Times and Fortunes Change……


Sunderland Point, Lancashire

I have always loved the tranquility of this isolated part of the Lancashire Coast.  Arrive and you step back a few hundred years.

Sunderland Point is located on a marshy peninsular, a peninsular that protrudes like a thumb into the wider expanse of Morecambe Bay. at the mouth of the River Lune.

Just a few miles upstream on the Lune, is the City of Lancaster and its port at St. Georges Quay. Morecambe Bay has a very large rise and fall in the twice daily cycle of the tides. This meant the shipping had to make quick dashes up the Lune on high tides to reach Lancaster….. dashes that could be effected by the winds for the boats sails.

It was here at Sunderland Point in the very early 1700’s that a ‘coastal port’ was created. It was at a time when cargo ships were designed to be driven on to the beaches at high tide, then as the water levels fell, could be unloaded directly on to horse drawn wagons on the beach….. the wagons and their goods travelling onwards to Lancaster and beyond.  The beach being long could accommodate a large number of vessels at any time.  Turn round time for the boats was quicker. Sunderland Point had its own Harbour Masters Office, Customs Offices, and supply stores, it had all the makings for a successful future.

But progress during the 1700’s gathered pace peace that speeded up in the 1800’s, conspiring to make Sunderland Point an outdated idea.

Canals, locks to create docks that remained full of water, the replacement of sail with steam power, and ultimately the railways. …. all  progress that made Sunderland redundant.

Today, Sunderland Point is still for me a magical place.  Its peace and tranquility is helped by being only assessable at low tides. It gives a glimpse into a past life. Being unchanged in character has made it attractive to film companies seeking a period location……  but it is also a great sanctuary for the extensive sea bird population of Morecambe Bay.

Wherever you are and whatever your tasks for the day….

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

28th June

(C) David Oakes 2022

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