In terrific weather on September 2, 2023, there was a splendid event to celebrate the installation of the bell. A group of people, many ringing bells of all types, walked from the Man and Boy statue to Breakwater Beach, where the town band gave a terrific performance. Pauline Neal spoke about the meaning of the bell both nationally and locally, and was followed by Marcus, who gave the artist's perspective. Councillor Michael Roseveare accepted the bell on behalf of the town, and Helen Lovell, Area Officer of the Fisherman's Mission, pointed out the meaning of bells to fishermen, and gave it a blessing. And finally, just round the corner at the Shoalstone Pool, there was a performance of the Time and Tide Bell Commission On the Strandline. A terrific day, a finale to five year's work on the part of Pauline, Chris Bryson, and others.
July 6 2023 marked the end of an extraordinary period of time - about 8 years - for Rob Payne, Liz Dixon and their colleagues in Happisburgh to have been working on getting the bell in place. Their delight that the installation had at last come to pass shines out of the video below, as does Rob's beautiful analysis of the range of meanings the bell can embrace.
The triumphant installation was followed on a slightly rainy Sunday 9th by the celebration. Among other speakers Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall powerfully placed the bell in its Norfolk context, and in particular the fast eroding Happisburgh cliffs. As did Nick Crane, formerly of the BBC's Coast programme, remembering damp encounters with other Time and Tide bells. The Red Rebel Brigade made an enigmatic and very powerful appearance (accompanied by a rather lonely climate denier).
Dedicated by Pete Moser, at 1.31 on June 23 2023, to the strikers of the NEU and the people of Palestine.
The beautiful day of Tuesday, June 6 2023 saw, at long last, the installation of the bell. It was a triumph for the sustained effort, over five years, of Pauline Neal and her colleagues, and more recently Chris Bryson. It could not have taken place without a great deal of hard work from the Brixham Gig Club, as a glance at the video will make abundantly clear.
On a day of glorious weather, May 27 2023, the bell was finally inaugurated - a triumph for Richard Parks, Phil Gadd and colleagues at the Friends of Par Beach. It was a double festivity, because it very deliberately coincided with PAR-teee, organised by our dear friends of Prodigal UPG, who created a rich day of "PAR-formance and PAR-ticipation", including a wonderful performance of our commission On the Strandline.
Another glorious moment was a procession along the beach of about 300 people, led by a band and above all the Green Team, from year 5 of Tywardreath School, to hear the sound of the bell, followed by the answering ringing of the school bell, originally used by ARP (Air Raid Protection) Wardens in the second world war; two forms of warning.
The video below captures a tiny flavour of the day.
April 20, 2023, was a big day on Par Beach! It was the culmination of years of hard work by Richard Parks and his team at the Friends of Par Beach.
The complex new structure was carefully placed onto the helical piles that had been bored into the sand. All was done in time for the incoming tide.The striking white struts are in fact stainless steel covered with clay cylinders - homage to the local China Clay industry.
This stunning design is a wonderful addition - the ninth - to the family steadily growing round the coast. The photos below illustrate it from various perspectives, and at different times of the day. The bell is fully submerged at high water springs, hence the need for the (temporary) buoy above it - it would otherwise be a hazard to navigation..
A beautiful sunny, and windy, day. As ever, the highest tide of the month, played this and last month by Beth de Lange.
Thinking about the Facing the Past project in Lancaster that is focused on the slave trade. Beth singing a sing by Angeline Morrison called 'Unknown African Child' while playing the bell.
This is a charming and insightful interview with Libby Scarfe about her work with children at her beach school.
It comes from the podcast series Turning Little Stones, by Caroline Allen. Much more here.
Stand by for a huge day on May 27. Not only will the newly installed bell be formally inaugurated, accompanied by much festivity and celebration, but our dear friends from Prodigal UPG will be putting on PAR-teee, 'their 'free, family festival of PAR-formance and PAR-ticipation'! What more could anyone want?
It isn't strictly about sea level rise, but the current (at the time of writing) cyclone causing havoc in the North Island of New Zealand has prompted this very impassioned speech by James Shaw, co-leader of the Green Party.
Here is a particularly successful improvisation with two performers, at High Water Springs in January 2023.