It’s lovely to find a new place to visit, somewhere local, beautiful and free! We found that place a matter of months ago!
It may seem odd, but as children, we were always taken to the usual seaside towns on the North East coast (Whitley Bay, Tynemouth and South Sheilds).
Other beaches were spoiled by the coalmines near them, where the coal slag would be dumped! These beaches were black with coal dust, and therefore we had never visited them! With lottery funding they have now been cleaned up, and we were amazed when we took a ride down to Seaham, County Durham for the afternoon. Dog friendly with free parking! Perfect!
The poodles adored the rock pools and paddled to their hearts content! But then we started to notice people looking down at the sand and pebbles.
We noticed more and more people looking down on the ground and picking things up! So we asked “what are you doing?” We were soon to discover that there was, nearly a hundred years ago, Europe’s largest glass making plant! The spoils at the end of each day were thrown into the sea, where now they wash up as beautiful rounded glass pebbles!
People treasure hunt on the beach after every tide, collecting the glass to make jewellery from, or just to fill a jar for the windowsill.
Well my day ended with aching calf muscles and an empty water bottle now filled with pieces of glass! There’s also lots of lovely broken ceramic pieces to be found as well as marbles, which apparently were used as ballast in 16th century ships, which wrecked off the coast and wash up on shore.
It’s so addictive looking for the glass, clear frosted pebbles are in abundance, colours being more tricky to find! I love doing things like this, it clears your mind of everything, you focus on just one task, searching for the glass! Excellent therapy for the mind! I get the same feeling when blackberry picking in the wild.
I met Chris rummaging with her trowel, who lives locally and turns her finds into jewellery or sells superb rainbow specimens via Facebook, (oceangb seaglass)
She knew loads about the glass and she’s an expert on finding it, we both laughed the day we met because we could hardly see a thing out of our specs because of sea spray!
Obviously she came after the tide had gone out for the best finds! She also told me rough weather turns up more treasures! “End of the day” glass
is the most sought after, where different colours we squashed together, just like “end of day ” bakelite!
So what was I going to do with my finds? I decided to make some resin bangles, with moulds bought online. I carefully placed some of the resin in the moulds
then with tweezers, dropped small bits of seaglass in, all the way round, and topped them off with more resin (kits available from hobby shops)
They turned out well,
but sadly were too small for me to get on! I gave them to my friend Marty who helped me tackle this project, coasters are on the cards for me next!
Seaham also has lots of great sculptures, some, like the Vane Tempest one, has a very mid century feel to it, it’s there to commemorate the pit that stood there
bearing the same name.
More famous is Tommy, the first world war soldier who sits on the seafront, after a temporary placing the town-folk fell in love with him, and raised to funds
to keep him. Tommy evokes numerous emotions, he’s stunning from all angles. He sits near to where the Londonderry glass bottle works once stood.
Mr John Candlish started the works in 1853 bottles were sent all over the world. In-fact,John loved to tell the story of how he was served beer in a remote part of India from one of his own bottles! At it’s peak it produced 20 million bottles a Year! The introduction of machine made bottles heralded the end for the handmade ones from Seaham in 1921 during the coal strike.
The coloured ceramic pieces I found on the beach inspired my choice of outfit! bright secondary colours, Teal, lime, mint with pink, and of course poodles!
This is original poodle printed fabric from the 1950’s. I just managed to get a dress out of the piece I had luckily.
My Ida shoes were from Rocket Originals, this lovely reproduction lucite bag comes from Lola von Rose they produce several wonderful colours, I’d love them all!
My hair flower is from Shazam Hairflowers.