The sea at Bude from the words of John Acland

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Thanks to one of our invaluable sponsors, musician Aidan B, for sharing a pamphlet originally written by Capt John E. Acland in 1914, which has provided some lovely insights into Bude.

As you know, from my books Secret Bude, Bude Postcards and Bude Through Time, I have a thing about Bude history, so to have access to this lovely pamphlet linking Bude in 1914 with its past is quite a privilege. The pamphlet starts with a discussion of the name Bude Haven. Carew in the sixteenth century described it thus:

“Bude, an open sandy bay, in whose mouth riseth a little hill, by every sea flood made an island, and thereon a decayed chapel; it spareth road only to such small shipping as bring their tide with them, and leaveth them dry when the ebb hath carried away the salt water”.

So, while Bude came into its own in Victorian times, it was obviously in use previously. By 1914, the ships still brought their tide with them, and the little hill was linked to land by the breakwater, though no trace remained of the decayed chapel dedicated to St Michael, though the “little island” was more accessible as a house of prayer than many other places.

Acland wrote that the sea at Bude has a power “all its own to claim admiration and wonder … notice the remarkable rise and fall of the tide, amounting frequently to over 26 feet, so different from the sluggish movement at many ‘watering places’. Notice also how swiftly the water comes in with the rising tide, engulfing the wide expanse of sand so recently left bare by the distant ebb. Stand on Summerleaze, or Compass Point, and notice two of the special characteristics of the sea on this rockbound coast; the length of the waves, line after line, rolling on in unbroken masses till they reach the shore; and the unending, unvarying sound as of distant thunder, which fills the air from morning to night”.

What a beautiful description. Accurate, too.

So, if you’re looking for a business name, maybe ‘The Long Wave’, ‘The Thundering Shore’, or ‘Full of Voices’ fits Bude exactly.  More to follow in bite-size pieces.

Meanwhile, a quick shout out for Aidan.





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