Lucky Eve captures cliff-fall and puts Sidmouth on map

Sidmouth photographer Eve Mathews has her dramatic cliff-fall pictures featured on the British Geological Survey website.

SIDMOUTH has been getting itself a reputation on the Internet - and it’s not for tourism.

A lucky series of photographs taken of a massive cliff fall at Pennington Point in February 2009 by amateur photographer Eve Mathews, has been featured on the British Geological Survey website ( by geologist Catherine Pennington.

Eve’s photos are a useful scientific record for geologists studying such phenomena and the landslide has been entered into the National Landslide Database as ID 16367/1. Because such falls happen so quickly, she was very lucky to capture them on her Canon 5D SLR digital camera.

Eve said: “On the same day, a large section had come down at the bottom of the weir of the River Sid and I was showing a friend. Then we walked down, just as a few pebbles were coming away. I try to take my camera when I go out…it is just a bit of a compulsion with me,” said Eve, a member of Exeter Camera Club.

Despite having no motor drive on her camera, she captured the drama of the Pennington Point fall, second by second as it happened. One national newspaper used one of her photos, but Eve, who has lived in Sidmouth for five years, had not heard of the BGS website until Catherine contacted her.

She is delighted her six pictures that show the sequence of the fall. It is this that interested the BGS, because Eve’s unique record of the fall gives a rare insight to what happens as the cliff collapses, and remind us all how fragile Sidmouth’s red cliffs are.