Tuesday, 12 May 2009

ABC Wednesday - Q

Q is for Quicksand

This is the Leven Estuary where the River Crake feeds into Morecambe Bay, a 120 square mile intertidal area. Five rivers in total run into the bay creating shifting channels and water logged sand. It is also rich in wading birds who also use it as a wintering and passage area.
The point which is on the far side near hear was one of the places we used to go to the beach. It was reached via a railway viaduct. One of my vivid memories is of the heat of the wooden planks on our feet as we walked by the railway line which we took us over the channel and from where we would walk on the sea turf and round to the point. Each summer the area would be different, sometimes flat, sometimes with channels but quite magical. The viaduct has long gone now, no more trains, and has been replaced by a footbridge.

But back to the quicksand
One of the things to do as a child was to stamp up and down on the spot to make the sand go all wobbly, great fun. Some of the areas further out in the bay are far more dangerous.
In past times the stage coaches would come across the sands because this saved miles and miles of travel going round the bay, however, not all made it some sinking or being overtaken by tides when stuck. Legend has it that part of the Roman Army crossed the sands, never to be seen again. My grandmother told the story, to all her grandchildren, of standing as a young girl on Arnside Knot and seeing a horse and cart coming back from gathering cockles and then the man, horse and cart disappear within minutes.
There was such loss of life in earlier times that a guide was employed by the Duchy of Lancaster in 1536 to take people across the bay and the latest in this long line is Cedric Robinson who still guides groups of people across, but just for fun nowadays. The times of the crossing depend on the tide because as it says on the above notice they are fast rising and come in, as the local expression goes, "faster than a horse can run".

For lots more Qs go to Mrs Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday

11 comments:

photowannabe said...

Great information and quite a scary thing to be swallowed by quicksand. Yours will probably be the most original today.

Sylvia K said...

What an interesting post! I agree with photowannabe -- your post will undoubtedly be the most original today! Great photos, too! Have a great week!

Life with Kaishon said...

Fascinating stuff! I think Kaishon would LOVE to see this!

Tumblewords: said...

Wow! Quicksand...I've wondered what it looked like! Thanks for the information and the excellent photos!

Marie Reed said...

I can just imagine your Grandmother surrounded with breathless bambinos as she recounted these fabulous tales!

Carol said...

This is a very interesting post! I can't imagine seeing what your Grandmother saw.

Pamposh Dhar said...

Wow! Q is for quicksand - I never would have thought of that! And such amazing pictures and stories. Great post.

VP said...

Lovely post Joy and thanks for your visit over at mine.

I love the wideness and wildness of Morecombe Bay - but such treacherousness hidden by its charms.

Jay said...

Quicksands terrify me. The thought of being stuck and having the sands close over you, is only marginally worse than the thought of seeing one of my dogs get sucked down. That never happened, but on a wide, soggy beach, it always worried me that maybe there was a patch of quicksand that nobody knew about just waiting to eat my dog.

Beautiful. But deadly.

Phoenix said...

I really enjoyed reading this and what a great take on Q! That had to be very scary for your grandmother to watch that happen, but I am sure it taught her to keep off the quicksand. My grandparents lived in an area with a huge plot of land in back. There was quicksand there that my cousin and I use to make the sand all wobbly like you said it was fun, but oh so dangerous!

LiBeReJo said...

wow, interesting:)

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