Mablethorpe hosts the latest

Time and Tide Bell

for Lincolnshire

The tides chime the time of high water lines


We are a Community Arts Group bringing Marcus Vergette's project to the Lincolnshire Coast, one part of a permanent installation of Time and Tide Bells around Britain's coast, rung by the sea at high tide. We aim to spark conversations about the coastline's past, present and future.


Download a description of the project
Download the Artist's Statement by Marcus Vergette
Download a leaflet you can print out and distribute.
More about the other Time and Tide Bells
Lincolnshire Time and Tide Bell Blog
Gettogether at Trinity Bouy Wharf, 3rd Ocober 2017.


Our Bell is coming to a beach near you! North End Mablethorpe.

The money needed to make the Bell (it's being cast at Brass Founders of Sheffield) has alredy been raised but we need a bit more to construct the frame, get it installed on the beach and then launch a series of arts events.
We hope to put on an art exhibition at the new Coastal Observatory, Chapel Point, just as soon as building is completed. And next year we are holding an art exhibition at the Sam Scorer Gallery in Lincoln, 7th to 20th May 2018.
Artists: if you think you might have works that fit the conceptual basis of the Time and Tide Bell, exploring our relationship with the sea, past, present and future, please get in touch to discuss proposals.

To make all this possible you can donate money to Friends of the Lincolnshire Time and Tide Bell: Sort Code 77-72-12 Account Number 40047868 Thank you. :)

If you would like to get involved in the project in any way, and we really could do with some more help, please don't hesitate to get in touch: e-mail us here.

Next committee meeting of Friends of The Lincolnshire Time and Tide Bell: 19nd June 4pm at Mark's house. e-mail us here for meeting details.


Watch and listen to the Appledore Time and Tell Bell ringing on YouTube

Watch and listen to the Cemaes Time and Tell Bell ringing on YouTube

See the Appledore Time and Tell Bell being installed and an interview with the artist on YouTube

The Bosta Beach, Great Bernera Time and Tell Bell (on a windy day). YouTube


Britain's sixth Time and Tide Bell comes to Lincolnshire's coast north of Mablethorpe. This is an art project bringing a major public work by sculptor Marcus Vergette to our community.

This national project involves permanent installations of Time and Tide Bells near the high tide mark at a number of diverse sites around the country, from urban centres to open stretches of coastline. The rising water at high tide drives the clapper to strike the bell. Played by the movement of the waves, the bell creates a varying, gentle, musical pattern. As the level of the tide changes and as the bell becomes submerged in the rising water, so the periods of bell strikes and pitch of the notes will vary.

Five Bells have already been installed: at Appledore, Devon; on Bosta Beach, Gt. Bernera, Outer Hebrides; at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London; at Aberdyfi, Wales; and at Cemaes on Anglesey. Our Lincolnshire Bell is the sixth.

The integrity of the Time and Tide Bell project nationally is in the choice of the sites and how they connect. The Time and Tide Bell is to create, celebrate, and reinforce connections between different parts of the country, between the land and the sea, between ourselves, our history, and our environment. Each of the sites brings something particular and unique to the whole group.

Location: North End Mablethorpe OS Grid Ref. TF497877 On the beach north of where the path from the Ferryboat Inn emerges, within the Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes National Nature Reserve. The Bell will be sited at the mean high water mark so will be on dry land much of the time, only in water deep enough to ring the bell at high tide around the spring tides every fortnight. The top of bell will be submerged only in the extreme tidal surge conditions experienced in 1953 and December 2013. The Bell will only be visible and audible from nearby on the beach.

The location is significant within the context and concept of the overall Time and Tide Bells project. This part of the Lincolnshire coast is easily accessible yet conveys a feeling of remoteness. It has a rich past, geologically with the shifting coastline, and socially as people interacted with the changing environment over time. It will be the first Bell on the east coast but has connections with the Aberdyfi Bell in particular, on a similar latitude and in a similar context of sea level change, evidenced by submerged forests and dune development. Longitudinally Mablethorpe is almost due north of the Bell at Trinity Buoy Wharf but the London Docklands environment could hardly be more contrasting.

Efforts will be made to engage with as wide a public as possible, exploring and creating a conversation about the issues that the Bell's conceptual basis raises. This is a community-led art project with real social significance.

Construction: The Bell is of cast from marine bronze at Brass Founders of Sheffield. It will develop a greenish patina but will not degrade in seawater.

A frame, constructed from pieces of oak connected by pieces of stainless, suspends the Bell at a height where the movement of water at high tide operates a paddle at the bottom connected to the clapper that rings the Bell. The frame is anchored to the ground by a ring of helical piles that are screwed into the beach sand. The whole structure stands just over two metres above the beach surface.

The modular construction of oak beams connected by stainless steel enables community involvement. On the day of frame construction much of the work, being of a human scale, can be done by the community with nothing more than a large spanner to tighten the bolts that fix the beams to their housings.

