Councillor warns uncovered bombs could close Southend's beaches

Councillor Peter Wexham on Chalkwell foreshore

Councillor Peter Wexham on Chalkwell foreshore

First published in Local News by

A COUNCILLOR fears Southend’s beaches could be shut as erosion of the foreshore unveils an ever increasing number of Second World War explosives.

Peter Wexham, Lib Dem councillor for Leigh, claims the apparently increasing levels of ordinance being found on the foreshore of Leigh, Chalkwell, Southend and Shoebury is a clear sign the covering layer of mud is eroding.

The retired fisherman said: “This stuff is explosive and if we are starting to get 30 or 40 at a time the beaches could be shut off if there is that much ordinance left out there.

“It seems to be getting worse. It has gone up from single figures to finds in their 30s.”

The Echo reported that the Army had to be called to detonate 32 shells found by bait digger Peter Tutt on New Year’s Eve.

The coastguard regularly calls in the bomb squad after shells left over from the world wars are uncovered by fishermen, bait digger and bathers along the estuary.

But Mr Wexham, who has been raising concerns over the erosion of the foreshore since last August, fears the number of shells found each time has increased dramatically over the past year, suggesting the mud is receding.

He said: “I can only assume it shows the erosion is going further out towards the edge of Hadleigh Ray between Westcliff and Chalkwell.

“At the moment there is still a lot of mud out there and there are no features standing out as there is at the shore end.

“It can only show the mud is lowering and bait differs are bringing up stuff which is lower down.”

The Environment Agency, Natural England and Southend Council are investigating the erosion of the foreshore with the help of DP World, an Dubai-based conglomerate that is digging a channel down the estuary so large containers can reach the super port it is building at Corringham.

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:18pm Mon 14 Jan 13

rhowes says...

It won't be warm enough to be on the beaches for a few months. Can't we get them cleared during the cold months?
This is obviously an urgent issue, for health and safety.
It won't be warm enough to be on the beaches for a few months. Can't we get them cleared during the cold months? This is obviously an urgent issue, for health and safety. rhowes
  • Score: 0

4:26pm Mon 14 Jan 13

pendulum says...

Judging by how many are found, and how many people are injured by them exploding (can anyone remember a single example of this?), I'd say they don't pose very much of a threat at all.
Judging by how many are found, and how many people are injured by them exploding (can anyone remember a single example of this?), I'd say they don't pose very much of a threat at all. pendulum
  • Score: 0

4:35pm Mon 14 Jan 13

firedog says...

The shells he has found look like oyster
shells,blame the chinese,or is that racest.
The shells he has found look like oyster shells,blame the chinese,or is that racest. firedog
  • Score: 0

4:37pm Mon 14 Jan 13

reptile says...

pendulum wrote:
Judging by how many are found, and how many people are injured by them exploding (can anyone remember a single example of this?), I'd say they don't pose very much of a threat at all.
Perhaps you could volunteer to test them with a large hammer.
[quote][p][bold]pendulum[/bold] wrote: Judging by how many are found, and how many people are injured by them exploding (can anyone remember a single example of this?), I'd say they don't pose very much of a threat at all.[/p][/quote]Perhaps you could volunteer to test them with a large hammer. reptile
  • Score: 0

5:32pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Eric Whim says...

haven't they found anyone to blame for the erosion yet?
haven't they found anyone to blame for the erosion yet? Eric Whim
  • Score: 0

6:21pm Mon 14 Jan 13

pussycats says...

This is a great oppotunity. Instead of the Air Show, which glorifies War Planes...lets see the unexploded bombs dropped, blown up. We then have a crowd puller, without the planes and a firework display, which was true to life and second to none.
This is a great oppotunity. Instead of the Air Show, which glorifies War Planes...lets see the unexploded bombs dropped, blown up. We then have a crowd puller, without the planes and a firework display, which was true to life and second to none. pussycats
  • Score: 0

9:39pm Mon 14 Jan 13

siddymint says...

Cllr wexham has it wrong as cllr jarvis stated there are no unexpolded bombs in southend.
Cllr wexham has it wrong as cllr jarvis stated there are no unexpolded bombs in southend. siddymint
  • Score: 0

10:13pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Sean4u says...

Sounds like that firm in 'Dubai' is doing all right in the recession - maybe it's not as bad as they say it is! What part of Essex is Dubai in? Sounds like a New Town.
Sounds like that firm in 'Dubai' is doing all right in the recession - maybe it's not as bad as they say it is! What part of Essex is Dubai in? Sounds like a New Town. Sean4u
  • Score: 0

11:39pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Letmetryagain says...

firedog wrote:
The shells he has found look like oyster
shells,blame the chinese,or is that racest.
Yes, people have been banned for less.

Although I don't think the Chinese are as touchy as our traveller "friends" :)
[quote][p][bold]firedog[/bold] wrote: The shells he has found look like oyster shells,blame the chinese,or is that racest.[/p][/quote]Yes, people have been banned for less. Although I don't think the Chinese are as touchy as our traveller "friends" :) Letmetryagain
  • Score: 0

12:27am Tue 15 Jan 13

OMPITA [UK] says...

Increasing levels of Ordinance might be a problem back at the ranch for the good councillor - but out there on the beach the problem is down to the increasing levels of Ordnance.

Does nobody proof read anymore? Or have they simply just lost their grip on the English language?
Increasing levels of Ordinance might be a problem back at the ranch for the good councillor - but out there on the beach the problem is down to the increasing levels of Ordnance. Does nobody proof read anymore? Or have they simply just lost their grip on the English language? OMPITA [UK]
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree