Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Budleigh Salterton's cliffs: "like anchovy paste spread upon toast"

Looking good enough to eat: cliff erosion on the sea front at Budleigh Salterton
My little piece about Cyril Shere's forthcoming talk to the Friends of Fairlynch Museum on Monday 17 January was duly posted at http://budleighbrewsterunited.blogspot.com/2011/01/budleigh-salterton-even-older-than-you.html as I am now the Museum's press officer.

Cyril will no doubt dwell in his talk on that difference between the Triassic Coast, where Budleigh Salterton is situated, and the Jurassic Coast which makes up much of Dorset's shoreline.

It's a difference which has been staring us in the face for centuries of course. Just after I'd posted my promotional piece for the Museum I spotted via a Google news alert the mention of a 19th century versifier's view which Cyril might like to quote for his talk.

This is a certain R.H.D. Barham, son of the author of The Ingoldsby Legends, who retired to live in Dawlish and died there in 1886.

In his poem The Monk of Haldon he contrasts East Devon's Triassic Coast, looking "like anchovy paste spread upon toast" with the way in which the Jurassic Coast of "neighbouring Dorset gleams white as a ghost."

Click on Wayland Wordsmith's most erudite blog about the Exe Estuary at http://waylandwordsmith.blogspot.com/ and the equally erudite, scholarly and informative site of JSBlog for 11 January 2011 at http://segalbooks.blogspot.com/ run by Topsham-based Ray Girvan, and you'll find the relevant section of the poem.

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