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Still from a cine film of Kimmeridge Bay in 1959
Still from a cine film of Kimmeridge Bay in 1959

I came across some old cine footage of my father's the other day, shot back in 1959.

I can still remember visiting Kimmeridge as a child back then and learning to skim stones.

At that time there was a substantial beach, made almost entirely of flat round stones, so we had plenty of choice.

Returning again in 1975 I was shocked to discover that in the intervening years, storms had completely stripped the beach leaving just shelves of bare rock.

Gradually since then, the beach has started to return but, back in 2004, it still had a long way to go.

Some things change; some stay the same: The nodding donkey, which was new and very alien back in 1959, is still there and still pumping oil from the shales below (albeit at a much reduced and reducing rate).

The Clavell Tower is still there, although it was touch and go at one point as it was very unsafe and in danger of falling over the cliff. Then in 2002, thanks to the Landmark Trust, it was moved it 35 metres back from the cliff edge and fully restored.

And you still have to pay a toll (in practice more of a parking fee) to use the road down to the bay.