Tag Archives: Martello Tower

Things I found on the beach (or nearby)

The top picture shows the Scallop sculpture on the beach at Aldeburgh. It can, it seems, look like a seabird, two men in a boat or one man in a boat, as you walk along the beach towards it. Or, if you use the nearest car park and sit on the bench, it looks like a scallop shell.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yes, it definitely looks like a scallop

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Martello Tower – unique shape and end of the line

The Martello Tower is the last building left in Slaughden, once a prosperous village which, after many years of losses to the sea, was finally washed away in the floods of 1953. I didn’t know this, I just thought they’d built a Martello Tower a couple of hundred yards down the beach from Aldeburgh.

 

These are some photos from Dunwich, probably the most famous of the lost villages of the East Coast. Once it was a notable town, with 3,000 inhabitants and 3 churches at the time of the Domesday survey. There were, at that time, just 18 towns of over 2,000 people.  Before we started visiting piers I had thought about visiting all the 18 towns, but the idea of fish and chips swung the balance towards the seaside.

Considering its history with the sea the sign warning of floods might be seen as too little, too late.

The block of concrete looks like a tank trap. They were cast on site by teams of Royal Engineers, which must have been a major effort, particularly if you were doing it on the East Coast in winter. I seem to remember that there were two sizes – this looks like one of the smaller ones. It seems to have worked as there is no record of Germans invading Dunwich.

Finally, a couple of shots of Southend. The doughnuts may have been expensive but there were still some good subjects for photos.

A Detour…

We went to Jaywick (just down the coast from Clacton) on Tuesday looking for a Martello Tower. We didn’t find it and we came away feeling thoughtful after driving round what appeared to be a shanty town.

Jaywick was grew up as a holiday village in the 1920s and 30s when a property developer sold plots of farmland to Londoners to build holiday homes. The land he sold was not used for farming because it tended to flood – you would have thought this was a bad sign.

It became permanant by accident. After the war, with pressure on housing  in London, people moved out and started living in Jaywick on a full-time basis. Poor roads, lack of employment opportunities, lack of mains drainage and badly built houses all contributed to making it one of the most deprived areas of the UK.

{t’s a lesson in how things can go wrong from optimistic beginnings. You get the idea that it could all have been different, as other Plotlands schemes seem to have prospered, or been demoloished. Peacehaven is probably the best-known successful development, though it has been helped by being in a prosperous area and by being built on well=drained land.

Names can be interesting. I note that Peacehaven was originally named New Anzac-on-Sea in 1916.  Many Jaywick roads are named after car makers. You will, however, search in vain for many of our current car names – no Honda, no Seat, no BMW. Instead you have Crossley, Standard and Singer. The newest car name I saw was Lotus (founded 1952) but it looks like part of the 1970s rebuilding.

No photos for this, but an interesting bit of history (even if it wasn’t the history I was looking for). We never did find the Martello Tower…