Raising money for Cuckmere Haven SOS
Cuckmere Haven and the Coastguard Cottages have been an integral part of my family’s history for 5 generations.
One of my Great-Grandfathers was a Coastguard, and another Great-Grandfather enjoyed holidaying there with his family.
It was the latter that bought the cottages when they were decommissioned in the early 1920’s, two of the cottages remain within the family.
My sister and I are the very proud owners of Officers House East, or number 6 Coastguard Cottages. The little house with the red door is as familiar and dear to us as a beloved relative.
Through the generations we have watched the changing lines of the cliff and course of the river, and worked with the other owners and the authorities to keep the cottages safe.
The most prominent part of our protection is our sea-walls, the largest of which was built using reparation money (given for the period that the cottages were commandeered by the army in World War II) which linked in to a structure put in place by the National Rivers Authority (and later maintained by the Environment Agency) at the far eastern point, plus a lower wall and rock revetment to the west, added by cottage owners in the following decades. We maintain these structures as best we can, but due to changing government funding, and changing tides, we are now more vulnerable than ever. Last year’s storms were the worst in living memory, and they smashed through the eastern section of our defences leaving the integrity of our entire defence system in peril.
We have worked together to plug this gap with rock, butneed help to make our sea defences more effective and sustainable.
I feel very much like I am a custodian of these iconic buildings. In these times of austerity, there is no funding available to the Environment Agency to continue maintaining its section, so it is up to us to raise the money. I know how much they are loved, locally and worldwide, and what a tragedy it would be for the landscape and all its visitors to lose them.
Cuckmere Haven is a magical place, please help us protect it.