56b – Littlehampton to Elmer
On our way out of Littlehampton and into Climping, we passed a loopholed wall. It was some kind of fortification. What was this, or what did it used to be? Certainly Littlhampton has its own fort, the Littlehampton Redoubt, built in 1854, to protect the mouth of the River Arun from French attack during the Napoleonic Wars, but that lay back east. This was something different. It was made of reinforced concrete; a World War II fortification perhaps?
It doesn’t take much green to make all the difference to a landscape, especially when there is a clear blue sky to accentuate it.
The wearing effect of the sea gives wood beautiful, ornate surfaces. The breakwaters we found on this walk had come from trees long dead, cut by machines and planed into straight edges, fitted square against each other, giving splinters to those foolhardy enough to glide their hand over the surfaces. But once fixed in place the sea gets to work, smoothing the hard edges of each slat into random patterns, like fingerprints, no one the same as the other. The splinters are soothed until the surface of the wood, bleached by the sun, is as smooth as the original living wood of the tree. It regains its character, perhaps even its soul. As if to recognise this, the sea provides clothing as the algae takes root and grows on its surface.
Points on this part of the walk (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):
- Unknown Ruins: N 50° 47.943 W 000° 33.989
- Timber Boards: N 50° 47.504 W 000° 35.915
Walk #56 Statistics (of which this post forms the second part):
- Date of Walk: 28 July 2013
- Walk #56 total distance covered: 8.30 miles
- Coast of Britain Walk Total Distance Covered: 462.52 miles
- CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO INTERACTIVE MAP!!!