Mersea hostility

The children were kicking crabs along the pontoon, the last time I came ashore at West Mersea. Legs missing and nippers raised they fell back into the ebbing tide, not to be fooled again by easy meat on a string.

The yacht club bar – long my favourite on any coast – and one which has a painted board declaring Visiting Yachtsmen Welcome, was staffed by a plump, unfriendly young woman who asked my companion, Martyn Mackrill, dressed in reefer jacket, pink trousers and sailing boots, if he was a yachtsman. He is. ‘Which club do you belong to?’she asked.

The level of beer poured, hung by the thread of its meniscus to the imperial measure…

Something is rotten at the heart of Mersea City and environs these days and so we walk instead, across the Strood, to the excellent Peldon Rose.