Littlehampton has found a new way to attract tourists. Earlier this year, CD-Traveller (August 27th) went to Littlehampton for part of its “Day Out” series. One of the features we mentioned was a long bench that ran along the east beachfront. Made of wooden slats it had started to contain messages. We called it the postcard seat and suggested it might replace the postcard as a way of saying that they liked their seaside visit.
Now there’s another use. According to the Brighton Argus, there is the first marriage proposal.
Whether the tourist people at Littlehampton, the creators (who are behind the award-winning East Beach Café) or the designers, Studio Weave, thought that the 324-meter long bench would become used in this way is unlikely. Arun District Council which oversees the bench say that they have had lots of requests for messages to be etched into the slats. They could be busier more than ever from now on.
From a tourism point of view, this is a great opportunity. Gretna Green became a tourist destination because it straddled the English and Scottish borders. But before the romance of an elopement why not propose on the beachfront at Littlehampton? The proposal will remain for years to come. On each anniversary you can go back and relive the moment you both agreed to tie the knot. Or the council could sell you the slats so you have a permanent reminder of the day. No other UK town has a bench like this so let Littlehampton make the most of it. Poland has a bench that is almost twice along but before long it could be that Littlehampton may need to lengthen theirs to cope with all the messages. “Littlehampton: For Lovers Everywhere” could be the new town tourism slogan