There’s a rhythm set down by the ocean – by the regular flip of the tides, the passage of the boats, the pull between land and water. However it’s there additionally within the 12 months’s division of enjoyment, the stark demarcation of the out and in of season. To the unaccustomed eye there’s little so bleak as a seaside city in winter – the shuttered gaiety, the unpeopled shore, the wind that rattles the amusement arcades, ice-cream parlours and mattress and breakfast home windows.
When the hotter months come, they’re heralded not by the hedgerows, snowdrops and songbirds, however by a way of the city itself unfurling: the reopening of cafes on the entrance, the softened contours of the sand, by the ocean that now not scowls a hunkered-down gray, however softens, and lifts its face in direction of the sky. After which comes the arrival of the day trippers, pleasure seekers, holidaymakers, a sudden swelling of numbers for the yearly parade of airshows, funfairs, hen dos, weddings.
Yearly the autumn hits with new strangeness. The surprising silence, the lurch. After which we’re returned as soon as extra to the vacancy, the quiet streets, the roaring sea. The sense of the city returned as soon as extra to its personal.
This previous 12 months, the Guardian photographer Christopher Thomond captured this flip of the seasons, depicting life alongside the quick stretch between Blackpool’s North and Central piers. It’s a portrait of the land itself – of water, sky, blazing sunsets, but in addition of its folks – the swimmers, cartwheelers and selfie takers who crowd this northern shore.