Category Archives: Bexhill

More Bexhill pictures

Windy

It's been a bit windy the last few days

Nice

It's often a lot calmer

Nice

Still even

Shelter

There are always places to shelter

De La Warr Pavilion

...places to visit (De La Warr Pavilion)

DLWP stairs

The pavilion is stylish inside

Beach huts

Or you could hire your own place on West Parade

Beach huts

You're even allowed a coloured door on the East Parade

East Parade

There are flats for sale on East Parade

Gate

A sunny gate

West Parade

West Parade is quieter

Turnstones

There are a lot of turnstones around at the moment

Wind

A big change in the weather transforms the seaside completely. It’s promising to be very dramatic here over the next few days.

Waves

The sun's up there somewhere, but the storm clouds and waves dominate

The official advice is to stay out of the water. People seem to concur.

West Parade - red flags

The red flags are flying on West Parade

The windiest corner in Bexhill is Marina / Devonshire Road. Luckily there’s a cafe on the corner to watch the weather in comfort. The sound of the building creaking and the wind whistling was a little unsettling though.

The view from the c-side cafe

The view from the excellent c-side cafe in Devonshire Road looking out across Marina towards the sea

The Cheddar cob is excellent here…

Cheddar cob

Cheddar cob and a large coffee - warming up half way through the walk

Bexhill – Some sea front cafes

The Sovereign Light Cafe

The Sovereign Light Cafe

The Sovereign Light Cafe sung about by Keane (originally from Battle). The cafe is named after the Royal Sovereign Light lighthouse – formerly a light ship – visible a few miles off the coast.

West Parade kiosk

West Parade kiosk

The kiosk is a useful stop if you get peckish between the Sovereign Light and the De La Warr Pavilion. It also sells reasonable priced imitation Crocs.

De La Warr Pavilion

De La Warr Pavilion

The Pavilion is isolated from the sea front by perpetual building work, but it has great sea views beyond the scaffolding and security fencing.

The Collonade

The Collonade

The updated Collonade will contain a restaurant or cafe when it’s finished.

The Old Bathing Station

The Old Bathing Station

The Old Bathing Station is a great place to stop for a coffee as the sun sets. It’s open late during the summer.

Cafe on the Beach, Glyne Gap

Cafe on the Beach, Glyne Gap

The Cafe on the Beach is an extended walk from Bexhill – over Galley Hill and down the other side.

The other approach to The Cafe on the Beach

The other approach to The Cafe on the Beach

Holed stones

The beach at Bexhill is pebble-ridden with flinty stones. It plays havoc with your feet, but it’s an interesting environment with a lot of potential.

Some of the stones are curiously pierced. People comb the shore looking for good examples – children and middle-aged metal detectorists are particularly enthralled by them. Apparently the poloponised  rocks protect against bad luck.

Over the past few weeks we’ve started a little collection of these holy stones. I’ve even incorporated one of them into my baker talk at the castle. Below are a selection of finds…

Holy stones

Some Bexhill beach holed stones.

According to folklore, if we hang these above our stable door it’ll stop our horses getting hag-ridden. Worth a try (if we had a horse… or a stable).

I’m not sure what causes the holes. Someone suggested a stone-eating worm was involved, but this seems unlikely outside the world of computer games. Whatever the process it produces some remarkable results. The small white stone leaning on the brown stone bottom left is almost a cylinder. The small brown stone in the middle of the bottom row has three equal-sized holes – all linked.

Beach life

I’m still using the metal detector. I’m getting better at pinpointing finds and digging them, which is nice. Most of the finds I dig are bottle tops, ring pulls and aluminium foil which I remove and bin.

Beach finds

Dirty 5p, clean 5p and my first pound coin. Below, the remnant of a hacksaw blade (early 21st century).

Recent expeditions have produced at least one coin every time – it doesn’t feel as if you’re effective unless there’s money involved somehow. Thursday night returned only one penny but Wednesday gave me my biggest haul yet – £1.10. I also found a piece of hacksaw blade. It’s not quite a Bronze Age axe, but it’s a start.

Giving away the family silver

Tonight I found a bolt, a budgie bell, a UMO and a 20p bit. The 20p is a four-fold increase on last night’s findings which suggests that I’ll be a millionaire by Christmas.

