Category Archives: Culture: songs, stories, photography and art

Traditions and culture relevant to the world of real boating and sailors

The scary legend of the Broomway

I don’t know how true all this is – but it makes a damned good story… Keep out of the coffins folks!

Read more about it here, here, here and here.

‘For anyone who enjoys wandering out onto coastal flats during low-tide to explore the terrain, Britain’s Broomway has all the appearances of the perfect gateway. The tidal foot path, so-named for the hundreds of broomsticks that once marked its boundaries, has for nearly 600 years provided access from Essex, England to the farming communities of nearby Foulness Island.

‘The Broomway, however, is more dangerous than its name implies… For at least 100 people, and likely many more, it’s one walk they never returned from.

‘To access the Broomway, you must first leave the mainland of Essex at a point called Wakering Stairs. You then reach a causeway of brick and debris that takes you over the ominous Black Grounds, a kind of quicksand that locals refer to simply as “coffins.” Once on the Broomway, you’ll walk across a firm, silvery mudflat called the Maplin Sands.’

Getting Afloat with Nick Gates

In this first episode, Nick finds a suitable restoration project, visits Burnham sailing Club, repairs a Mirror Dinghy, finds a 12 Sq meter Sharpie to restore and visits Itchenor Sailing Club.

And more follows:

The Star of Moville –

Our protagonist sails to Moville in the county of Donegal – almost at the northern tip of Ireland to watch the races. While there he meets Mary, ‘the star of Moville’ and emboldened by whiskey he talks to her and buys her a drink – but then she rejects him and he sails home… The singing of Len Graham is wonderful!

Find out about the song’s origin here.