Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Sea bean

1441. On sale at the Original Shell Shop, Brixham, Devon: ‘Lucky Sea Beans, 59p each’, May 2012 [still sold there, at 79p each, November 2018; ‘shop will be closed till further notice’, November 2023].

2. On sale in St Ives, Cornwall: ‘Lucky Sea Beans, 50p’, April 2007.

3. On sale at the Shell Shack, Scarborough, North Yorkshire: ‘Lucky’ Sea Beans, 35p, March 2002 [No longer sold there, September 2018].

4. I am am ex-pat living on a small island which is part of Madeira. I recently found on the beach here an object which local people call Castanha de Colombo – the chestnut of Christopher Colombus (one has to be careful of the translation!). Local lore has it that this nut, which is supposed to come from North America led Colombus to understand the currents of the sea and so discover America. My find has provoked great interest here as it is very rare to find a castanha [Porto Santo, Madeira, May 1998].

5. On sale in the Sea Floor Shell Shop, Lands End, Cornwall, labelled as ‘a present from Lands End’, 20p, July 1991.

6. On sale in the Waterhead Shell Shop, Ambleside, Cumbria, as ‘Lucky Folklore Sea Beans’, 10p, September 1988.

7. On sale in the Promenade Shell Shop, Blackpool, Lancashire, as ‘Lucky Bingo Sea Bean’, 10p, October 1986.

8. On sale in the Shell Shop, St Alban Street, Weymouth, Dorset, as ‘Lucky Sea Bean’, 12p, July 1984 [None found for sale in Weymouth, May 2018].

Images:  main, Waterhead Shell Shop, Ambleside, Cumbria; inset, beans purchased from the Waterhead Shell Shop; both July 2015.