I was just packing up when I got into conversation with a guy who has walked round the coast of Britain earning bits of money along the way by doing pebble sculptures. At Bexhill he’d created a 3D seagull and a racing car from the multi-coloured rocky palette that the beach offers. He was a nice bloke so I gave him the 20p. I now feel doubly guilty: only 20p AND giving away everything I’d earned.

I have to find 80p tomorrow or my ‘every day four times more’ theory is toast.

Payback

This metal detecting (detectoring?) lark has cost me money. I’m not flush at the moment so this is an issue. Last night, however, the payback began. Two and a half hours of work on the beach and I’m beginning to earn money. Admittedly it’s only 5p so far (1999 5p coin in fair condition – value about 1/-) but it’s a start.

5p

Treasure

I did bump into another detectorist who had already scooped up several quid, so I’ve got a lot to learn (e.g. get there earlier, look where people gather etc.).

Other finds last night included a pearl necklace (false), a clip-on dicky bow, some security glass, several beer caps, a fishing weight, a button, some foil and several lumps of unidentified scrap. All useful training in using the machine.

I dug up about 70-80% of my positive signals compared to 10-20% the last time. I was helped by a new technique called ‘reading the manual’. I’d been digging where the centre of the coil was when the machine went ‘ping’ when I should have been looking at the trailing edge.

Arundel Castle and the beach

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle (medieval keep (l) and gatehouse (r). Medieval baker (in civvies) (foreground))

Yesterday was a trip to Arundel Castle.

The builder of Bodiam Castle, Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, seems to have been mentored by the 11th Earl. I hoped to pick up some information about the fourteenth century earls, but the castle was very crowded and the shop uninviting. A lot of the castle is rather splendid Victorian pastiche but we did get to see the impressive Norman keep and gatehouse.

We also enjoyed the medieval jousting that was going on. It whetted the appetite for Bodiam’s medieval weekend in mid-August.

If you’re in Arundel St Nicholas’ Church is worth a visit. There are the remains of some interesting wall paintings and the division of the church into two is a vivid symbol of a previous power battle.

Metal detecting

L-R Roman brooch pin (or tat), rare Inca nail (or tat), Saxon screw in original rawlplug (or tat), Iron Age cloak pin (or tat) and rare Neolithic aluminium vessel (or bit of old tat)

While we were in West Sussex I gave in to an old ambition and bought a metal detector from Detecnicks in Fontwell. It may have cost too much money but the way I look at it, I’m going to earn it back in spades.

I tried it out first in the back garden on a secret site in the South of England. There were only a couple of square feet not covered by lawn, courgettes and groundsel but in twenty minutes I found this lot (see picture right).

I then took the detector to the beach at Bexhill where I found an aluminium clip. Let’s see what the British Museum make of it.

Eddie Izzard

We had a lovely walk along the seashore yesterday evening. As we walked past the De La Warr Pavilion Eddie Izzard was starting a surprise (to us) gig on the roof. That’s not something you see every day. He’s sold out now so bang goes that birthday treat!

The DLWP has some cracking shows.

‘Buffet Froid’ and a bear in the garden

We watched Buffet Froid last night. If you don’t know it it’s a French film directed by Bertrand Blier and starring Gérard Depardieu, Bernard Blier and Jean Carmet.

I must have bought it some time ago and then forgotten about it. I do that. A lot of our DVD collection is still in cellophane (just as many of my books are unread). Regular work seems to be improving my attention span though. I’ve finished several books recently and can now cope with whole TV programmes and films on an occasional basis.

So we watched it. I didn’t know anything about it beforehand. The cover speaks of a theme of urban alienation, but that hardly does it justice. It’s bonkers. Albert Camus and Luis Buñuel must be major influences. You have to work hard to make some sort of sense of it, but it is an enjoyable task. I’m still working on it today. I can’t see Hollywood remaking it.

In other news we have had a bear in the garden. We think it was bear. We have this new bird feeder thing – a pole with hooks on, water bowl, all that sort of stuff. It’s very popular with the birds and Morris the local squirrel.

Anyway, this morning the peanut holder has been unhooked, thrown to the ground and the peanuts emptied out and eaten. That’s got to be a bear, right? It might be a squirrel I suppose but Morris is no heavyweight and that nut holder is sturdy. So we have a bear. Or a squirrel. Or an owl – it could have been an owl.

They found the smallest dinosaur in the world just up the road the other day but that’s long dead.