Letter: Beauty of Staithes harbour disappearing

Crowds gathered in Staithes today for the naming ceremony and service of dedication for the new B class lifeboat Sheila and Dennis Tongue III at Staithes and Runswick Lifeboat Station. Saturday 15 April 2017. w171502c Picture: Ceri Oakes
Crowds gathered in Staithes today for the naming ceremony and service of dedication for the new B class lifeboat Sheila and Dennis Tongue III at Staithes and Runswick Lifeboat Station. Saturday 15 April 2017. w171502c Picture: Ceri Oakes
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I was born into a fishing family in Staithes and lived all my young life living in the old village, but am now living at Lane End and in my eighties.

I was privileged to go down to St Peter’s Church service recently.

It was beautiful, the sun was shining and it was heaving with visitors, lovely to see our village alive and thriving.

Then I got to the harbour side, it was low tide and what a site to behold.

I got the most horrific shock of my life at the silt that has built up in our once beautiful little harbour - a place where we children learned to swim in crystal clear water and able to observe our wonderful sea floor.

All the flat rock, when at low tide, with its small pools once abundant with crustaceans, winkles, whelks and where occasionally we would see embedded fossils, where small children could safely play and use their fishing nets to their heart’s content.

The larger pool where they could safely swim and use their inflatables - nowhere to be seen.

Nothing now but sand and silt.

I looked for the high ledge which ran down the inside of the south pier, where we as youngsters used to fish for doggers and small fish, that too has disappeared under piles of silt.

Has this carnage of build-up of sand been caused by the groyne that is attached to this pier being erected in the wrong place, as I was told, and never rectified?

Once again I take up the challenge, open up the flow, north and south sides, let the sea and nature take its course.

You never know, we might once again have the beautiful harbour of my youth and as depicted on very old postcards, and children would be able to play in safety once again.

Winifred Craig

Cliff Road, Staithes