We had a lovely family day out in Whitby, North Yorkshire, last Sunday. Strolling along the pier, fish and chips for lunch, walking up the 199 steps to to the church and the abbey, browsing the shops and a tub of cockles to fill up the corners. And of course, there had to be beachcombing.
Oh my goodness. The beach was small and quite unprepossessing, but as we reached the tideline, I was overwhelmed by more sea glass than I’d ever seen on a beach in my life, and that includes Seaham. The chunks were just that, big and chunky and for the first time in my beachcombing career, I became a sea glass snob – rejecting pieces that I would normally have pounced on, for only the biggest, the most unusual and beautiful.
The penny shows how big most of these pieces are.
As well as sea glass, I found several short sections of the stems of 17th/18th century clay pipes (my little one claimed those!) and there were pieces of pottery everywhere. I even found my very first ammonite, heavily weathered, but still an ammonite and a childhood goal achieved!
I was just blown away – it was like catching fish in a barrel, and I think I’d have still been there if my little one hadn’t suddenly needed the loo in a hurry, necessitating a swift exit from the beach and return to the town.
These are no ordinary pieces of sea glass. The colour, particularly the tendency to aqua, the thickness, the size of some of the rim shards and the markings as well as the amount of other odds and ends (I forgot to mention the broken ‘bone’ knife handle) all suggest these may have come from the dumps of household rubbish that Victorian cottages had at the end of their gardens and that are now fallen into the sea.
That’s so exciting – I can’t wait to go back!!!