Here’s a good ‘un from the BBC site, stripping out a bit of detail from the 2011 Census:
Blackpool is the divorce capital
The Lancashire seaside resort has the highest percentage of people who are divorced – 13.1%, compared with the average for England and Wales of 9%. This also includes those whose same-sex civil partnership is dissolved.
Seaside resorts are often near the top of the divorce league – but no-one is really sure why.
Divorce, therefore, remained expensive, demanding and often sordid. Increasingly, those who were determined to divorce arranged for one of the partners, usually the husband, to be caught in a well-staged ‘adultery’ with a professional co-respondent in a hotel room [*]. This was not a practice the country could be proud of and the 1923 Act never satisfied most feminist groups, divorce law reformers, proponents of a more relaxed sexual morality, or even some churchmen.
The footnote there [*] reads:
Seaside resorts were favoured, particularly Brighton. Divorces procured this way came to be called ‘Brighton quickies’.
Malcolm adjudges Mr McKibbin there guilty of some remarkably-talented nudge-nudge, wink-wink innuendo.
The Brighton Museum actually (and this is from Slow Sussex, believe it or not):
celebrates the resort’s role as a venue for a dirty weekend. This famously was the place a couple could get ‘a Brighton quickie’ divorce. the husband would hire a private detective to observe him signing into a hotel, with a hired ‘mistress’ acting the part as ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’. A chambermaid would ever so accidentally open the door to see the couple, and the deed was done.
Even more bizarrerie: the only reference to all these shenanigans in the Oxford English Dictionary takes us to Rodney Quest’s dubious The Cerberus Murders of 1969 and the other end of the country:
I get reasonably well paid—enough to enable me to … have a dirty weekend in Scarborough now and again.
Err … wrong decade (by at least three) and wrong location.
Why else was the Brighton Belle so busy — and charging ‘supplementary fares’ — on a Friday night?