According to legend King Canute is supposed to have sat in his throne on the seashore at Bosham and unsuccessfully ordered the tide to stop. When I visited Selsey this afternoon I saw a similar mission in progress. Selsey sits at the end of the Manhood Peninsula on the south coast and the town is in a constant battle to survive against the forces of the sea. If nature was left to its own devices the peninsula would be entirely eroded away so extra stone frequently has to be brought in to shore up the beach. Today a team was hard at work moving enormous chunks of rock to underpin the sea wall where it had been damaged by the winter storms while a huge dumper truck trundled back and forth shifting piles of shingle to go over the top. All this was happening against the clock as the tide came back in. I had to time it just right to get these shots, crossing the beach in between visits by the dumper truck. As I left, one of the workmen trudged past me along the beach, heading for home, and it struck me that he was something of a King Canute for the 21st century ?? still fighting the unwinnable fight.
May 23, 2017