was founded in 1842.

There are over 600 beach huts along the beach and esplanade this year. Owners pay €300 rent for the space and put up their huts in April and May and take them down in October.

‘We have around 40 new members this year. They are still very popular. Retired people pass them on to their children and grandchildren,’ said Jackie Delamare, president of the beach hut association.

A new beach hut costs around €2,000 to €2,500 and they usually last up to 20 years before needing to be replaced.

About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as PropertyWire.com, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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