Sitting in a deck chair in the sun, eating an ice cream while listening to the sound of children playing and strong waves rolling towards a sandy cove is a typical ‘postcard’ depiction of the British on holiday in this country. Somehow without hundreds of deck chairs sprawled all along the sea front, or on the beach, it just wouldn’t feel like summer at the seaside; such is our love for a very simple yet effective form of outdoor seating that has long stood the test of time.

Deck chairs are such a strong national tradition that not only do we insist on them when we are having our annual break but we also like to have them tucked away in a shed somewhere, so that on a beautiful day we can quickly and easily drag them out onto the lawn or a patio and bask in the heat of the day, sipping a glass of wine or reading the paper.

Old fashioned they may be, compared to some of today’s high tech ergonomically correct garden seats, but they were good enough for our grandparents and indeed our great grandparents. Therefore there must be something about them that has stood the test of time, apart from sentiment, as they are a popular and obviously much cheap alternative to more expensive formal garden seating.

Good quality, standard deck chairs are normally made from folding hardwood frames with cotton or acrylic seats and are available in plain colours, stripes and patterned. One of the joys of these simple seats is that you can adjust the seating angle so that you can sit more upright to read or enjoy a BBQ or you can drop it right down to snooze under a shady tree when the heat of the day is too much.

Although they are very versatile and easy to look after it is probably best not to leave your deck chair out in prolonged heavy rain, as a constant damp seat is not only unpleasant to sit on but in time it may rot the fabric or certainly make it go mouldy. This said most styles are so easy to fold up and put away that it takes seconds to ensure that next time the sun comes out you have somewhere dry and comfortable to lie back and thoroughly enjoy it.