Shivering Sands is one of the Maunsell sea forts in the Thames Estuary. Built in 1943 as anti-aircraft defence posts during the Second World War, the sea forts were abandoned altogether by the late 1950s. These rusting hulks have become a subject of fascination for many people and have featured in pop music videos, documentaries and more recently, even a video game (albeit in a completely fictitious context).
In 1963, a passing ship, Ribersborg crashed into one of the towers in thick fog, almost completely destroying it. So there are only 6 towers remaining and you can still see the remaining support posts of the destroyed tower protruding from the sea.
Shivering Sands briefly became the base for a pirate radio station during the 1960s run by the infamous Screaming Lord Sutch, who then passed it to his manager Reg Calvert, who turned five out of the six towers into Radio City which became quite successful. The intriguing escapade ultimately led to the murder of Calvert, and the British government soon outlawed offshore broadcasting and the station was shut down. The towers have since been abandoned to the elements as well as sea birds which have made it their home. Peregrine falcons and other birds can often be glimpsed circling the towers.
More recently, in 2005 the artist Stephen Turner spent 6 weeks living in one of the rusting towers in order to deeply explore the experience of living in isolation. He documented his experience in his blog as well as a book.
The doc has fond memories of looking out at the forts from Herne Bay sea front as a child. In the days before one had easy recourse to Wikipedia, the doc's grandfather explained the purpose and history of the forts. Going out to see these relics of war and bitter conflict, it was hard not to reflect on the fragility of the peacetime we enjoy. Now apart from the nesting falcons, schools of sea bass have also made the waters around these forts (as well as other parts of the estuary) a fertile nursery.
To claim this cache, please do the following:
- Post a photo of your GPS or a piece of paper with your geocaching name written on it by the Shivering Sands forts, showing clearly the remaining posts of the destroyed tower. This is a crucial requirement!
- Include another photo in your log of something that reminds you of a childhood memory with the Shivering Sands forts in the background.
The doc is holding a badge acquired in childhood (a long time ago)!
Virtual Reward - 2017/2018
This Virtual Cache is part of a limited release of Virtuals created between August 24, 2017 and August 24, 2018. Only 4,000 cache owners were given the opportunity to hide a Virtual Cache. Learn more about Virtual Rewards on the Geocaching Blog.
Congratulations to JinxJones for the FTF! Well done.