The Old Minehead Harbour
Minehead Harbour today
One of the 7 plaques designed by Sue Webber
At the start of the South West Coastal Parth
When I was a youngster I sometimes cycled from Taunton, where I lived, to Minehead and back in a day. I usually did this with a friend. Our purpose was to enjoy the ride, and do some sunbathing, if the sun cooperated. In those days, sunbathing was not the dangerous activity it is now, on account of a weakening of the Ozone Layer.
Minehead brings back other memories for me, especially one when I arrived there in a small sharpie after sailing with a friend from Highbridge. We set out on a day sail with that purpose in mind, but the wind headed us and the only way we could make progress was by walking the boat through the surf. Needless to say, we both became very cold and exhausted. After securing the boat in the harbour we returned home late that night to find our parents in a state of panic. They thought we had been lost at sea. There was no way we could have communicated with them to inform them of our safe arrival at Minehead, because they had no telephone, nor did any of our immediate neighbours.
One thing I noticed on my recent visit was that nature of the beach had changed. In my teenage years there was a gorgeous sandy cove; now it is mostly rocks, pebbles and weeds. Apparently a severe storm in 1990 washed away the sand, and badly flooded parts of the town. The importation of 320,000 tons of sand in 1999 seems to have made little difference, neither has the expenditure of £12.6 million on building sea defences, although the new sea wall will undoubtedly help minimize the threat of flooding.
The Harbour, if you can call it a harbour, is much the same as I remember it 60 years ago, but of more recent origin are seven plaques attached to the wall by the walkway. They were designed by Sue Webber, and they represent the rich maritime history of Minehead which can be explored by surfing the NET.
Not far from the Harbour there is a large sculpture symbolizing the South West Coastal Path that follows the coastline from there for 630 miles to Poole, on the South Coast.
Minehead – Wikipedia
South West Coast Path
South West Coast Path Association
Sue Webber – The Minehead Harbour Plaques
Sue Webber – Profile
Minehead Lifeboat Station
Archive Photos of Minehead Lifeboat
Minehead Maritime Legacy Sets Sail