On a day of glorious weather, May 27 2023, the bell was finally inaugurated - a triumph for Richard Parks and his 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..
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.
The bell was formally inaugurated by Cllr Ivan Henderson, Mayor of Harwich Town Council, on October 9, 2022. It was a terrific day, with children performing to a shanty, speeches, thank-yous to the many people who had brought the project to life, and a specially written shanty. About 150 people were present, and the bell duly rang. It is the eighth to be installed around the coast of the UK.
The video below features a conversation between Marcus Vergette, whose concept the bell is, and Libby Scarfe, prime mover of the project in Harwich.
There is also a good interview by Owen Ward of the podcast Essex by the Sea here.