Thursday, 5 April 2018

Dramatic cliff falls on Eastern Beach - and at Hanger Cliff: "our common assets"

A huge amount of cliff has fallen onto the Eastern Beach:

Hundreds of tons fall in latest Sidmouth cliff fall | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald
Sidmouth cliff falls caught on video by our readrs | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald

And on the River Sid itself, there has been damage to the steep sides of the overhanging cliff - otherwise known as the Hanger Cliff:

Sidmouth is mere metres away from disaster, says clifftop resident | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald

Since then, besides national television coverage, it is understood that the Environment Agency has paid the sites a visit.

A correspondent notes:

I was reminded of the description of the Ham and the Hanger from over a century ago by Rising Bray in Chapter XIII of his superb reflections in "I Give You Sidmouth":

A fine way of calculating our common assets.

The Hanger cliff on the eastern bank of the Sid, by the Ham, over a century ago

THE red cliff of the Hanger is always wonderful to me. Its colours deepen as it absorbs the rain, as the light fades when evening comes or clouds cover the sky, but nothing can rob it of its warmth of tone. I often go to the sea front by way of the Ham so that i can recapture old and win new sensations from its changing wealths of colour. Red sandstone, weathered and shaped by wind, rain and frost, always has a great appeal for me. Granite shows a hardness in its cold greys, limestone is generally dull in colour, harsh in its shape, bur red sandstone seems to tell me that the heart of our great earth is warm and kindly. It is this warm heart that is exposed on the Hanger cliff; when I pass there I have the same feeling that one gets when, for a moment, the barriers that we erect between ourselves and our most intimate friends are broken through in some supreme emotional crisis and the hidden things, too sacred to be bandied to and fro in our exchange of common thought, are spoken of freely. Then love comes singing down life’s way, sympathy and understanding are born, and strength passes from heart to heart.

from I Give You Sidmouth chapter 13, by Rising Bray

Rising Bray - AbeBooks

And so the cliffs keep collapsing - on both sides of Pennington Point - along the river and along the beach:

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