A Bite at Bude!



I have to say I was dismayed by this article in the Daily Mail, which reported the abuse of a surfer at Bude’s popular Summerleaze beach, by a paddle boarder.

Now, I’m not a Daily Mail reader, so this came to me via an alert. However, when I read it, I was taken aback on many levels.

Firstly, that the incident happened at all, and secondly that the report was so badly written. The article then went on to have a go about Cornish ‘nationalism’. I’m not Cornish but I found it offensive.

The feedback I received from posting it on FB was both useful and interesting. Not least was the expressed view that the story was taken entirely from Bude Banter, which is a popular FB group among Bude locals and others. That might explain why, although the report was said to be an interview, it didn’t really read like one. Nor did the Mail express any interest in adding the ending which was, yes, an apology. Swift action by the local police led to this outcome:

Bude Police came to see me at my work place this morning after seeing the video either on here or via youtube. They have been and spoken to the man in the video and he has apologised. I think this is now dealt with and I can’t praise Bude Police enough for coming to see me without being prompted. Thank you to the other chap for his apology; it truly does take a bigger man to say sorry than it does to say nothing.

As someone who loves Bude and tries to report it in a positive way, I’d like to challenge the Daily Mail to include the part about the prompt action by Bude Police, the apology from the paddle boarder, and the magnanimous acceptance of that by the surfer.  But that probably isn’t controversial enough.

I stick by #BigUpBude.

I’ve never been unfortunate enough to suffer any abuse in Bude in my four years here, which includes spending a lot of time at the beach.

The incident should not have happened. After this, I hope it will not happen again.

As for the surfing community, I think they’re amazing. I look at the work done by the volunteers who run Waveriders, and Budehaven’s Boardriders, who look out for each other. I think of the surf schools who go over and above the call of duty to help coach their pupils. I think of the Surf Life Saving Club and their great work.

And, I heard only this morning, that Bude surfers are having a 6.30am surf tomorrow, in honour/memory of their colleague, Rob Walters, who very recently sadly passed away. One of the guys has just reminded me (and I’ve mentioned them many times before) that Bude also has an active Surf Action group where they take ex veterans out to surf every Thursday and Saturday, helping them cope with both physical and mental problems they are having be it PTSD or physical injuries.

That, to me, is far more indicative of the Bude community than the Daily Mail take on the story.

Urban Surfers Head to the Sea - Lesson 1



  • Avatar Mark A Wyatt says:

    Excellent response to their appalling journalism and thinly veiled attacks on the Cornish.

  • well done Dawn. Great response to a foul story.

  • Avatar nosmig says:

    Well done Dawn; I agree with most of what you say – though I’m surprised you think the Mail might apologise. The only apologies I’ve ever seen printed in a national newspaper is after pressure – usually from the legal profession!

    • Hi Nosmig. I didn’t think the Mail might apologise. It’s not me who needs one! I just thought they might like to include the apology and outcome as part of the story……surely!!

  • Avatar Ian Saltern says:

    Excellent article Dawn. The Mail seems to have badly conflated abuse, ‘localism’ and Cornish identity.

    The point that Cornish identity has little to do with where you were born, or generations of ancestors is made abundantly clear through the annual schools census or PLASC. Over the past eight years, the number of children and young people choosing to identify their ethnicity as ‘Cornish’ has risen by 80%. This has to include a significant proportion of children from families who have moved to Cornwall – and that’s a great thing.

    A civic nationalism or identity, call it what you will, which is inclusive is something to be proud of. 5,000 people gathered in Redruth to celebrate St Piran’s Day – many of these were not born here, but felt that they too could celebrate an essential part of Cornish identity.

    The Mail got this very wrong – both the people in the video could claim Cornish identity if they chose to – that’s not the issue – the guy’s less surly attitude is. And he’s apologised now.

  • Avatar Billy Miles says:

    Let’s face it, we’re all missing the point here, it’s not really about the poor spelling or grammar, in the Daily Mail. it’s about a narrow minded man who’s been made to look like a total idiot and given his local break and community a bad name! Nationally now!!
    It should never have occurred, but most definitely happens every day, it just highlights a very old school way of thinking, hopefully he’s learnt to keep his mouth shut and save his opinions for his car or somewhere there isn’t a go pro camera!
    Good on the bloke who took the torrent of abuse for putting it up on YouTube and not rising to it, “do it again and I’ll put you in hospital” please, the water doesn’t need blokes like this it, Surfing drives the economy on quiet winter weekends, people will ‘accidentally’ drop in on others from time to time, suck it up, there’ll be another wave along in 20 seconds, it was hardly the final wave in comp final round!
    Overreaction, just a little.

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