A mile of coast, leasehold and freehold, blocked out in the west, clean lines along the flat sheet. To the south, The Willows; to the north, Withernsea Sands. The park is not a public park, it is a retirement camp, hedged and fenced, orderly plots, concrete stops the drift into back country. The centre of the camp is left blank. The caravans look through the town, facing front, letting go of the east. A mile of sands, staked from end to end: the stakes make up the groyne fields, every hundred yards a forced beach, timber sticking out of the sea wall into the sea. It is the town’s measure and protection. At the north end, as Waxholme Road is bent inland, the waves sink the timbers, the waves sink the field lines. The town doesn’t move. Another camp is settled next to Withernsea Sands, Seathorne, an overspill, the camps divided by Waxholme Road. Seathorne is not on the town plan and has no revetments to the east. For every position held by a caravan, two lie vacant: grey-green gaps where the chassis used to rest, a caravan’s width between them. It is not enough to make rank.
Withernsea to Hornsea, 11 May 2014
This is the first section of the third and final account in the East Wind series. You can read the full text of The Wind Rose on Caught by the River. An extract from the first part, Half-winds, appears here; an extract from the second, The Compass Rose, appears here.
The complete texts of the East Wind series, with additional haiku, are now available in a limited edition set of three hand-stitched, hand-stamped pamphlets from Gordian Projects. Click here for more details.