WATCH: Coastwatch tower taken down at erosion hot-spot
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Coastal erosion has claimed another landmark as a coastwatch tower was taken away before it collapsed into the sea.
Just a few months ago the tower at Winterton looked out across an estimated 90 more metres of land before it met vertignous cliffs.
The former shipping container was lifted off its concrete pad in two parts on Tuesday during a two-hour operation carried out amid gusting Force 4 winds.
Coastwatch manager Roger Rolph said it was a sad day for the organisation - the break in service ultimately making the stretch of coast more dangerous for those out to sea and exploring the wildlife-rich dunes on land.
He said there had been a watch presence at Winterton since Victorian times, the present unit having been in place since 2005 thanks to the enthusiastic support of Alan McMurchie who galvanised an appeal to fundraise for it.
"After 17 years on behalf of Alan and all his hard work it is a sad day," Mr Rolph said.
The unit is being put in storage in Scratby although because it was purpose built for the Winterton site Mr Rolph was unsure if it could be re-used.
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Meanwhile work was going on behind the scenes for find a new base for the unit where usually a 14-strong team worked in shifts ever alert to an emergency.
"It will leave a bit of a hole until we can get things sorted out," he added, the shores between Haven Caister and Cart Gap Happisburgh now nursing a break in service.
"It will be less safe without the watch. We know what goes on along the coast and it will make a difference."
The lift was carried out in two parts by Jay Nicholls of SC Fabrication.
Mr Nicholls said the soft ground and gusting winds added to the logistics of the job.
"The wind is a major force," he said.
"There is nothing sheltering us - even my hard hat blew off."
The Dunes Cafe at Winterton was pulled down in December 2019, and now the Coastwatch tower - all too visible casualties of a changing landscape.