Depends whose money it is

For more than 200 years the coastguard cottages at Cuckmere Haven, East Sussex have perched on a clifftop overlooking the English Channel.

Built just after the Napoleonic era the cottages attract millions of visitors each year and are known the world over after featuring in countless feature films, pop videos and TV programmes.

They are also currently featured on a Royal Mail 1st class stamp.

But the homes are under threat from rising coastal erosion and, despite the construction of a sea wall 80 years ago, the buildings are slowly being undermined by the sea.

OK, maybe save them with a new sea wall, maybe not. Depends really:

Dame Judi, who filmed Blithe Spirit at Cuckmere Haven last year (2020), said: “It is the one place I know that if you were to sum up the essence of our country I would have no doubt in recommending it to other people. At all costs it must be preserved.”

No, clearly not. If it costs £10 then why the hell not? If £10 billion well, probably cheaper to unbuild the place, haul it inland 300 yards and rebuild it. That’ll last a century or three, right?

Although, of course, that’s not quite what Dame Judy means. She means at any amount of other peoples’ money. Given the pay rates for famed actresses she could take on one extra role in a year and pay for the entire thing herself – which she isn’t doing, is she?

18 thoughts on “Depends whose money it is”

  1. “the cottages attract millions of visitors each year”

    Well………..they are on the South Downs Way and possibly millions of people walk past them every year.

    I have. But I didn’t even know they were there until I walked past them so I don’t think it can be claimed that I was ‘attracted’ to ‘visit’ them.

  2. The whole of the south east of England is settling back to where it was before the last ice age sat upon the north / midlands and lifted said south east upwards – isostatic rebound. Nothing anyone can do to stop it no matter how much money you spend.
    As you say, pick the place up and move it a bit.
    Also as you say, another example of someone with lots of money willing to spend other peoples money on their own pet folly.

  3. Well, Jussi, the North Downs Way does have the distinct advantage of going to England’s finest small city, Guildford, but then let’s itself down by moving onto Dorking.

  4. Just had a look at some photos. The cliffs look good. The cottages look like a tatty row of cottages. I don’t get the fuss

  5. Each to their own, Jussi, but, as a proud Surrey boy, I have little affection for Dorking or Leatherhead, though more so than the hideous Woking (where I went to school).

  6. Coastguard cottages were built as close to the cliff edge as possible /because they were coastguard cottages/, and they were built knowing they would fall off the cliff at some point. A couple just down the road from me fell off the cliff a few years ago /because they were coastguard cottages/. They took the road away with them, which had to be rebuilt across the land they used to be on. At some point a decision will have to be made as to whether to just block the road off and only have pedestrian access.

  7. Oh, I don’t know, Tim, it’s rather nice to see an English showbiz figure wanting to preserve English heritage rather than destroy it, isn’t it?

    She should get the go-ahead just for that…

  8. Socialise the costs, privatise the benefits. It was always thus with Socialists, so long as it is they who get the benefits. Parasites all.

    Personally, I think that slipping a Tory politician the price of a duck house to keep him on message is cheaper than building a sea wall for Lord Stansgate, socialist and aresehole.

  9. “But the homes are under threat from rising coastal erosion and, despite the construction of a sea wall 80 years ago, the buildings are slowly being undermined by the sea.”

    The sea defences look intact so it’s just as likely the undermining is being caused by water runoff from the land. The cottages are at the bottom of a hill, on the edge of the mouth of Cuckmere River. Doomed.

    That sea wall must have been quite a luxury for 1941. No obvious war defence utility. Probably bureaucratic momentum.

  10. Socialism for the masses, capitalism for the bosses. Guess what happened to Rolex dealer’s stock in Havana after the revolucion? Fidel wore it.

  11. Presumably other countries have similar problems with coastal erosion.
    Figure out how the French deal with it, and then do the opposite. Call it a natural experiment where future generations of Les Rosbifs and Les Frogs can learn from each other.

  12. Coastal erosion my bleeding posterior. It’s Trump’s Global Warming (Pelosi’s Law: if any shit of any description happens anywhere anytime, blame it on Trump and Global Warming.)

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