A benign spell of weather made for a bright morning at Selsey Bill, with the inshore boats bringing whelks, crab and lobster ashore as I arrived. I asked a retired fisherman, Norman James Woodland, what the beach means to him. Before the interview, he told me traceable generations of his family had been fishing at Selsey Bill for 932 years, an unbroken chain that other families can also claim. It was therefore a great pleasure to hear his recollections of time spent aboard and on land with his father.
The recollections of Norman James Woodland.
A morning scene at Selsey Bill in West Sussex.
The western shoreline at Selsey Bill is being protected and managed in two ways, with the West Sands Coastal Protection Scheme guarding the beach at the Holiday Park and the Medmerry Managed Realignment Scheme being developed by the Environment Agency. That beach is on Manhood Peninsula, the most southerly tip of West Sussex. This visit was to the eastern beach. It’s a base for inshore fishermen and is well known for Selsey crab, as well as for hosting the Lifeboat Station. The current station will soon be replaced by a new boat and launching system, as explained by coxswain Martin Rudwick, below.
Fisherman David’s relationship with the beach.
An interview with coxswain Martin Rudwick of the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea.
Looking back towards East beach in Selsey from the end of the Lifeboat House walkway.