Random Jottings

It's strange what you find on the beach...

As you may guess I love shore diving so spend time when I'm not in the water 'beach-combing', looking for bits of scrap that might indicate a small wreck close to the shore. This week I picked up something really odd-ball!

Or maybe not when you do the sums on how many Mark 14 sea-mines were actually made!

Firstly, I was upset to find that the shore conditions were not 'as advertised' and the visibility and conditions looked 'good' at the weekend, but no gear means no dives so I walked the area from Seahouses to Beadnell scouting up and down the skeers or steels looking for any sign of wreckage.

In the area in-front of the campsite there are a few bits of large wreckage visible on the rocks at low tide:


But I have never yet found anything when diving, that said there are tremendous volumes of sand which are moved around every year, it's not uncommon for around 4 feets depth of sand to be moved out of one area and thrown up and onto the beach, likewise there are times I have thought, 'hmmn this wall used to be about 10 feet high with a good lobster holding crack running along the bottom'.

I am not sure what this 'lump' was, it's large, visible and relatively close to a boiler so probably from a single loss, probably some sort of fishing boat that sank rather than was 'laid up', the laid up herring boats were 'hauled out' and are now within the creeping dunes, this vessel probably sank.

whatisit

Answers on a Postcard please?

Anyway, I digress, working past Beadnell Haven towards Delves Point I spotted some sort of hatch, hmmn flanged, about 2 feet diameter with 32 fixing holes, interesting, a little further along there was a piece of plate, curved in two rather than one dimension so not part of a boiler with some quite large machined and flanged holes, then another slightly smaller piece.

randominescrap

More scrap at home, this time non-ferrous

The penny then dropped could it be part of a sea-mine? I decided to take the pieces off the beach and investigate a bit further, they had no monetary value and this was an exercise of interest only but hey why not?

First port of call was to Seahoses where there is a sea-mine with a slot in the top to collect funds for the Christmas lights, a quick check indicated that the flanged section from the beach was a dead-ringer, exactly the same diameter and number of fixings, the curved sections were harder to check but fitted neatly over the body of the 'whole' mine again giving confidence that I had picked up the remnants of a mine!

topflange

A 'whole' mine


I have had a quick look at local press and there are no details on 'mine found washed up' but I will ask about and maybe spend a little time at Berwick looking through the newspaper archives, of course if the mine 'went up' during the war years then there would have been no big fan-fare.

What now, well I will probably shot-blast and treat the mine and put the parts by my Northumbrian base as some sort of curio, althernatively if the parts are not substantial enough to treat then I will put them doen onto the beach to rust away....

The weather does seem set to turn a little blowy this week so I may not manage a 'walk in' dive this week but the chaps at Sovereign are starting to run a regular service, so what are you waiting for?

Dive safe!

RichW
 

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