Tag Archives: Isle of Grain

Safe

Last Kiss

The London mayor, Boris Johnson, has launched a withering attack on the “irrelevant” and “myopic” Airports Commission, after the panel tasked with deciding where to build additional runways in the south-east finally ruled out his plan for a new hub in the Thames estuary.

The commission said that after detailed study it had concluded the proposal for a new four-runway airport had “substantial disadvantages that collectively outweigh its potential benefits”.

The commission chairman, Sir Howard Davies, said there were serious doubts about its operation and deliverability.

He said: “The economic disruption would be huge and there are environmental hurdles which it may prove impossible, or very time-consuming to surmount. Even the least ambitious version of the scheme would cost £70bn to £90bn with much greater public expenditure involved than in other options – probably some £30bn to £60bn in total.”

From The Guardian, 2 September 2014

As the young people might say, “Suck it, Boris”.

BBC News – Thames Estuary airport row at Kent County Council

Mr Lake said: “I’m keen on an estuary airport because I think it is a viable option and it’s something that we really need in the South East.”

He said people in west Kent were “already devastated” by Gatwick flights over the area and, when asked about the effect of an estuary airport on residents in Medway and on the Isle of Grain, he said: “We want to share the burden.”

Oh, how very generous of you, Mr Lake.

BBC News – Wildlife haven status for Thames Estuary airport land

Opponents of a new airport in the Thames Estuary have welcomed a government decision to designate the land earmarked for the project as a new wildlife haven.

The Thames Marshes have been included in a list of 12 Nature Improvement Areas and campaigners believe this could scupper the project.

The RSPB and Medway Council believe the airport would damage the environment.

However, supporters of the idea say the UK needs more airport capacity.

The airport would be built partly on reclaimed land and could be on either an island or a peninsula.

A ray of hope.

Here’s to the future now…

I recall hoping 2011 would improve on the utter disaster that was 2010. I have to admit to being disappointed. 2011 hasn’t really been much better. I wonder what 2012 might have in store for me.

Yes, it’s that time of the year when I sit down and review where I have been over the past 12 months, and where I want to go over the next.

Not having a regular income to speak of has rather curbed my wanderlust, so any photographic expeditions in 2011 have been closer to home. Apart from a couple of sallies beyond the confines of Kent—model railway exhibitions earlier in the year took me as far as Wigan and York, and a brief day trip to Shropshire a few weeks ago took in the RAF Museum at Cosford—I have had to be content with places that don’t cost a fortune to visit.

I made a couple of exploratory visits to places during the year. Dungeness and the Isle of Grain have been earmarked for further exploration. Faversham piqued my interest, and warrants a longer visit. Trips to flesh out my “Margins” photo project were relatively few, mainly incorporating the north shore of the River Medway, which has turned into one of my regular haunts. I suppose I have managed to get some good images during the year.

Gear-wise, selling off some other hobby items enabled me to upgrade my DSLR from the Canon EOS 400D to the 7D. I also added an ƒ/2.8 70–300mm lens, and a few accessories like a remote shutter release and memory cards. There’s not a lot more I want to add to my gear, although I have one more lens I would like to acquire in the ƒ/2.8 17–70mm-ish range, and more memory cards and so on. My MacBook Pro will celebrate its fifth birthday in summer 2012, and it is just beginning to show its age. Aperture 3 gives it cause to struggle, and sadly I cannot add any more RAM to the machine to help. I’m looking at options such as a new, faster, bigger internal hard drive in order to eke out a little more life from it.

Looking to 2012, what do I wish for? I am ignoring the real world here, just looking at my own life. There is only really one thing I want: a proper full-time job. I need a nice regular income again. Life out here in the freelance artworker world is totally dead. The lack of a job has meant I have had to let another fantastic opportunity sail by without my boarding it. Later in the summer 2012, I had hoped I would be going on a photographic safari to Svalbard. Circumstances in 2011 meant I simply couldn’t commit to buying the flight tickets. So much for adventure.

I would also like to push to try and get some freelance model railway photography gigs. I’ve already blogged about that, but in the new year I intend to keep pushing at that stuck door. I am fed up with letting life pass me by. 2012 ought to be the year when I make every effort to get life moving again. 

If I don’t blog before, I would like to wish you all a merry Christmas, and my best wishes for the new year.

Isle of Grain

The Hoo Peninsula is a sparsely-populated collection of mudflats and farmland, situated between the Thames and Medway estuaries. It’s a strange landscape, home to wildlife and bird sanctuaries as well as a string of power stations and oil and gas storage facilities. Right at the end, you come to the Isle of Grain.

I’d like to be charitable about Grain. It has a couple of pubs, a primary school, a fire station, supermarket, a church with an oddly stubby tower, and some sea views. Otherwise, it’s 1960s and 1970s housing estate with a socking great power station next door. I’m not entirely sure why people want to live in Grain. It has to be a self-sufficient community, since it’s nearly an hour to get to Chatham and Rochester. Perhaps the community grew up to service the numerous power stations strung along the north shore of the Medway.

I have been to Grain before. A couple of times on business, and a couple of times to see what was there. Despite various attempts at getting things moving out there, the latest being Thamesport, an earlier one being Port Victoria, the place remains a curious mix of industry and bleak landscape.

Having done some of the Saxon Shore Way closer to the Medway Towns—Hoo St Werburgh and Upnor, chiefly—I decided it was time to venture to the end of the peninsula to see what it was like. I think the journey was worth taking, and I took the opportunity to reconnoitre other likely locations to visit.