Quicksand is an area of wet, moving sand unable to bear the weight of a man. Quicksands are not extensive, often occur in estuaries, and are generally of temporary nature in the British Isles.
A beach may have quicksands one year and not the next ... Morecambe Bay in North-west England is a notoriously dangerous bay ...
... its quicksand extends across the estuary, which can be crossed using an ancient and potentially lethal tidal crossing.
Believe it or not there is a royal appointed guide: The Queen’s Guide to the Sands: since the 16th century.
Until the building of the railway in 1857, the cross sands way had been a major transport route in the area ... it is now a challenge walk for charity fundraisers.
However sadly the bay is known for its quicksands and fast moving tides (it is said that the tide can come in “as fast as a horse can run”): ten years ago 23 Chinese immigrant cockle pickers, run by gang-masters, drowned after being cut off by the tides. An appalling and dreadful scenario.
|Granite rocks at Land's End|
Q is for Quartz – silicon is the most abundant element in rocks.
Crystallised as quartz, it provides the material for sand grains, flints, and man-made glass and helps to build granite and other massive rocks.
|Quartz sand grains|
In rocks, it is mixed with other minerals, but can also appear as veins.
Quartz is a hard and durable material, resistant to chemical erosion and weathering. Sand grains are fragments of older rocks that are worn down to granules in river beds, or on the seashore.
|Rose quartz - not from the UK|
Coloured varieties of quartz are valued as gems and include violet amethysts, dark red jasper, and the rare rose quartz ...
|Clear Quartz Rock|
Crystal Jug - c 1,000 AD
not from the UK
White quartz veins are a guide to gold in some regions, as in Wales ...
A translucent form of quartz with small crystals is chalcedony – a semi-precious stone ...
|New Quay - a fishing village on|
the west coast of Wales
A Quay – until the early 19th century, a fishing village would be a few thatched cottages surrounded by agricultural land, the natural harbour providing a safe mooring for fishing boats and a few small trading vessels.
As trading activity increased ... slate and coal in Wales, minerals and fish from Cornwall ... stone piers were constructed to enclose the harbour, giving greater protection to the ever larger vessels ...
That is Q for quivering, querulous quicksands, quickening quartz and quadripartite quays with their stone piers, promenades, fishing boats and small cottages ... now commercial centre – large or small ... from Aspects of British Coasts ...
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