Yes I know I am late with this, no excuses unless you count an old cat who wants to sit on my knee at all times…
I hope all my lovely Blogger friends have had a really lovely Easter weekend.
In my last blog the sun was shining and although it was cold it was very Spring like. Last week that all changed, we had heavy snow which was almost blizzard like, and very strong Easterly winds. Deal is situated in the Downs, a narrow stretch of water between England and France. Directly opposite the town is the infamous Goodwin Sands, referred to in certain places as ‘Ye Shippe Swallower.’ Many a ship has met its watery grave on the Goodwin Sands, mainly because when we have North Easterly winds in the winter we really do know about it!
Even some of the railings have gone.
I have no idea how strong the wind was last Monday evening but I had to drive down to my brothers house to drop off his birthday card after work. I chose to drive along the seafront, it was just dark, it was one of the highest tides of the year and the wind was howling and it was snowing. If it had been light I would have stopped and taken some photos as I remember wild nights like this from my childhood. In some ways it is quite exciting but it can also be scary!
Some of the ripped up planking are lying in the corner.
I heard the next day that the pier had been damaged, but only managed to get down there this week, I think the photos speak for themselves, and you can see that grilles have done their job, whereas the wooden planking has been ripped up by the heavy sea, which was just about level with the bottom deck during the storm.
Needless to say the bottom deck of the pier is now closed off, I expect they will replace the planks with more grilles. There was another very high tide today, again the sea was level with this lower deck, I expect there will be more damage.
As mentioned in the last blog virtually all the imported shingle in this part of the town has gone, also large boulders and tons more shingle were deposited at the north end of the town, so I went to see how much shingle, if any was left down there, again you can see by the photos that the boulders are all still in place round the remains of Sandown Castle, but every bit of the imported shingle has been washed away!
Boulders at the Northern end of the town, but no shingle.
Looking inland from the beach the Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club can be seen.
Finally a photo of the site of Sandown Castle, when we were children I am pretty sure there was still part of the castle wall on the seaward side of this terrace, this has all gone now.
Looking along the pier towards the shore.
I have just had a few days off work, and amazingly on Monday and Tuesday the sun shone!
Monday I dropped my daughter at the station as usual then I decided to walk along the pier before doing the shopping and getting back to those cobwebs that are still needing attention in my house!
The ever present East wind was blowing but it was quite exhilarating walking along the pier. Not far along the pier stem were two older men, once of which was feeding the Turnstone birds which I have only ever seen on the pier. Lovely little birds, although there are two which both only have one foot! One of these is well known on the pier and has the name Stumpy. These little birds fly off in April, but Stumpy has decided that our pier is the best place to live so he stays here permanently. He was off somewhere else on the pier when I was taking photos!
Going down the steps to the lower level.
The centre well where we used to do our fishing!
The horrible grilles…
I went onto the lower deck, I don’t go down there very often now but it is popular with the fisherman, it used to be all wooden planks but due to the bad weather lifting the planks, a lot have been replaced with metal grilles that you can see the sea below through, a sensation that I really do not like! I walk on the wooden board wherever possible. As children we spent many an hour fishing with a hand line in the centre well, we never caught a thing but it kept us occupied, and there weren’t any metal grilles then either!!
Looking up at the cafe from the lower deck.
Looking towards the shore from the lower deck.
There has been a lot of flood defence work going on the promenade on both sides of the pier for the last few months, I am sure the work is very necessary but in my opinion (and everyone else you talk to!) all they have achieved is to totally ruin the seafront. Millions of tons of shingle was dredged from offshore and brought round the coast from Bournemouth, it looked very impressive until we had one of our famous North Easterly winds, and the whole lot of the imported shingle disappeared overnight…..the locals could have told the powers that be what would happen, but then the locals are never asked in cases like this!! We now have a straight 3’ high wall to the south of the pier, and a 3’ high wavy wall to the north, which will have seats incorporated into it eventually. I suppose we will get used to it, it cost enough. I still don’t understand that no-one has thought that if this wall stops some of the sea in bad weather, where is it going to go? Oh yes, it will go round the end of the wall…..and still flood the town!!! That’s progress I suppose!!
The wavy wall to the North of the Pier
The straight wall to the South…
Moan over! I really enjoyed my walk, and went home and attacked some of those cobwebs I keep talking about. I hope signs of Spring are appearing wherever you are
Spring sunshine – bliss `
A beautiful sunset, taken from my front door on St. Valentine’s Day.
Just a quick blog to let everyone know I am still alive!! It is that time of year when we are all fed up with winter, there are signs out there of Spring but it seems so slow getting here.
I have been very busy doing this and that, and not taking many photos! Once the weather gets a bit better I am sure that will right itself. I have got a few days off work now, with not much planned, although there are a lot of cobwebs in the house which need some attention!!
Just a few photo to share with you all, the Old Weavers House is in Canterbury, one day I will do the river trip, which runs from here, I am sure it is very interesting. The photos were taken a couple of weeks ago when my daughter and I had a day over there mooching round the shops, we had a good day, Canterbury is such a lovely city
Early morning January sky.