Morecambe bay pilot in Lake District
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The Sandpilot of Morecambe Bay

There is a public byway shown on maps as a line across the sands of Morecambe Bay- but this byway that used to allow traffic between Arnside and Silverdale across the tidal mudflats to Grange Over Sands comes with a serious health warning. There are quick sands and deep tidal channels that can snare the unwary. And to make matters even more risky the tide comes in as fast as a man can run. Thus it is that a local man has over the past 40 years come to act as custodian of the "knowledge" of the ever changing safe and unsafe routes across the sands. That man is Cedric Robinson , who is so respected he carries the title of the Queen's Sand Pilot. Like Moses he uses a stick and whistle to shepherd his flock past the quicksands. Sadly in November 2021 the former Queen's Guide to the Sands, Cedric Robinson, has died at the age of 88.
He spent more than 50 years guiding people across Morecambe Bay.

Suggest turn sound off for this interesting video of a typical crossing.

some 300 walkers on a Rotary Club event to raise cash for Polio Eradication are guided across the sands of Morecambe Bay by Cedric in June 2003

Cedric, assisted by a younger nephew takes guided parties over the Sands between either Arnside or Silverdale and Grange. Depending on conditions the six mile journey can take two to three hours. The fear of the quicksands, where silty waters meet is not exaggerated and Cedric recalls the instance when a local fisherman became forgetful and saw the sands swallow up his tractor. The crossing is undertaken by most people in barefoot because of the clinging mud and sand. The crossing always involved wading knee deep across the flowing River Kent as it makes its serpentine way through the ever changing pattern of sands that have the open sea to the south and the grandeur of the Lakeland mountains to the North. The sands have claimed many lives as the tidal bore rushes in...IN 2004 nineteen cockle pickers have died after becoming trapped by rising tides in Lancashire's Morecambe Bay. The accident happened after more than 20 cocklers - thought to be Chinese who do not speak English - were caught by rising waters in the Hest Bank area.
Another site with details of the Morecambe Bay walks.

Bay Search and Rescue Annual Cross Morecambe Bay sponsored / fundraising walk -
For further details and to register (£10 for adults and £5 for children) please visit

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