on the beaches of Belgium
Currency, territory, craftsmanship and etiquette are but a few things to take into account when bringing your kids, a heap of crepe paper and steel wire to the beach in Belgium.
The paper flower craft and trade on the Belgian beaches was born in the early twentieth century. Initially a late nineteenth century pastime for the rich who had the time and means to visit the Belgian coast, this most wonderful part of our beach heritage started to spread down the social ladder in the nineteen thirties when paid leave was introduced.
The flowers are made by moms and grannies but the kids do the trading. They sell for several handful of seashells and not just any kind - it depends on the region where they operate. Currency regulations are strict - the shells need to be clean, free of sand and dry. Many of these shops pop up in front of the beach cabins owned by inhabitants of the coastal town. But there's also the guest shops of the holiday makers. They set up shop wherever they like on the beach, as long as they stay within the territory.