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The Lost Beaches


Sunset on Lytham Beach circa 1909.

Lytham & Fairhaven once had beautiful golden sands and the North Channel passed the coast helping to scour the beaches keeping them clean. 

 

 

 

 

 

Lytham Beach circa 1905.

West Beach, Lytham c1905

East Beach, Lytham c1904

The Beach at Fairhaven c1918.

The Beach at Fairhaven, viewed from the sea wall of the lake c1918.

Grannies Bay Beach c1905 (opposite the White Church).

Grannies Bay Beach c1905 (opposite the White Church).


 




Mud & grass on Lytham Beach in the early 1950s.

Mud & grass on Lytham Beach in the early 1950s.A deep channel (1890s-1910) was built from the Irish Sea to the Port of Preston. The training walls of the new channel were marked by posts which can still be seen from Lytham. The result was that the old North Channel silted up, the beach level rose and mud spread onto the beaches.

In the 1930s Spartina grass (Spartina townsendii) was planted on the banks of the River Ribble near Preston to reclaim land for farming. This grass gradually spread along the coast, and to the beaches of Lytham & Fairhaven, which are now covered by a carpet of grass. The grass is still spreading and now threatens the beach at St.Annes.




Lytham Beach circa 1918

 

 

 

 

 

 East Beach, Lytham circa 1918; compare this with the similar view below taken in 2009.

 

East Beach, Lytham in 2009. 

 

 

 

 

 





West Beach, Lytham in the 1930s

West Beach, Lytham in the 1930s; compare this with the similar view below taken in 2009.

West Beach, Lytham in 2009.

View from Fairhaven Lake towards St.Annes (2009).

View from Fairhaven Lake towards St.Annes (2009). 

Fairhaven Beach, looking towards Lytham (2009).
Fairhaven Beach, looking towards Lytham (2009). Grass (right) carpets the once golden sands.

Looking from St.Annes towards Fairhaven showing how the grass is spreading along the beach (2009).
Looking from Outer Promenade, St.Annes, towards Fairhaven, showing how the grass is spreading along the beach (2009).


More information

St.Annes Beach - Too Much Sand!

Brief history of the Port of Preston

Riversway (development of the old port)

Natural England - The Ribble Estuary

Report on the evolution of the Ribble Estuary, with particular reference to the north Sefton coast.

Defend the Dunes Website

1980 article about sand winning at St.Annes

Sefton Coastal Process Monitoring Report 2000-2004

Marine Geology - Long-term morphological change in the Ribble Estuary.

 Books

All these books are difficult to find and expensive to buy; try Lancashire Library Service.

“The History of the Ribble Navigation” by James Barron
Published in 1938, Corporation of Preston

The Last Tide: History of the Port of Preston by Jack M. Dakres 1986
The Last Tide: History of the Port of Preston by Jack M. Dakres (1986)

“When the Boat Comes In” – Lancashire Polytechnic Publication
(Try the Museum at Preston or the Library Service - there are unrelated books with the same title available on the internet)