The foreshore is covered with pebbles and copious bricks, worn smooth by the water. Red brick and yellow London stock predominate; chalk offers touches of startling white. Its softness made it ideal for barge beds, upon which the boats could sit safely at low tide.
Much contemporary colour comes from rubbish: the green plastic of a crate, marked with the name of a brewery which closed in 1979; a pockmarked beer bottle neck. The unopened crayons and emptied fish tin are more recent - our current contributions to the foreshore archaeology. They sit atop fragments of clay pipes, the throw-away waste of an earlier age.