Category Archives: Allonby

Snippet 15: The continuing mystery of the piddocks

The tide is ebbing and, along the inner edge of a shallow channel on the shore, it has deposited a line of offerings, neatly sorted: predominantly mussel shells, some black, some striped, all shining wetly in the October sun; a … Continue reading

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The saltpans at Crosscanonby

The tides and currents have sorted the sizes and colours of the shingle, and here on the upper shore near Crosscanonby I am walking over shapes that are large – and predominantly red: lumps and discs of the New Red … Continue reading

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‘Cold cases’: land-scape puzzles on the Solway shore

“Mr Cash went to Beckfoot … the submerged forest was not visible and I regret to say the residents he inquired from had not even heard of it”. So wrote Brian Blake in his 1955 book The Solway Firth, which … Continue reading

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The vanishing keel on Ship’s-keel Scaur

Back in 2015 near Dubmill Point on Allonby Bay I finally found what I’d been searching for: the ‘ship’s keel’ for which Ship’s-Keel Scaur is named. Its timbers were as hard as iron, the keel (if that is what it … Continue reading

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Time-warps and gnomons

It was a fine bright morning, there was still a sprinkling of snow on the fells, but Spring was clearly on its way; I’d spent too much time at my desk writing and longed for the changed perspective of the … Continue reading

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Snippets 11: big moon, big tides, at Allonby Bay

On Monday night the full moon, its face very slightly squashed, shone down on a stormy Solway Firth. The brown silt-laden waves pounded ashore and shortly after midnight the incoming tide that was battering the sea-defences at Dubmill Point reached … Continue reading

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Allonby Bay MCZ: a ‘slimy dangerous place?’

Allonby Bay, on Cumbria’s Solway coast, recently became a Marine Conservation Zone; there are now 50 MCZs in English and ‘non-devolved’ waters and proposals for more are under consideration. Most people, probably, neither know nor would they care. Here are … Continue reading

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Ship’s-keel scaur: but whose keel?

On a warm, calm evening in May, at a low Spring tide, Ronnie Porter led me along the shore at Allonby. As we walked, he showed me the various rocky scaurs and boulders, and he told me their names. Near … Continue reading

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The design of the Solway: an aerial perspective, part 2

September 2nd, 0845h: Andrew Lysser, pilot, aerial photographer, instructor, and owner of Cumbria Gyroplanes, and I lifted off from the runway at Carlisle airport in a silver-coloured gyroplane. This time I wasn’t nervous, and there was no wall of rain … Continue reading

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Hobbling through Allonby with an Idle Apprentice

“Of course there was a reading-room. Where? Where! why, over there. Where was over there? Why, there! Let Mr. Idle carry his eye to that bit of waste ground above high-water mark, where the rank grass and loose stones were … Continue reading

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