Saturday, May 3, 2014

Cleethorpes and shells

As a southerner, the names in this part of the country sometimes sound odd to me: Scunthorpe, Skegness, Cleethorpes all have a bit of a foreign sound.  The Viking heritage of the counties which formed part of the Danegeld is apparent in some of the place names all around the county.

I adore beachcombing, and I have quite a bit of experience around the beaches of the southwest, and hardly any experience in the north east, and so I was delighted when a trip to pick up curtains and a rug in Grimsby made it possible to visit the beach at Cleethorpes, which is just about half an hour's drive from Market Rasen.

There's the same seaside town vibe in the centre of the town, with amusements and fish and chip shops everywhere, but if you drive up the seafront to the car parking at the leisure centre, the beach is quiet and deserted at this time of year.  It's a sandy beach, an when the tide is out, it's a long (wet) walk to the sea, with the bracing winds from the east.  But I loved it.

I beachcombed along the beach while my sons walked back to town to buy some chips and look at the shops.  I found a lot of winkle and whelk shells, some necklace shells, tiny cockle shells, and lots and lots of pink tellin.  There is a good guide to identifying British sea shells here.

Some of my Cleethorpes fnds

On a second visit, I found a lot of driftwood, more tellin shells, and noticed the things I don't find here that I have found in other places... no sandwashed glass, the edges of the glass on the beach are still sharp... very little ceramic, no fragments of large cockle shells smoothed by the sea either, although as you can see from the above picture, I did find quantities of the lily-like centres from whelks.  For anyone who wants tiny tellin and cockle shells to decorate something, it's a fantastic place to collect.

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