Life living next to the sea wall at Porton

Howard Keyte

The way the house was built, there, close to the sea wall bank, you’d get a good high tide coming over and washing down the bank as it come over. It would go down the foundations of the house and through the kitchen and out through the front door then. Would happen two or three times a year. Well just got on with it really. We used to move upstairs in the evening then, yeah, there were fires in the bedrooms upstairs, fireplaces, small fireplaces and just gather there til it was time to get into bed then, aye. But in the sixties we did have a tide come over one time, and a few fields nearest the house were covered in salt water then and when that went down after, that summer then we had the best crop of mushrooms we ever had then. 

My father told me the stones for the sea wall, they used to come in by boats, that’s something new that is, aye, I suppose you didn’t know that, did you? The stones they used to maintain the sea wall, they used a lot of stone, the stones used to come in by boat from up the Wye Valley the quarries were. They’d come in on the one tide, then maybe two posts parked in the ground a certain distance apart to tell them where to land their boats and they’d wait there til the tide went out and the boat was grounded, and they’d unload the stones, I suppose they’d barrow them off somehow and they’d go off on the next tide then, back up to Chepstow or somewhere up that way then.