Rochester Pier closures, 14 + 20 July

Marion Phillips from Medway Council advises that Rochester Pier will be temporarily closed from 1pm on the following two dates for fireworks displays:

  • ·         Saturday 14 July – Last night of the Proms
  • ·         Friday 20 July – Medway Mile

The events organiser has given assurances that the pier will be properly cleared of debris after both events.

River Festival Wash-up, 24 July

Verne Sanderson advises us that the Medway River Festival wash-up (and planning for 2019) for the river community groups is on Tuesday 24 July at 12pm at the Brook Theatre. It would be helpful if you could please confirm attendance or otherwise. Phone Verne on 01634 338302 or email verne.sanderson@medway.gov.uk

Admiral’s Cruise, 23+24 June 2018

There will be a briefing in the Rochester Cruising Club clubhouse on Wednesday 20 June at 20.30 for all those participating. If you have put your name down to take a councillor please make a special effort to attend.

Ian Foster, Admiral’s Cruise Coordinator
T: 01622 735882
M: 07710 704151
E: ia.foster@btinternet.com

Medway River Festival, 16 June

Medway Council are pleased to be hosting the River Festival 2018 in conjunction with The Historic Dockyard Chatham. This year it will be taking place within the Historic Dockyard Chatham and all land based activities need to be booked with them using the form attached. Due to the needs of exhibition space Medway Council are pleased to offer a marquee where necessary – please make sure this is indicated on the form.

If your club or organisation would like a stand and/or power supply, please use the relevant request forms below provided by Medway Council:

Please make sure the forms are submitted by 28 May 2018. Should you have any questions please go directly to Alana Almond events@chdt.org.uk

Medway River Festival, 16 June 2018

This year the festival will take place at Chatham Historic Dockyard, which is celebrating its 400th anniversary by offering free access to everyone on 16 June. There will be “have-a-go” water activities on the Mast Pond and other activities on the river which you can watch from the area between HMS Gannet and the submarine HMS Ocelot. Other historic vessels will be open for visitors at the east end of Basin 1 (Chatham Maritime Marina) and there will be a Parade of Sail featuring historic vessels in the afternoon. High tide is at 3.30pm.

If any local boating clubs and organisations would like a stall at the Dockyard, please email info@msba.org.uk and we will pass on your request. We are hoping that the Council will provide tables and gazebos but this is to be confirmed.

Admiral’s Cruise, 23+24 June 2018

The flotilla rounding the Montgomery wreck on Day Two. Photos and article by Fred Trice.

Once a year, rain or shine, a very mixed group of Medway leisure craft led by local fishing boats, accompanied by police RIBs and sometimes the Sheerness lifeboat, makes its way up and down the Medway. Held over two days on an early summer weekend, the flotilla Beats the Bounds of the Rochester Oyster & Floating Fishery.

ROFF, a very ancient organisation indeed, can trace its roots back to a charter granted by Henry III to the City of Rochester and another by Henry VI giving the local fishermen rights to harvest fish and oysters from the river. The charter was given further weight in 1729 when George II passed an Act of Parliament allowing management of the river to be organised and policed  by ROFF.

Day One

The Admiral’s Court in Rochester Guildhall

Each year, Saturday starts early with the Mayor, as Admiral of The River, holding court in the Rochester Guildhall, listening to reports from the Chamberlain of the Fishery, as to how the year has gone. The health of the fishery is noted; poaching has been a problem in the past.

The Beadle leads the procession. Can you spot the local MP who is also MSBA Patron?

After the court the Mayor led by the Beadle makes his way round the corner to Rochester Cruising Club where a boat has been allocated as his Barge for the Day.

Hawkwood Stone, the upstream limit for the Rochester Oyster & Floating Fishery

The flotilla then heads upstream to the upper limit of the fishery with members of the great and good aboard. Then it’s back down the river for refreshments.

Day Two

Once again the fleet sets off following the ROFF fishing boats, this time heading downstream, frequently picking up vessels from some of the clubs and marinas as we pass. It is traditional that we fire a cannon at all the various clubs  we pass and they answer in the same manner.

The historic tug Touchstone laying a wreath over the wreck of HMS Bulwark

First “hove to” is the war grave of HMS Bulwark where a vessel is stationed  for a wreath laying with local sea scouts and piper aboard. Then it’s off out past Garrision Point, sometimes with a water display from the Sheerness tugs and on to the SS Richard Montgomery

One of the Sheerness tugs saluting the Admiral with  fire hoses

Again a “hove to” for a wreath laying and the Last Post before returning into Queenborough at the invitation of the Mayor of Queenborough and his good lady. Over 70 boats have been known to attend.

Do you know Lady Mine?

This old and neglected Westerly Centaur called “Lady Mine” has been moored on Sun Pier for some time without authorisation. If you know anything about the boat please contact info@msba.org.uk

Rochester Pier Closure, 26 Feb – 2 March

Marion Phillips of Medway Council informs us that Rochester Pier will be temporarily closed from Monday 26 February 2018 for one week to allow for some electrical testing to be undertaken. An FB padlock will be used to allow for emergency access if required.

Do you know this boat?

Photo Graeme Longmuir

This dilapidated motor cruiser was found drifting in the Medway above Rochester Bridge on 4 February and was rescued by the tug Speedwell. It is still tied up on Rochester Pier. If you have any information about who owns it or where it came from, please email info@msba.org.uk.

Chatham Interface Land Proposal – please respond before 22 Dec

Please add your response to the Chatham Interface Land proposal using this questionnaire. Please share it on social media too.

PLEASE NOTE: For your views to count, you must send your response, ideally using the questionnaire, to Medway Council. Email planning.policy@medway.gov.uk

The Council say they want to retain the Dockyard slip, but will it just end up boxed in with inadequate parking and facilities like Gillingham Pier slipway?

There are two parcels of land involved in this planning proposal, which covers part of the Chatham Historic Dockyard. Let’s keep the housing on the landward part. The riverside part is not huge and is the only green space next to the river with access to the water, with far greater amenity value to the community. Lying between a busy shopping centre and a world class visitor attraction, it would not be an attractive place to live. The area gets very busy in the summer when events are on; traffic and parking will always be a problem. Having a residents’ parking scheme would create the problems that can be now seen at Gillingham Pier where overflow shoppers vie for parking spaces with residents and anyone wanting to use the Pier. Or will the Dockyard slip be abandoned and left unusable like Commodore’s Hard?

Please suggest in your response how the slipway and its surroundings should be used. How about a first class public slipway with a community clubhouse? Maybe nautical themed bars and restaurants nearby should be welcomed if they are not too close and the a pontoon would encourage boats to visit, thus boosting the local economy.

MSBA member clubs, the Royal Navy Sailing Association and the Royal Engineer Yacht Club are based at the Historic Dockyard where they use the slipway to access their moorings. Let’s support them by expressing our concerns to the Proposal: