In the days of Jobling, the Tynemouth Bar was a seriously dangerous and stormy place. Even in more recent years ships have felt the brunt of the weather and ended up on the sands - no wonder Armstrong (a sailor) and his friends decided to hide Jobling there in that turbulent place.
John, thank you, I hadn't heard anything about the possibility of the Black Middens being blown up:
"The Black Middens is particularly dangerous as it is mostly below the water at high tide when shifting sand bars form around it. Many ships have been blown on to the Black Middens and wrecked – five ships during three days of storms in 1864, whose wrecks resulted in 34 deaths within close sight of the shore. In order to mitigate such disasters, the Lights of North Shields were constructed in 1536 on the orders of Henry VIII, to guide mariners into the river. The first Volunteer Life Brigade was formed in Tynemouth in 1864, to rescue sailors who navigated into danger despite the lights.
Ships have run aground on the Black Middens as late as the 1970s."
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