Tag Archives: River Medway

Medway Marinas

The Long WalkPillarCleatBollardHigh and DryCoils
BootHoleCrisscrossRustVanishing PointDangle
RestingFacing EastLean ToYellowGap

Medway Marinas, a set on Flickr.

I’ve been visiting Hoo’s riverside wall area for a few years now, but I’ve never ventured along the footpath that passes through the boat yards and marina. I had the chance to actually visit what’s now called “Port Werburgh”, and Whitton Marine’s yard, with a photographic chum yesterday.

I only took my compact digital, because I wasn’t really expecting anything fantastic. With hindsight I should have taken the SLR, but I think the little camera proved itself quite adequate.

The best laid plans

As you may be aware I am partial to what I term “Dawn Raids”. This is where I head out very early to catch the sun rising over the Medway. In the summer, this can mean getting up at very silly times of the night, but nearing midwinter the sun gets up at a more civilised hour.

The weather forecast looked good, with perhaps a smattering of cloud. It would be a low tide at around 8am, and the sun was due to rise at about the same time. It all looked set fair for a December Dawn Raid to Upnor.

I got there in plenty of time, set the EOS 7D up on the tripod with the Sigma 10–20mm wide angle, pointed at the horizon where the sun would appear, and I waited. While I waited, I took a couple of shots with the PowerShot G9. A church clock tolled the hour, more cloud rolled in, and there was the merest hint of pink … and that was it. I had been hoping for some blazing oranges and golds, moody cloudscapes, lit from below, something worth all the effort. It was a bit disappointing, to be honest, but I suppose that’s the chance you take. You can never guarantee anything in life.

December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor

PS Medway Queen updates

August Update

Posted in Shipyard Blog

A lot has happened this August, the ship is coming along nicely, and is continually making better progress.

At Bristol, the engine room has been shot blasted and painted, and the main Cylinder block, the Condenser, the Edwards air pump, the Hotwell tank and all A frames and connecting rods that connect to Cylinder block to the A frames where the slide valves are located. The smaller machinery and small tanks have already been installed prior to the shot blasting of the Engine Room.

There was a little flurry of activity on Twitter earlier from the Medway Queen Preservation Society’s feed. They’re getting excited because the restoration is steaming along nicely. I think they’re hoping to get the restored hull back from the dry dock in Bristol very soon, so that refitting can be undertaken at the Gillingham Dock base.

I hope I will be able to get out and see the Queen come back to her home port. The story of her salvage and restoration has been long, sometimes painful, but uplifting at the same time.

Visit the Medway Queen Preservation Society web site for updates on the paddle steamer’s progress.

Related: “One of the Small Ships” / “EU funding threatens Medway Queen restoration”

September Dawn – a set on Flickr

One of my infamous Dawn Raids occurred this morning. It so happened the weather was forecast to be clear, and there was a high tide coinciding with sunrise, give or take a few minutes. I headed out to Hoo St Werburgh, which has rapidly become my local sunrise location of choice.

Swapping lenses on a DSLR always increases the possibility of dust and grot getting into the camera body. Only when I got home and downloaded the images did I spot a small hair in the bottom right corner of many images, caused by my holding an uncapped lens in the crook of my arm while swapping them about. At wider apertures the fibre was all but invisible, but stopping down meant it became clearer and clearer. I’ve had to do a bit of selective cropping and cloning to tidy things up. I was lucky, really, it only encroached in a corner. It has now been removed from the camera body.

For those without Flash, here’s the direct link to the set on Flickr.

The campaign | Stop Estuary Airport

We are campaigning against an airport on or near the Thames Estuary because it would be:

• Unaffordable for the UK
• Responsible for concreting over much of Kent
• A source of significant noise and pollution
• In the wrong location
• Devastating for wildlife

I want to post fun and interesting things, but sadly the rest of the world keeps wanting to annoy and frustrate me. The pie-in-the-sky proposals for a hub airport on the Thames Estuary or North Kent Marshes is one of the latter. I really hope the Conservative’s very own BoJo the Clown is made to eat custard pie over this.

There’s a strange beauty to the Hoo peninsula. Is this any place for an airport? | Ian Jack | Comment is free | The Guardian

If Hoo were chosen, which isn’t unlikely, the question then becomes: what would be destroyed to make way for it? The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has, as usual, the quickest and simplest answer – the wetland habitats of visiting species – but beyond that the losses are less definable, and not so easy to raise a fuss over. Since Dickens’s day, the creeks and marshes of Hoo have had a bleak form of celebrity as the spot where Pip first met Magwitch, and where prison hulks (Magwitch had just escaped from one of them) could be occasionally glimpsed through the mist on the Medway. In fact, the countryside is prettier and hillier than you expect. On a hot day last week, workers from Poland and Bulgaria were spreading straw across fields of strawberries while the knapped flint of Hoo’s several 13th-century churches shone in the sun. There is also a 14th-century castle owned by Jools Holland and a workaday marina, about as far from Cowes in its social atmosphere as it’s possible to get.

It’s no surprise I—as many residents in the Medway Towns and surrounding areas—oppose the plans for an airport on Hoo. I found this a thoughtful piece from last Saturday’s Guardian.

Ka-BOOOM!

The Liberal Democrats are calling for plans for a Thames Estuary airport to be scrapped following a report into a shipwreck full of explosives off Kent.

The American cargo ship SS Richard Montgomery sank off Sheerness in 1944, containing 1,400 tonnes of explosives.

Lib Dem Julian Huppert said without a “plan to deal with this mess there’s no way” the plans will get off the ground.

Engineers found it would not stop construction, a spokesman for the Mayor of London said.

Explosive ship wreck, fog, flocks of migrating birds, and lots of vociferous objectors. Of course Boris will get his folly.