Three unexploded shells have been uncovered by the St Jude’s Day Storm.
A wander along Hurst Spit today in a stately 25 knot wind revealed some unexpected side-effects of yesterday’s 99mph-wind storm (89mph at Hurst Castle).
The first noticeable evidence of damage to the spit itself were the huge ‘claw’ marks scarring the eastern site of the shingle bank. At first glance it looks as if some huge taloned beast has taken swipes at the spit. In fact (obviously) these jagged gulleys have been created by the vast amount of water (sea and rain) hurled from the west over the beach. These temporary rivers carved their way through the shingle down into Keyhaven Pond.
The second, rather dramatic things that caught my eye were two huge genoa foresails on a couple of the moored yachts down below that hadn’t been adequately secured. Completely shredded by the wind, these fluttered madly in the breeze, completely wrecked.
I was half expecting some sort of damage to the shingle back itself, and it looked as if my suspicions were to be proven as I approached a Coastguard vehicle blocking further progress (with the help of a long ribbon) about three quarters of the way to the castle. The chap on duty had obviously been answering the same question all afternoon, but was good humoured and informative. Apparently the storm had indeed moved the shingle around and had uncovered three unexploded shells, one of which he described as being particularly dangerous… “Tap it with a hammer and it’ll go off”. A bomb disposal unit was on its way down from Tidworth, expected within the hour.
Let’s hope all’s well. I’ll try to get to the castle again tomorrow…