What do you think of this? Alternative poster shows Great Yarmouth in a different light

Leeds-based artist Jack Hurley is championing "coastal mediocrity" with a series of vintage-style ra

Leeds-based artist Jack Hurley is championing "coastal mediocrity" with a series of vintage-style railway posters mocking seaside towns. - Credit: Archant

At first glance it looks like a traditional vintage railway poster invoking a holiday heyday that saw millions flocking to Great Yarmouth's jingly attractions.

However instead of enjoying a scenic stroll along the familiar prom the figures in the foreground are apparently the worse for wear and somewhat unsteady on their feet.

Two women swigging from wine bottles and a man lying amid discarded cans under a moody grey sky have replaced the charming trippers that featured in the 1930's designs.

And it is all the work of Leeds-based artist Jack Hurley who claims he has a 'weird affection' for the British seaside and that his posters are 'a backhanded compliment.'

The 36-year-old has created a website dedicated to affectionately mocking various British seaside towns through the medium of parody travel posters - the contents of which have whipped up a frothy lather of outrage in other parts of the country.

He said Yarmouth was the most heavily requested of all seaside towns people wanted to see portrayed in his posters with Blackpool, Brighton and Grimsby also succumbing to his designer disdain.

Mr Hurley, who has never visited the coastal spot but took a virtual tour via Google's Streetview, said he was spoilt for choice when it came to targets to tease.

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He said: 'Great Yarmouth was a very target-rich environment.

'I was really torn between Marine Parade and the Winter Gardens, but in the end there was just too much ironmongery.

'I grew up by the seaside. I was born in Portsmouth and grew up in Devon. There is a weird affection for the seaside in Britain, we cannot say we like stuff but we do really love it a little bit.

'In all seriousness, the average seaside town has had a torrid few decades and it's very sad to see what's become of these once proud, handsome resorts through a gradual process of neglect and under-investment.'

Having always loved the aesthetic of railway and propaganda posters the move to mockery came naturally, he said, and while the posters didn't pull any punches it was a way of saying 'I love you.'

Surprisingly Mr Hurley, a mental health worker, said it was local residents who were the most likely to frame their contempt for their home town, or even wear their scorn on a T-shirt.

To his detractors who did not welcome the unflattering images he said the visual jibes were amiable rather than jeering and chimed with 'the great British tradition of gently mocking ourselves' rather than anything more savage and were more true to the lived experience of being by the seaside.

Visit the website at http://rubbishseaside.com.

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