Ten years ago today Worthing became the centre of worldwide media attention when…


Ten years ago today Worthing became the centre of worldwide media attention when 2,000 tons of timber from the cargo ship Ice Prince found its way onto the town’s beach.

Initial reports expected the load to hit Dorset beaches. But, as tides turned, the wood mountain drifted towards Worthing’s coastline.

Worthing Borough Council own the full eight mile stretch of coast down to the low tide line so all hands were on deck to find a solution to this rather bizarre problem.

The then Worthing Mayor, Councillor Heather Mercer speaks fondly of her memories of the days that followed – from TV appearances and the ‘impressive’ work of volunteers to the unexpected global interest in the town during the time.

As police warnings were issued to deter keen DIYers from taking the wood, council leaders made the decision to erect a fence along the entire stretch of the seafront.

How many people made the joke about using the wood to make the fencing? “Too too many”, says Cllr Mercer.

Speaking about not only the staggering volume of wood which ‘towered’ over her head, Cllr Mercer recalls seeing some interesting sights early on:

“At the beginning there were people on bikes with about 10 planks under their arm pedaling urgently away. I also remember seeing one elderly lady with a trolley bag walking along with four planks sticking out the top!”

To read the full story, visit: https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/news/pr18-014.html

To see more images and reflections on the ten year anniversary, see the Worthing Herald coverage here: https://www.worthingherald.co.uk/news/free-pull-out-2-000-tons-of-timber-ten-years-on-1-8334990

(We must also say a big thank you to the Herald for allowing us to use their photo of Cllr Mercer on Worthing Pier)