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..
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?
Here is Jon Best's contribution to a number of poems written by the Poetry group in Par.
Saturday March 5th 2022 saw much fruitful work by Richard Parks, chair of the Friends of Par Beach. All to the backdrop of a half-bell just delivered by Marcus Vergette, currently in Cornubia, the local venue encouraging social enterprise, encouraging creativity and promoting healthy living.
The wonderful performance we commissioned from Prodigal UPG has been touring to a few locations, including the Eden project, during the summer of 2021. The aim is that it should be performed at as many bell sites as possible in 2022. Here is a brief trailer.
The website Climate Central came in for a bit of stick from the BBC R4 programme More or Less on 1.7.21. It shows maps of the world together with their liability to flooding from sea level rise. On the site it looks as if most of Holland and surprisingly large areas of the UK will be under water on one of its default maps, 'Land projected to be below Annual Flood Level in 2050'.
We would be the last to want to understate the potential impact of sea level rise, but there is a lack of clarity here. The explanation lies in the fact that outside the USA, the site does not take account of existing or planned sea defences. However, that is exactly the situation in Par - it has no such, merely a low-lying beach, and there are no plans to build any; too costly. So although it is simply computer-generated from elevation data in Google maps, this image, taken from the site, may well be a reasonably accurate forecast of what will happen in due course given the coincidence of a storm surge and seas rising at 4.5mm per annum - or more.
The team in Par, among MANY other things, have put work into designing a logo for their bell. It follows our national approach - the same outline, but with colour ways chosen locally, for historic or other reasons.
At the centre of this design is the white cross on a black background, the flag of Cornwall.
Marcus has completed an outline design for the installation in Par.
And the location is becoming clearer, in the fairway of the former river route.
It is shown slightly more clearly in this aerial photo - the location is marked with a red dot.
An excellent team is forming to drive things forward. Watch this space!
The sound of the clay dryers at the West end of the beach reveals the breadth and depth of the involvement of Imerys Minerals Ltd in Par - as employer and also through the channels, no longer used, through which ships used to pass. Their works show in the background of this photo.