Archive for October, 2015

South Dock Marina Boat Yard Update

Saturday, October 31st, 2015
The tree lined edge of the boatyard overlooking the Thames. A quiet and popular spot to relax. The stone is the Rotherhithe and Deptford Boundary Stone

The tree lined edge of the boatyard overlooking the Thames. A quiet and popular spot to relax. The stone is the Rotherhithe and Deptford Boundary Stone

Corner of the South Dock Boat Yard showing the typical three and four story buildings in the area and the nearest distance to the yard.

Corner of the South Dock Boat Yard showing the typical three and four story buildings in the area and the nearest distance to the yard.

The South Dock Boat Yard Gate. It is pretty much full at the moment.

The South Dock Boat Yard Gate. It is pretty much full at the moment.

Southwark Council held their “consultation” meeting on the 7th and 8th of October. In their wisdom they decided to have a maximum of twenty people in each 30 minute session. The first day sold out quickly so they introduced another day. It was all pretty pointless as by the time the officials had said their bit about housing needs and how the boat yard will be “improved” there was hardly any time for questions. Everything was very sketchy with some positively dodgy graphics distorting the development by removing tower blocks and bending the river. When I asked Bruce Glockling whether the development was going ahead as planned he said yes they would be building 213 flats wrapped round a “boatyard”. The consultation must be purely a formality. They are trying to tick the box after their disastrous first attempt when they forgot to tell anyone about it. They agreed at the meeting to call the “consultation” held on the 7th and 8th as their “First Consultation” but seemed to have forgotten what they said as their website is claiming they have held two “consultations”. In any case, they were a total waste of time. I doubt a single person was in favour of the development. The information was farcical and we are none the wiser.

The truth is they are trying to wrap two tower blocks up to twenty stories high plus a block of flats eight stories high around what is meant to be a working boat yard. I’ve never seen an industrial site surrounded by flats in this way. I do know of boatyards which have been closed down because neighbours have complained about the noise. In this case the proposed new inhabitants will have to endure toxic dust, poisonous fumes, plus noise if there is to be shot blasting, grinding, spray painting, welding, riveting and all the general carpentry and sanding noises. Everything will be amplified by the buildings so even neighbours over the road will have to endure higher noise levels. Boat yards need just a bit of space around them like any industrial process. Once the residents start to complain the Health and Safety officials will not tolerate toxic dusts, fumes and noise and the yard will be closed down. The yard works fine as it is and it could easily be developed to provide better facilities and more, much needed, proper jobs for the local residents.

Southwark Council are proposing building 213 flats probably housing 400-600 people (if the flats are actually lived in) with no thought whatsoever as to where people will work. As Southwark have gradually eradicated all the existing industrial buildings in the borough they must be presuming people travel outside the borough to work yet the roads are blocked, the tube is jammed, the busses hopeless during rush hour and even the very expensive river boats are now virtually full.

The River Thames needs South Dock Boat Yard so it is essential we act now to defeat this grossly over scaled and thoughtless development.

South Downs Way

Monday, October 12th, 2015

H

Eastbourne Pier

Eastbourne Pier

10th and 11th October 2015

Sumara is now ashore and work at Arthur Beale will soon be manic so this weekend was to be the last weekend break before Christmas. We choose the South Downs Way because it is within easy reach of London and seemed strange that we hadn’t walked any of it yet. My nephew Alex likes to cycle it and sung its praises too. Selma booked us into a comfy Bed and Breakfast in Eastbourne for Friday night and we set off along the prom at 9am on Saturday morning in glorious sunshine. The forecast was for a cold breeze but it was boiling hot!

Eastbourne Promenade

Eastbourne Promenade

The promenade was familiar territory, having entered the Eastbourne Half Marathon a while back, so I knew what was in store at the end of the prom! Yes, a big long climb up onto the top of the Downs. There is a little café just before the hill so we topped up with water and set off. The ground is fantastic soft short grass just like Tennyson Downs on the Isle of Wight. It would be a lovely run or a great walk for someone recovering from knee trouble. Once at the top the breeze was a bit cooler but not as strong as the mocked up photo shows.

It wasn't really windy

It wasn’t really windy

 

 

We took the north route rather than walking near to Beachy Head. It took us through Jevington where Banoffi Pie was invented.

The Home of Banoffi Pie

The Home of Banoffi Pie

After ten miles we arrived at Alfriston for lunch. It is a very attractive town but inevitably that attracts the tourists and the gift shops which have taken over the high street. There is an amazing book shop worth visiting.

South Downs

South Downs

After sandwiches we set of across rolling downland towards our evening stay at the Youth Hostel based on Itford Farm in Southease. We were impressed with the ingenuity of the padlock bar guarding the multi use aerials.

Very Clever Device!

Very Clever Device!

South Downs

South Downs

he Youth Hostel at Itford Form, Southease.

he Youth Hostel at Itford Form, Southease.

The hostel was an efficient modern place which was clean and friendly although close to a busy road from Newhaven.

In the evening we ate a superb meal at the Cock Inn near to Lewes. I had Banoffi Pie for pudding but I’m not sure that I liked It.

The Cock Inn

The Cock Inn

The first days walk was about 17 miles.

After breakfast we walked through Southease City Centre are were thrilled to spot a church with a round tower. I might join the Church with Round Tower Society one day.

Southease Church

Southease Church

We followed the South Downs for a few miles then diverted south towards Saltdean via a convenient running route with wardens and water stops. Watching the runners was interesting, the first runners looked a bit miserable but they got happier and happier as you moved back through the fleet until the last stragglers who were miserable again. We were only about four miles into the twenty mile run and I am pretty sure some of them wouldn’t make it. We walked along the seafront into Brighton Marina for lunch and then through about 10,000 motorbikes to the station for our train home.

Brighton Marina

Brighton Marina

The second days walk was only about 11 miles.

We will finish the South Downs Way  another day!

 

The End of the Sailing Season for Sumara

Monday, October 12th, 2015
Sumara ashore in Harry Kings Yard

Sumara ashore in Harry Kings Yard

I’d arranged to have Sumara hauled out at the end of September. Of course it was sod’s law that the first few weekends in October have been warm and sunny with a gentle sailing breeze. At least the sails were packed away nice and dry. She will winter in Harry Kings Yard at Pin Mill. I like it there.