The beach is a place where people meet. At the turn of the 19th century, holidaymakers met sailors and seamen. Two worlds, two societies rubbed shoulders: the "seafarers" and the "landlubbers", and they didn't mix. Harshness and frivolity are measured on the same beach. Beach-goers are known pejoratively as "Perisians". Their ever-increasing numbers disrupted daily life and new professions appeared: donkey drivers who transported the sick and tourists, milkmaids who offered goat's or cow's milk at snack time, sometimes straight from the udder. A real tourist economy was developing, and the leisure society was on the move. The few sailors who still came to beach their boats disappeared at the end of the 1950s.
The cheeky, surly, sometimes outrageous figure of the donkey-driver is no myth. As Le Journal de Berck deplores on numerous occasions, it's not uncommon for them to get into mischief, causing a few scandals with tourists.