Lost To The Sea
by Stephen Wade
Lost to the sea seeks to document the lost communities that have been washed away to the the sea in Britain.
I found this to be rather lyrical in the introduction and enjoyed the beginning of the first chapter, but I found it dry and repetitive after that. When I say repetitive, I don’t mean the exact same information, but very similar situations. Historical records are used to show bits and pieces of communities are being washed away. A woman sitting having tea is surprised to find part of her house missing, land owner’s expressing shock at how much land is being washed away, etc. All various evidence demonstrating the plight of ever increasing missing land, but there is nothing that really draws me in. I felt it lacked depth. I think this would be better for a local that is familiar with the area.
Once there was a Roman settlement on what is now Filey Brig. In Holderness, a prosperous town called Ravenser saw kings and princes on its soil, and its progress threatened the good people of Grimsby. But the Romans and the Ravenser folk are long gone, as are their streets and buildings – sunk beneath the hungry waves of what was once the German Ocean. Lost to the Sea: The Yorkshire Coast & Holderness tells the story of the small towns and villages that were swallowed up by the North Sea. Old maps show an alarming number of such places that no longer exist. Over the centuries, since prehistoric times, people who settled along this stretch have faced the constant and unstoppable hunger of the waves, as the Yorkshire coastline has gradually been eaten away. County directories of a century ago lament the loss of communities once included in their listings; cliffs once seeming so strong have steadily crumbled into the water. In the midst of this, people have tried to live and prosper through work and play, always aware that their great enemy, the relentless sea, is facing them. As the East Coast has lost land, the mud flats around parts of Spurn, at the mouth of the Humber, have grown. Stephen Wade’s book tells the history of that vast land of Holderness as well, which the poet Philip Larkin called ‘the end of land’.