Devastating storm hits Aberystwyth Promenade

When I wrote on 4 November of the ferocious storm which tore up pavings on the promenade it seemed an exceptional occurence.  But the combined high winds and spring tides of Friday 3 January have demoted that earlier storm to the merest footnote. Yesterday it seemed the whole of Aberystwyth was out upon the promenade, viewing the devastation.

Devastation on Aberystwyth Promenade

The telescope, still attached to its huge coping stone, stands awry amongst the displaced paviours and sand

As with the last storm the most violent damage was wreaked in the area opposite the Marine Hotel with great areas of ornamental paving and setts tossed like lego bricks amongst the invading beach sand.  Impressively the sprouting spring bulbs in the seaside planters hung bravely on by the roots, their pale green leaf shoots suddenly exposed by the seceding waves.  Long stretches of the familiar white railings however, were gone. A little further south the Victorian timber shelter seemed, at first glance to have escaped lightly, with just some splintering to its pitch pine frame.  It stands on a man made drum shaped piece of sea wall, which perhaps deflected the waves upwards.  But closer inspection revealed a sinister hole in the paving between it and the sea. 20140104_130656Viewed from the beach, it became clear that the sea had excavated a cave into the void beneath the shelter.  A group of police assembled as the tide receded, to prevent risky exploration beneath the hole in the roof.  I am told this promentory was once the site of tha Aberystwyth gallows. Another bystander said there had formerly been changing rooms accessible from the sands below the shelter.

A sea cave excavated beneath the public shelter

A sea cave excavated beneath the public shelter

Further towards the pier, the railings of the paddling pool had been felled as a single entity, and deep beach sand extended right across the road.

The paddling pool

Beach sand covers the promenade

Even where the land level rises at the south end of the promenade the suction of the waves had neatly removed individual or small areas of the ornamental setts with which the prom was refurbished some years ago.

Paving lifted by the force of the sea

This surely will be remembered as the great Aberystwyth storm, – depending on the next one, which they say will be along tomorrow….

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3 thoughts on “Devastating storm hits Aberystwyth Promenade

  1. Just seen the news item about the seafront on the local Welsh news. They had some councillor or somebody saying what a terrible business all the damage to the historic seafront was, and what a pity that the Grade II listed Victorian shelter was being destroyed. …I couldn’t believe it: the weather was calm (certainly calm enough to hold a television interview right in front of it), and the tide was out — a few council-workers with a truck, a chain and an angle-grinder could have cut the thing off its moorings and pulled it down before the next onslaught. At least it could have then been salvaged and restored at a later date.

    I wonder what use the council are: we pay a fortune in council tax, and yet our roads (at least in my corner of Wales) are atrocious all year round, with countless unrepaired pot-holes (and even long-standing craters) that keep the local garages doing a roaring trade, fixing tyres, wheels and suspensions. The government are always passing rules and regulations about what ordinary folk can and cannot do when trying to renovate listed buildings: yet when the ball’s in their court, what do they do? They let the sea smash a beautiful Grade II listed shelter to smithereens.

    And seeing a local councillor standing in front of a piece of Welsh heritage which has stood for well over a century, and doing absolutely nothing to rescue the thing (even though it could certainly have been saved) was surreal and depressing.

    • @ Baffled. You are so right about the shelter, and the failure of the council to engage their brains. I wonder if any of the structure is redeemable.

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