LIFE IN EAST HAVEN
We all loved living in East Haven. We learned that we could tell when the tide was turning as the far off ‘lightship’ swung around to alert us. This was important as we spent a lot of time on the
rocks and the tide came in quickly and could be dangerous. At night we could see the Bell Rock Lighthouse flashing red and white as it rotated. It was built on rocks, mostly submerged, with great difficulty in the early 1800s to prevent the multiple
shipwrecks that occurred on that hazardous section of coast. The rock originally had a bell tethered to it to warn ships, but usually by the time they heard the bell it was too late. Then, Ralph the Rover, cut the bell rope in an act of wanton
destruction so some more permanent and effective solution had to be found.
Life at East Haven was happy and busy. It was right on the beach and there were sand castles to build, tiny streams to dam up and rocks to clamber over. In the rock
pools, when the tide went out, there were hermit crabs and tiny fishes hiding in the seaweed. Under the ledges, real crabs secreted themselves, waiting for the tide to swell back again. The beach was a feeding ground for all sorts of birds, like
plovers and sand pipers. My love of all things natural stemmed from these years beach combing for shells and coloured pebbles. Drift wood came in all sorts of shapes and smoothness’s and sometimes a washed up glass fisherman’s ball would
be carried home as the prize of the day.
The beauty of the beach was that two tides a day always delivered fresh surprises, so it was exciting to see what the tide had brought in to delight us – Sheila Twine (Lawson)