Bathing Machines

From Historical Hastings

A drawing by Thomas Rowlandson dating to 1792 shows what appears to be some bathing machines drawn up on the beach near Rock-a-Nore, although they are more readily associated with their usage to protect the modesty of Victorian bather. The wheeled machines were guided down to the water's edge and permitted the bather, once changed in the privacy of the machine, to descend some steps into the sea. By the 1920s, they were in decline and replaced by Bathing Huts. Out of season, they were removed from the beach to the Central Cricket Ground[1].

Known Locations and Operators

Cobby's bathing machines were at the Marine Parade, Caroline Place, Hastings; Dunn's, at the comer of Carlisle Parade; Robinson and Oliver's, Eversfield Place; and French's, at Marina St. Leonards", as per the guide book 'Hastings, past and present'[2] - the Cobby's firm being established by Mrs. Cobby and her sons in 1848[3]


References & Notes