Beautiful little Grey Top-shells, (Gibbula cineraria). Distinctively coloured, with dark grey stripes on a grey or yellowish background varying with the surroundings, here in the North Sea they are dark grey on a cream background.The lip of the shell has a "Mother-of-Pearl" effect, giving it a silvery appearance. The shape of the shell is pyramidal or coned and a is around 1.2 cm in size. These shells are found just below the tidal zone and are aften found on or under rocks , on seaweed and washed up on the strandline, which is where I found these.
The strandline is the area at the top of a beach where debris is deposited on the ebb of the tide. Anything washing onto the shore, whether natural or manmade may be cast up by the waves and left there. On tidal beaches the strandline moves back and forth with the twice-monthly cycle of spring and neap tides. The debris is chiefly composed of stranded seaweed, but can also include litter, either from ships at sea, or sources ashore. The beach at the strandline may consist of rocks, sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones or a mixture of these materials. It may be sandy, muddy, stony and again, often a mix of these.
Found! The tide had just turned when I arrived at the beach and although the wind was blowing it wasn't uncomfortable. I headed south and found a few pieces of driftwood, but no sea glass so I decided to head home. On reaching the place where I leave the beach I decided to head north and I'm so pleased I did. This is what I found - a piece of green glass with lettering. I've done a bit of research and found out that it's part of a bottle from T. Binks, Schooner Hotel, Alnmouth. Thomas Binks 1840-1914. I'll update when I've got some more details.
The tide was coming in, the wind was howling and then it started to rain! I should have known it wasn't a beachcombing day. Found a few pieces of glass, not good enough for jewellery though, a few rocks, shells and a piece of pottery. The pottery is a piece of a handle from a round vessel and the vessel that immiediately sprang to mind is a chamber pot.
Beach finds this morning include, a whole razor clam shell, sea glass bottle bottom, beach pottery and a starfish. The bottle bottom has the initials JC in raised lettering, so off to do some research to find out a bit more about it.
Sea glass is glass which was once in the form of bottles, jars and other objects. During the passage of many years in the sea the glass takes on new forms, forms of beauty that belie their prosaic origin. After decades or more in the sea these pieces wash up on the strandline, recycled to be the basis of beautiful jewellery, smoothed, shaped and frosted.
The journey the glass has undertaken is one of history and mystery. What was it originally? When was it made? How far has it travelled? How long has it been in the sea?
As glass is being replaced by more plastic, sea glass is becoming a diminishing source.