Recording a north-eastern tradition of gathering sea-coal.
Wandering around Plymouth on a cold, grey November day, I headed to the Hoe and found I had it almost entirely to myself.
The most striking landmark is the eminently postcard-able Smeaton’s Tower.
It looks so at home in its current setting, and it’s a surprise to learn that it wasn’t originally erected there at all. The lighthouse was first built out on Eddystone Rocks, a treacherous cluster of low rocks thirteen miles southwest of Plymouth. The first lighthouse to perch in that precarious location was obliterated by a great storm, and the second burnt down. Smeaton’s lighthouse was the third, and stood from 1756 to 1877. Then it was noticed that the rocky base was very badly eroded, and that the lighthouse was wobbling each time a wave hit…
The upper part of the lighthouse was moved brick by brick to the Hoe and rebuilt as a memorial to Smeaton. Now, instead of a warning beacon to keep people away, it’s an attraction, drawing tourists to the Hoe.
Not every lighthouse gets to move somewhere quiet and safe when it retires…
The coastline round here is steeped in history. The rocks that form the rugged cliffs and offshore ledges tell of a world of giant sea monsters and primordial forests. There are machine gun batteries and pillboxes that tell of a time of fear and war, and there are shipwrecks. Read more…
The River Deben in Suffolk has 40% of Suffolk’s saltmarsh, and also has the most complete set of saltmarsh plants.
Words paint a picture and pictures tell a story – as I like to play with both, it’s fun to weave words into a picture. Letters have a grace and beauty of their own, even without the layers of meaning.
Some entertainment and education aimed at younger sea-lovers – or the young-at-heart like me!
Claude the Hermit Crab invites you to find out more about the coast of Sussex, the Isle of Wight and Hampshire.
The Chinese term Feng Shui literary means ‘wind and water’. On land, this is all about placement and flow of positive energy. On a boat, the combination of wind and water has a more practical application; it is wind that turns water from playground to peril.
It seems an odd thing to do – to surrender in order to protect. But the UK’s Environment Agency are doing just that on the Manhood Peninsula where I live.