In January 1858 the Harbour Engineer John Coode reported to a Parliamentary Committee about the possibilities of building a harbour refuge in Filey Bay.
Several such ideas have occurred across generations since the time of Charles 1st. A major problem in the age of Sail, was being unable to sail against the wind:
…Large numbers of vessels with coals and bound to the southward are very frequently detained off Flamborough Head by southerly winds, Under these circumstances vessels will constantly run in and bring up in the south part of Filey Bay, off Speeton and Bempton cliffs, where they will not uncommonly lay for a week….last month there were at one time not less than 240 vessels so anchored in the south part of Fley Bay….
There were plenty of local fishing vessels too in need of shelter. Coode reported there were over 700 smacks and Luggers in the area employing 6,500 men. His reported profit, which may have been exaggerated, was £1000 a year for each working boat.
There was also a case of safety Coode reported that in the area of sea between Flamborough Head and the Farne Islands:
..For the first six months of the year 1857….no less than 56 vessels were totally lost and 81 damaged.
Coode proposed a 1,800 foot long breakwater along the length of Filey Brigg with further extensions into the Bay, a total of 9,600 feet of breakwater, This was more ambitious than other schemes but less than an 1880 scheme to moor warships. None of them ever came to anything and the natural beauty of Filey was preserved.
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