Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The tidal surge at Margate December 2013

 The effect of the recent tidal surge on Margate was nothing more than an exceptional high tide. In fact the sea defence system was not even challenged. Even the temporary sand barrier on Margate main sands put up by Thanet District Council even withstood the test, saving Marine Terrace from a costly clean up. Over the years and more so in the past decade the amount of sand on  Margate main sands has increased. In my lifetime the beach has doubled in size and changed its shape on numerous occasions producing many beach combing finds. The recent tidal surge has reshaped shaped the beach again for the second time this year and from the high water mark to the low water areas the sand has leveled out. If it stays like this then the beach users in the summer are in for a treat. As for myself it is a bit of a disaster as all the historical sites are now re buried but it can wait as most of it has been there for centuries.
Not a lot came in with the tide during the surge except a few large lumps of sea coal that constantly roll around out there on the sea bed. There was also many sea shells that had been uncovered mostly Whelk , but I did find a tropical one, a small conch. The origin from this I know. Its origin came many years ago from a tourist shop in the Arlington Arcade Margate. The shop sold many tropical sea shells and was run by Terry Purser who was also a bit of a show man and knew how to pull of a publicity stunt. When he received a consignment of sea shells in from abroad a few of the crates somehow managed to get wet inside. This caused mildew in transit and the shells were not up to a retail standard. So discreetly,  he arranged for the shells to be scattered on the low water mark on Margate main sands. Given a few tides people started to find tropical shells scattered around the main sands.The dicoveries made the national newspapers including the Sun and for years after that people actually believed that tropical sea shells could be found at Margate.