It will only be a matter of weeks and it will be the start of autumn and the beachcombing season as I know it will begin. Summers generally are flat when in comparison to winter and even though we had some unsettled weather during the summer, finds along the coast were very much as predicted including the annual heaps of smelly seaweed on the North Thanet coast.
Late autumn, winter and early spring on the Thanet coast is always a completely different ball game compared to the summer and the sea has the capability of turning up the weird, wonderful and unique. Last season we had the mass death of Velvet swimmer crabs and the stranding of the Sperm Whale at Pegwell bay that attracted media attention to our part of the coast. As regular readers of my blog will know I managed to get some remains of the Sperm Whale which is now part of the Monkton Natural History collection.
Recently I donated most of my collection of natural history finds from the past three years to the Marine Studios Albert Terrace Margate for them to exhibit and utilise in an artistic way. So this season I am looking forward to building another collection concentrating on the unique rather than the norm and I am very confident there is going to be some good finds.
Every Autumn I always plan for a great storm on the scale of the storms of 1953 and 1978 ensuring I have all the right equipment to do the job and review my plan of the areas along the coast I need to target. With all the turmoil going on in the world at present and the effect it has on the price of gold and silver a great storm of a 1978 magnitude will be a nice little earner for the beachcombing fraternity along the Thanet coast. I suppose with the price of fuel as it is there will be more driftwood collectors and sea coal collectors than usual taking advantage of the lesser but tempestuous storms. While on the subject of gold, I cast my mind back to the aftermath of the 1978 storm and recall the amount of gold and silver that was found then by metal detector users. I can recall digging deep holes in one of the Cliftonville bays looking for gold which is hard graft in wet sand in sub zero temperatures in gale force winds and on one occasion I found a battered 22 carat Victorian ring weighing 14.2 grammes which at today’s prices would fetch £440.00 scrap.