Monday, 7 December 2015

Durham Heritage Coast - Sunday 6th December 2015

My diary

They said the sun might shine today. Instead half of Cumbria was underwater. I hope that wasn't my fault because Durham is next under the microscope and it's not that far away.

I needed a few things from the shops and Pauline needed to get out so we took the wheelchair up to Tesco. We were back in time for me to start on the dinner. Rita joined us as I fought my way through my first lasagne. I followed a recipe. Pauline, of course, kept overseeing and saying "It would be quicker if you use a can of sauce." which I'm told is par for the course for any man playing in a woman's kitchen. In the end I did it my way and I'd do it again.

This afternoon was another stint at Wyevale. This time it was with Zoe and very little wind. It was a pleasant afternoon and people were again generous without being asked. We did all right.

My meanderings

My next trip up to Durham was courtesy of Skoda. They conducted a new car launch from what was then a fledgling Seaham Hall. Today the place looks much the same but standards have been raised and now the hotel is award winning. I remember the approach and the artistic courtyard. There were lots of attempts at art deco and such inside. Over a 14 year period I attended hundreds of car launches and many were from stately homes or top rate hotels. Seaham Hall was different from anything we'd experienced to that point.

Seaham Hall

Whenever I visit a new place, if we get chance to talk to the locals I question them about the area. When I asked about Seaham and what there was to see I was told not to bother, at least for a few years. I later found out what that meant. The area from Seaham down the coast to Crimden was all coal mining, and the miners found it very easy to tip the slag over the cliff. This resulted in blackened cliffs, even darker beaches and a barren stretch of wasteland.

The local authorities got together as the mines started to close from the late 80s to the early 90s. They began a programme of footpath construction and a mass clean up. There is still evidence of the crimes but it is fast disappearing. If you have the time you can walk 11 miles from Seaham down to Crimden enjoying a plethora of wildflowers, beaches that are becoming ever more attractive, cliffs of real character, and rare wildlife such as the little tern and the Northern Brown Argus butterfly.

Noses Point

Durham Heritage Coast

Northern Brown Argus

Grassland at Horden

I've solved the Confucius warning "Beware the yellow peril coming from the east." It's the sun, bringing storms, pollution and global warming. No wonder we didn't see it this summer. It was ashamed to show its face.