I like the groyne works on the seafront. We walk together towards the town along the pebbly beach. I am climbing over the old groynes, ones that are not being replaced and the weathering and action of the tides has worn them smooth into very un-machined curves and lines, slightly organic in a such a practical man-made barrier defying nature. Little pebbles are lodged between the planking, holes been created and shaped. Each groyne has a high and a low side with 2-3 even 4 feet of banked up pebbles on the western side of each groyne. You have to walk all the way up the beach to find things levelled out. Instead me and Fred jump down each one until we areforced up the stairs by fences and Plant Machinery Crossing Ahead notices. I’m a little overwhelmed by the massive scale of everything, the wood the diggers, it’s an engineering project with big tools, big materials and a big site.
I wondered if Chesil Beach and Dungeness were places formed by not having groynes?
It’s all a bit King Canutesque using considerable resources. I tried to guess off the top of my head how many groynes in the Herne Bay coast line – 150? Only one sixth are being replaced. It’s a very large number of groynes around the whole coastline of the UK which needs to be replaced every 50 years.
Could they compress recycled plastic enough to give it sufficient strength, cast rebars into it?
Anyway, the 9x9inch uprights are huge pieces of wood. They are stacked in piles ready to use. These uprights are really attracting me and I keep seeing them every day. I have used this same Green Heart wood in the past to create a public bench. It is the hardest wood I have ever come across, it took me 15 minutes to drill a hole through it, (it was quite a long hole) and it soon made my drill bit rather blunt. Seeing these 9×9’s everywhere is a little like waiting for a bus for me when you never see huge uprights, then two situations with large uprights come along together. The other is an art situation. Not 9×9 Green Heart posts but 7×7 oak uprights. I will have to carve Celtic inspired imagery into the large posts and I will have to do it in situ from a scaffold tower. It would be better if they had not been installed yet and I could do it horizontally, but hey what’s not to like. That’s probably why I see posts everywhere. The story behind how the work came about is such a coming together of remote possibilities and circumstances as to be a little spooky! Another time may be.