Weekly curated mailing list

Walking across the North Sea

3 Apr, 2023

On April 2, 1868 when leaflets were circulated in Sunderland (UK) announcing that Professor de Grieves from Havre in France would walk across the North Sea to demonstrate his “patent Kamptulicon boots”.

The event was cleverly staged on April 2, and not on April 1, so it seemed less suspicious.
People fell for the practical joke largely because an apparently genuine and very similar event was told to have happened three decades before.

In 1838 a man “walking on the sea” happened off Sunderland’s piers, with thousands of spectators, although this only survived in oral tradition and distant memories. So in 1868 thousands of people believed it.

Around 10,000 people gathered at Sunderland’s piers. A steam tug heavily overloaded with passengers, had seized a business opportunity and charged sixpence a head for the unique privilege of a sea view of the professor.

Smaller craft of all kinds had also put to sea, waiting for the appearance of the man himself in order to accompany him on his walk out to sea.

But there was no sign of the professor. Gradually, realisation dawned on the onlookers that they’d been fooled.

So till now walking on water seems to be only done in imagination. But who knows… one day, although better not to plan it during the first days of April.

co-founder of walk · listen · create

Upcoming events

11 Apr · Tue · 18:00 (UTC) · Online
Meet the authors who are writing about walking and the landscapes through which we walk, at walk · listen · create’s Walking Writers Salons. We are delighted to hav... Keep reading
15 Apr · Sat · 09:00 (UTC) · Braid Burn, Edinburgh, UK
Preliminary workshop to four poetry / art / ecology walks, which will trace the course, and name-changes, of the Braid Burn from its mouth at Portobello nr Edinburg... Keep reading
16 Apr · Sun · 15:00 (UTC) · Online
As part of the 2023 MK Lit Fest Springs Back! Festival, Cheryl Markosky and Tony Horitz, winners of the 2022 Write About Walking competition and our 2022/3 writers-... Keep reading
18 Apr · Tue · 18:00 (UTC) · Online
What goes on at Europe's borders, out of sight and out of mind? Simon Cole always loved the film Casablanca. Then 2020s life began to imitate 1940s art. Let's tease... Keep reading
22 Apr · Sat · 09:00 (UTC) · Braid Burn, Edinburgh, UK
Four poetry / art / ecology walks + 2 workshops, tracing the course, and name-changes, of the Braid Burn from its mouth at Portobello nr Edinburgh to source in the ... Keep reading
22 - 23 Apr, 2023 · 135 Junction Road, Kowloon Tsai, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Healing Hours is a community-led project, which invites people to retrace minute moments in daily situations through a series of embodiment exercises. Healing is no... Keep reading
23 Apr · Sun · 12:00 (UTC) · Fruit Towers, Innocent Drinks, Ladbroke Grove, London, UK
We will walk and listen together along the canal, from Kensal Rise to Stonebridge Park, where we will end up in a cafe and have a chat. This route is 3.4 miles, but... Keep reading

From our network

L’art, et plus généralement le secteur culturel, sont susceptibles de prôner, si ce n’est de développer une pratique respectueuse, tant … Plus Keep reading
Day 1089 - Normal and 2.3 km drawing.Post-equinox and 3.7 km drawing. Keep reading
Day 1088 - Convoluted and 5.9 km drawing. Keep reading
En complément de l’article précédant, autour des PAS – Parcours Audio Sensibles Desartsonnants, voici le lien d’une carte de PAS … Plus Keep reading
Poetree by Bin Rich long listed in the 2023 Urban Tree festival writing competition. Keep reading
This Leaf by Penny Denman long listed for the 2023 Urban Tree festival competition. Keep reading
When the Bough Holds Strong by Andrew Halsall Smith long listed for the 2023 Urban Tree festival writing competition. Keep reading

Stuff we found

Waves crashing on the shore, footsteps crunching on the forest floor. Stress levels plummet when we immerse ourselves in nature. Nick Luscombe meets the Japanese sc... Keep reading
Carnival queen Shynel Brizan shares the triumphs and challenges of her 14-year journey in the art form of one of Trinidad and Tobago’s oldest masquerades —the moko ... Keep reading
The high-wire artist who traversed the National Building Museum Thursday, became a legend for walking between the World Trade Center Twin Towers in 1974. Source: Ph... Keep reading
Enjoy a foraging journey with your whānau during the upcoming Walking Festival. Source: It’s the perfect time of year for a forage during the Walking Festival : New... Keep reading

Follow us on social media