Walks explore shipwrecks and Sussex smuggling

Amsterdam, shipwrecked at Bulverhythe ENGSUS00120120430165330
Amsterdam, shipwrecked at Bulverhythe ENGSUS00120120430165330

A new series of walks organised by Bexhill Museum will give people the opportunity to explore shipwrecks, smuggling, follies and royalty.

The Egerton Road museum has just announced its summer walks programme.

The walks are part of the museum’s education remit and are centred on research done by volunteers from its Local History Study Group.

At the beginning of the 19th Century upwards of 2,500 troops of the King’s German Legion were stationed in Bexhill, far out-numbering the local population of what was then a hill-top village.

A linear two-mile walk on Wednesday, June 3 led by curator Julian Porter starts in Old Town’s Manor Gardens car park at 2pm.

It ends in the museum for a look at the new exhibition there marking the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo in which the Legion played a courageous role.

“Mad Jack” or “Honest John”? Jack Fuller, who once owned Brightling Park was eccentric who has left a legacy of follies in the area. A four-mile walk on Sunday, June 28 leaving the Forestry Commission car park at Stacey’s Corner will explore peaceful paths and bridleways through Brightling Park under the leadership of Neil Bates.

Hear about smuggling and defending the realm over several centuries when Stepping Out to Normans Bay and The Sluice on Wednesday July 22.

Neil and Ann Bates together with Heather Morrey explore a tiny settlement with a long and exciting history. The two-mile walk will leave the Star Inn at 2pm.

The Dutch East Indiaman the Amsterdam was shipwrecked on its maiden voyage from Holland to Batavia on January 26, 1749. Her timbers are still entombed in the sand off Bulverhythe and are visible during exceptionally long tides.

Paul Wright will lead a return trip to this popular spot on Sunday, August 30. The three-mile walk leaves Galley Hill at 6pm.

Visits by Kings, Queens, Dukes and Duchesses formed part of Bexhill’s 20th Century history. A four-mile walk on Sunday, September 13 lead by David Hatherell will leave Manor Gardens car park at 2pm and will concentrate on Old Town and the Marina area.

The walk programme commenced on Sunday May 10 with a stroll around Bexhill town centre. A selection of architectural oddities was pointed out such as the stained glass windows inside C Wells shoe shop.

Care is taken to cater for the different walking speeds of those taking part.

The walks include frequent stops to explain points of interest. A £3 charge is made for each adult taking part; £1.50 for each accompanied child.