Continuing further out to the mouth of Chichester Harbour and beyond round the coast, we come to the village of West Wittering and its neighbour, the larger East Wittering. Rock legend Keith Richards has a house in West Wittering, and in 2007, in an admirable display of solidarity with the local residents, he joined a protest march in Chichester against cuts at the local hospital. A more ignominious event involving the star took place back in 1967, when police raided a party held at the house whose guests included George Harrison and his then wife Patty Boyd, along with a female reportedly wearing nothing but a fur coat believed to have been Marianne Faithfull. The police search of the premises resulted in the arrest of Richards and Mick Jagger for possession of drugs.
East Wittering has a history stretching back to the Norman Conquest and beyond, and has a partly Norman church. In 1861, Black’s Guide to the South-Eastern Counties of England described the bay here as having “excellent sands, affording at low water a capital promenade”. Nowadays the bay is a magnet for surfers, enough to prompt a comment on the Beach Wizard website from a local resident: “East Wittering is the absolute mutts nuts for surfing”. Anyone wanting to check current conditions can catch live streaming images of the surf at the Checkitlive website.
Map of the area.
photo © 2004 Dave Stokes | more info (via: Wylio)