A Shell Guide to Whitstable Guided walk, 4 – 10 June 2016
‘A Shell Guide to Whitstable’ was a guided walk from Whitstable to Seasalter, where participants conversed with me and my research into John Betjeman’s Shell Guides to British Counties.
Walkers were invited to mix and mingle, with an emphasis on informal conversation, examining the eccentrically entertaining atmosphere these guides created for their readers: a traveller is not a tourist, a traveller is a seeker of an authentic place. Their creation reinforced a sense of British culture and discourse that was carefully constructed through text, photography and design, to present an authoritative view of Britain. The walk explored the historical and cultural impact on our imagining of nationhood in the 21st Century and the snobbery attached to the revivalist attitude that Britain is now a destination for the British.