Wednesday, 9 March 2016

SEA GLASS AND SEA POTTERY AT MIDDLETON, HARTLEPOOL.

MY FATHER LIVED AND WORKED AT MIDDLETON.
IT WAS "THE" BEACH AT WEEKENDS AND TIME OFF.
IT MUST HAVE HELD MANY HAPPY MEMORIES FOR HIM THEN, AS IT DOES FOR ME NOW.

BACK THEN THERE WERE TWO BEACHES , BUT NOW ONE HAS ALL BUT DISAPPEARED  THANKS TO THE WIDENING OF THE HARBOUR ENTRANCE AND REMOVAL OF SOME OF THE OLD QUAY / DOCK SIDE.

ON THE HARBOUR SIDE WE WOULD FIND COPPER NAILS AND BRASS SCREWS, SCATTERED AMONGST THE ROCKS, FROM THE OLD SHIPYARDS.
WE WOULD BAG THESE UP AND HAVE WHAT DAD CALLED "A WEIGH IN."
SO ONCE WE HAD A DECNT STASH ; IT WAS OFF TO A LOCAL SCRAPYARD WITH OUR HAUL; WE WENT HALVES. I WAS ALWAYS SURPRISED HOW MUCH WE WOULD GET AND ALL FOR FREE AND A WALK ON THE BEACH.

I WORKED IN MIDDLETON TOO ; MY APPRENTICESHIP.
AT THE TIME IT WAS THE ONLY PLACE I WANTED TO WORK

I  HAVE ALWAYS BEACH COMBED AND NOW THAT MY INTEREST IS SEA GLASS AND SEA POTTERY, IT TURNS OUT MY CHILDHOOD BEACH IS AN IDEAL SPOT.
IT'S NOT THE GLORIOUS COLOURS OF SEAHAM SEA GLASS. THE GLASS FINDS ARE MAINLY FLAT OR SOMETIMES RECOGNISABLE BOTTLE CHARDS, BUT THEY CAN BE LOVELY COLOURS IN THEIR OWN WAY AND WORN SMOOTH BY THE SAND AND SEA.
SOME HAVE THE HINT OF A PAST LIFE  
MAYBE 
LEPOOL (HARTLEPOOL)
OR 
MERON'S (CAMERON'S A LOCAL BREWERY.)

THE SEA POTTERY IS USUALLY WELL WORN, MAYBE A FLOWER DESIGN OR AGAIN THE HINT OF A PHRASE OF A COMPANY NAME.

SO...
IF YOU FEEL LIKE GOING TO MIDDLETON  ON A BEACH HUNT.
WHAT SHOULD A FIRST TIMER DO?

TIPS.
IF POSSIBLE GO WHEN THE TIDE IS OUT, OR GOING OUT  AS THERE IS NOT MUCH BEACH AT ALL IF THE TIDE IS IN AND YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED. 

I NORMALLY PARK NEAR THE LIFEBOAT STATION, BUT THE TRACK IS VERY UNEVEN, SO AS A SAFER AND MORE SECURE OPTION IS TO PAY TO PARK AT THE MARINA AND THEN TAKE THEN SHORT WALK TO MIDDLETON BEACH.
IF THE TIDE IS LOW YOU CAN JOIN THE BEACH BY WALKING PAST THE SMALLCRAFTS CLUB UNTIL YOU COME TO A DEAD END. TURN RIGHT AND A WALKWAY ALONG THE FLATS FENCING WILL LEAD YOU TO SOME STEPS TO THE SOUTH END OF THIS SMALL BEACH.

MOST OF THE FINDS WILL BE AT THE NORTH END OF THE BEACH, IF YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS YOUR POINT OF ACCESS THEN , TURN LEFT JUST BEFORE THE SMALLCRAFTS AND THE DOCKSIDE FENCING WILL GUIDE YOU TO FERRY ROAD. YOU CAN EITHER WALK DOWN FERRY ROAD AND CARRY ON DOWN THE BANK TOP RAMP. CAUTION IS NEEDED AS IT IS UNEVEN AND ALWAYS BE AWARE THAT SEA COAL WAGONS USE THE RAMP TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE BEACH.

IT MAY BE BETTER TO WALK DOWN FERRY ROAD AND THEN FOLLOW THE SIGNS FOR THE LIFEBOAT STATION. THE BEACH IS ACCESSIBLE  JUST ALONG THE JETTY.
THERE ARE LOTS OF HOUSE BRICKS FROM EARLIER ATTEMPTS OF COASTAL DEFENCE AND A PLASTIC BOTTLE OR TWO.
WHEN YOUR SEARCH IS DONE THE MARINA HAS MANY PLACES TO  EAT, DRINK AND MAYBE GET WARM OR COOL DOWN DEPENDING ON WHEN YOU VISIT.

SAFETY.
THE ABOVE IS JUST A ROUGH GUIDE.
MAKE YOUR OWN CHOICES  BUT.....
WHEREVER YOU PARK , TAKE CARE DON'T LEAVE VALUABLES ON DISPLAY.

ALWAYS RESPECT THE WATER; THE SEA IS BOTH BEAUTIFUL AND DANGEROUS.

ASSESS THE BEACH RISK; SHARPE OR CONTAMINATED OBJECTS ETC.

WATCH YOUR FOOTING ON EITHER THE BANK TOP SLOPE OR THE ROUGH TRACK TOWARDS THE LIFEBOAT STATION.

REMEMBER THAT THE SEA DECIDES WHAT IS FOUND. IT MAY JUST DUMP A BEACH LOAD OF SAND AND COVER ANY FINDS FOR ANOTHER DAY?

HAVE FUN.

BEACH BUOY.




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