The hamlet of Elmley

Elmley  is a place where generations of people have lived and worked and died. The remnants of these communities can be seen in the broken down buildings which litter the marshes.

For the people who live and work in these isolated places there is an unlikely bonding. You didn’t choose each other but you have to rub along together. You are all in this together and there is no escaping each other. There are unwritten rules, ‘what’s mine is yours, it’s ok to wear the same clothes all week, displays of emotion are not encouraged,’ but most of all, ‘we stick together, merging like glue if something from outside threatens.’

The 21st century is happening, out there, you can visit it but you wouldn’t want to stay. Instead you feel the presence of the past. In these hamlets you merge with your forbears. The tang of salt in the air, the scent of rotting seaweed, the calls of the birds, the steaming breath of cattle on the marshes is unchanged.

In Elmley Village, long dead children still go to school, the boats are unloaded at Dan’s Dock. The shepherd still stretches his aches away outside Cod’s House. Lunch is prepared by the women at Spitend. These salt creaking, brine weed, mud visioning, water folk still wander the paths between the birdwatchers and cameramen, each lost in their own worlds.