M blog IconMy next novel, Cynara’s Shadow, due to be published later in 2015, is set partly in Middlesbrough – although it predates the image above of the Tees Transporter Bridge.
I had never visited Middlesbrough – until last week when I dropped in there en route to the funeral of a dear friend. I started off my visit not in Middlesbrough itself but at the coast – at Coatham Sands – as my character Jack Brennan spends a lot of time walking there on the beach and in the dunes. I was blessed with a wonderful sunny day.
Of course in Jack’s time (the late nineteenth century) there were no wind turbines.

Photo of two people horseriding on a sandy beach in Middlesbrough

The smoke and noise from the iron foundries and steel works evident today from this sandy beach were also present in Jack’s day as the town grew rapidly in the industrial revolution.

Photo of beach landscape in Middlesborough with coal factory in the background

One thing I hadn’t realised was the way coal dust deposits on the sand – creating rather lovely patterns when the tide goes out.

Image of coal patterns on sand

Image of coal patterns on sand

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