Saltwick Bay

IMG_5833Yesterday I spent an hour or so alone on this shore at Saltwick a couple of miles south of Whitby, North Yorkshire. Below are the remains of the harbour where 19th C luggers once beached to load alum.

IMG_5827Remains of the Alum works still show, but the sea eats at them. The red stain shows where the local Jurassic shale was slowly burned after which the ash was slaked with urine and the mixture reduced by heating until an egg could be floated on the surface of the brew. Alum was prized as a fixative for dye and as an agent for tanning leather. The Pope had the monopoly until some Yorkshire gentry stole away with the secret.  He was annoyed and they were excommunicated.

IMG_5813The southern end of the bay and Saltwick Nab.

IMG_5815The northern end and the Ness. The wreck of the hospital ship Rohilla lies on the other side of the Ness, she foundered there in a storm en route to France to collect wounded from the Western Front.

IMG_5818Sleeping limpets and barnacles.

IMG_5826Death was on the shore. Perhaps this bull grey seal was to old to survive the storm earlier this week.




About Harry Nicholson

I once bred Beveren rabbits in all colours. Today, I'm an enameller who works with a kiln, fusing pictures in glass onto copper. On Amazon is my novel, 'Tom Fleck', set in the North of England of 1513 - the year of Flodden. A sequel to 'Tom Fleck' is 'The Black Caravel' published in 2016. My anthology of poems came out in 2015: 'Wandering About.' Recently I published memoirs of my time in the Merchant Navy: 'The Best of Days' and 'You'll See Wonders" I've a blog of poems, stories and art at:
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