The Time and Tide Bells are designed to be permanent, the materials lasting at least a great many decades, if not centuries. The timber components with a shorter lifespan can be removed and replaced one at a time in situ. The site at Mablethorpe is unlike the previously used sites in that there is no solid rock upon which to build. There is a realistic possibility of shifting sands that has to be included in design and planning and future policy on sea defence maintenance could change. The modular design allows for the possibility that the Bell may need to be moved at some future time.

Engagement: The Time and Tide Bell is much more than a public sculpture to be looked at passively. It is set to be a catalyst for conversation, engagement, and support for multiple projects connected with our history, our future, and our relationship with the sea.

Awareness of the Lincolnshire coast's changing character through history will be promoted, engaging with local history societies and community groups. Information will be presented concerning the local geology and biology through the Pleistocene and Holocene, considering post-Glacial sea level changes and climate. Archaeology and recent history brings human involvement in the area into consideration. Thinking of the future, including the management of coastal defences and flood risk, in an environment where global warming is set to increase sea level, is a significant part of the Time and Tide Bell's conceptual basis.

Promoting Biodiversity: Sited on the southern edge of the Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes National Nature Reserve, the Bell draws attention to our littoral position between two contrasting environments of land and sea. The Bell's location marks the approximate change from an accretionary beach environment to the north to an erosional environment to the south.

A large proportion, perhaps half of all species, of Lincolnshire's wildlife lives off-shore, unseen and largely unknown, beneath the waves. The Bell seeks to enhance our relationship with it, considering the implication of global warming for sea level and marine life. Working with the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, to promote the Living Seas as a vehicle for raising awareness of the rich biodiversity of the off-shore environment, and its protection from the multiple threats of over-exploitation and climate change.

The Time and Tide Bell Project was a finalist for the Climate Change Awards 2011, Best Artistic Response to Climate Change. Their comment:
"Devon artist Marcus Vergette is ringing out a poignant warning on climate change with a permanent installation of 12 giant bells at high tide points around the UK. Rung by the waves, Vergette's seven foot-high bronze bells will strike more often as climate change raises sea levels, and their pitch changes as they become submerged. The first was installed in Appledore, Devon in 2009 with others now in the Outer Hebrides and London. The project connects the traditional use of bells for celebration and loss with modern environmental concerns. It also links communities around the country, with each creating a poetic inscription of their bell's significance."

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer, House of Lords, wrote: "This is an inspired project. The link between ourselves and the elements is in danger of being lost in our 21st century life. The importance of that link, given climate change, is more important than it ever has been and such a beautiful reminder of the importance of tides and sea levels is truly inspirational”

The project is supported by the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, which will maintain the national Time and Tide Bell archive.

Download a document describing in detail the project to install a Tide an Time Bell on the Lincolnshire coast north of Mablethorpe: Download pdf..

Photo credits: Marcus Vergette and Jim Wileman


Bringing the sixth Time and Tide Bell to Lincolnshire's coast is an art project by sculptor Marcus Vergette that draws attention to our littoral position between two contrasting environments of land and sea. The off-shore habitat has been neglected in the past but the Bell seeks to enhance our relationship with it, considering the implication of global warming for sea level and marine life.

The Friends of the Time and Tide Bell for Lincolnshire, a community arts group, plan to place a Bell on the beach to the north of North End Mablethorpe, just within Natural England's Saltfleetby-Thedlethorpe National Nature Reserve. Download details of the project here.

The Time and Tide Bell Project was a finalist for the Climate Change Awards 2011, Best Artistic Response to climate Change.

"Devon artist Marcus Vergette is ringing out a poignant warning on climate change with a permanent installation of 12 giant bells at high tide points around the UK. Rung by the waves, Vergette's seven foot-high bronze bells will strike more often as climate change raises sea levels, and their pitch changes as they become submerged. The first was installed in Appledore, Devon in 2009 with others now in the Outer Hebrides and London. The project connects the traditional use of bells for celebration and loss with modern environmental concerns. It also links communities around the country, with each creating a poetic inscription of their bell's significance."


The following pictures are of the newest Bell, at Camaes on Anglesey.


If you would like to help support this project in any way, or just tell us you like the idea, please get in touch.

You can join our facebook group here.

To contact The Friends of the Time and Tide Bell for Lincolnshire, Send Mail


Some suggestions for inscriptions Time and Tide Bell

Please send us your suggestions. Maximum length 120 characters.

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Fix the bell firm and
Sway the horizon
Warn the now and mourn the lost

Dizzy with our contemplation
Chime it now
But at what cost?

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This Time and Tide Bell is so accurate that everytime it is struck it will be exactly now.

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Only time and tide will tell
The true purpose of this bell
Over years with rising tide
This bell will sound a warning wide.

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Are you like me?
Can you hear and feel the sea?

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