Geoffrey's 2010 Tour of Brighton and Hove

The Beach

By Geoffrey Mead

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Photo:The beach

The beach

Photo by Geoffrey Mead

A place of endless fascination

As a Brighton born resident and as a geographer, the beach is endlessly fascinating to me. It changes with every wave, every tide, and every season. Different tides and current flows, different wind directions all create a range of shapes and appearances. On a very low tide after an easterly gale, to the east of the Palace Pier, I have seen the remains of the old Chain Pier that blew down in 1896. To the west of the pier at low tide you can see the freshwater streams pouring down from their chalk aquifer.

100 million year old flint

These shingle formations seen south of the Bandstand are termed Beach Cusps in the trade. Ridges of shingle and hollows of sand between, which develop at right angles to the wave front; they occur with a slack sea on an ebb tide, the shingle sifted and shaped as if by a giant rake. Wiped out on the next tide. Ephemeral and perfect, and best seen from a height, not easy on Brighton beach but try the Palace Pier at low light. The shingle is formed in flint 100 million years old; the shapes are hours old…almost Zen.      


The beach

This page was added on 20/06/2010.

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