Last chance to see Sea Breezes and Sea Beans exhibition in Seaford

An ivory nut lost overboard from The Peruvian, with a sketch of the vessel carved into it.
An ivory nut lost overboard from The Peruvian, with a sketch of the vessel carved into it.

Among the rubbish washed up on our beaches are some more interesting treasures, from exotic seeds from far away lands to driftwood from shipwrecks.

Such beachcombers’ delights are among the exhibits at Seaford Museum’s ‘Sea Breezes and Sea Beans’ which is set to finish as the year ends.

To mark the closure of the 2013 special exhibition, the museum is offering free admission on Sunday (December 15) from 11am to 4pm.

While some of the debris is carelessly abandoned modern day rubbish, other treasures have travelled many miles across the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean or the coast of South America, including exotic seeds known as ‘sea beans’.

“During the past year we have been able to show our visitors samples of the items that can be found on the beach, what they are, and where they might have come from,” said museum vice-chairman David Swaysland.

“In July, Dr Ed Jarzembowski, our museum curatorial advisor and expert beachcomber led a beach walk.

“It was a hot and calm day, not the best for beachcombing, but the people who took part found the exercise really interesting.

“In fact, it lasted a lot longer than we expected!

“Amongst the stuff to be found on Seaford beach are the more common items such as seaweeds, shells, mermaids’ purses (the egg cases from rays), and cuttlefish.

“There’s driftwood, which could just be the remains of an abandoned pallet or a ship’s deck cargo washed over the side in a storm but might also include the remains of a wrecked ship.

“Look carefully for possible green marks left by copper nails in ships’ planks or rusty iron bolts.

“If you examine the shingle you can also find fossils, rocks and minerals amongst the brown and grey flints. All have a tale to tell.

“As well as the inevitable discarded plastic trash people have found iron, brass, copper, lead and aluminium artefacts from sea, land and air transport, military activity and fishing.

“But remember, although beachcombing can be great fun, the sea can be dangerous, and even when the wind isn’t blowing a gale, the waves can have a very powerful undertow, so take great care.”

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