Our three local MPs show us how it should be done today at the Medway Watersports Trust Open Day: (left to right) Kelly Tolhurst, Tracey Crouch and Rehman Chishti. Kelly is Patron of the MSBA and Tracey is Sports Minister. Tracey unveiled a new mural by Sharmaine Kwan. To the left you can see the parlous state of Medway’s only public slipway, known as Commodore’s Hard. The MSBA is campaigning for better public acess to the river.
If your club or organisation has an interest in being involved in next year’s “Battle of Medway” (Dutch Raid) 350th anniversary you may wish to attend a meeting, to be chaired by Cllr Howard Doe, on Wednesday 14 December at 2.00 pm in the Bar Area at the Corn Exchange in Rochester.
If you wish to attend this meeting as a stakeholder please contact Gina Graham, PA to Richard Hicks, Director of Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The week-long “Battle of Medway” event, on 8-17 June 2017, will incorporate the annual River Festival, and will culminate in a “Medway in Flames” spectacle. Hundreds of boats are expected to come from Holland where the 1667 Dutch Raid is better known as the Battle of Chatham. If your club can offer moorings or hospitality to our Dutch visitors, who will be on their best behaviour, please contact Ed Woollard at Medway Council. Email email@example.com
A “pirate ship” named Revenge continues to be illegally moored on Sun Pier, preventing its use by recreational boaters for whom it was restored at considerable expense. Hayley Taylor told the MSBA on Tuesday that Medway Council has issued a notice to quit. It remains to be seen whether the pier will be available for the Medway River Festival on 9 July.
UPDATE: Good news! Hayley Taylor has informed us that the vessel departed at the weekend, so the pier is again available for use.
Medway Council has revealed plans to build a marina behind its offices on Gun Wharf, Chatham. The authority owns the freehold of the land, building and some of the river bed which includes part of Waterfront Park, part of the Riverside Pay and Display Car Park and the building known as Riverside 4. The Crown Estate owns the bed of the river, and Medway Council hopes to enter a joint venture to bring the marina to fruition.
As discussed at our last business meeting, Medway Council are keen for the MSBA and its members to be heavily involved with this year’s Medway River Festival on Saturday 9 July.
Members can take part in one of three ways:
- By providing an exciting waterborne demonstration.
- By having a land-based stand.
- By mooring in the Chatham riverfront area to create a vivid maritime backdrop to the event. Medway Council are arranging moorings as long as they have an idea of numbers.
If you or your organisation can assist in any of the above, then please let us know by emailing secretary (at) msba.org.uk
Jamie Webber, Senior Technical Events Officer at Medway Council, says this year will see the 5th Medway River Festival taking place on Chatham Waterfront. It is hoped that this year’s festival can work in conjunction with other like-minded events that are potentially taking place within the Medway area to bring them all under one umbrella. For 2016 as well as expanding the have-a-go water based actives on the River Medway we would also like to increase the number of activities, stands and demonstrations that take place on the land. These activities will better explain to visitors what takes place on the river and provide the public with information and tasters on how they can get involved in water activities themselves.
This year’s River Festival will be taking place Saturday 9 July 11.30hrs till 17.30hrs and can welcome up to 6000 people throughout the day with the land footprint starting at Sun Pier and finishing at the Cannon Green at Gun Wharf. As well as having the stands and demonstrations we shall also be having themed entertainment, walk-about entertainers, children’s activities, a small children’s fun fair, picnic area and much more.
If you are interested in attending the River Festival as part of the land based activities please complete the attached form and return to Ciara Lang, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, ME4 4TR.
At last a date has been fixed for the Medway River Festival: Saturday 9 July 2016. This year the MSBA will assisting Medway Council with the planning of the water-based activities, which will start at 13.30 (high tide will be at 16.00).
Hayley Taylor of Medway Council informs us that WPH Marine will be commencing the works to Sun Pier on Monday 11 January and the barge will be arriving around midday. As advised previously, the barge will be moored on the old dolphins adjacent to the pier. The works are scheduled to take place over a 9 week period, and during this time access to the pontoon will not be obstructed.
Hayley Taylor was called away at the last minute from attending our AGM last week. Here are the main points from the report she was intending to present:
- Sun Pier – Is open and fully operational, it would be lovely to see it used more frequently. The next phase of works will involve remedial works to the upper deck of the Pier and include replacement / refurbishment of the planks and re-painting the railings etc. We have asked the contractors, as part of the tender process, to keep any disruption to a minimum during works and to phase them so that access to the pontoon is not reduced. I am meeting the contractors on site tomorrow so will be able to advise MSBA when the works will be taking place and if there are likely to be any planned closures.
- Rochester Pier – Unfortunately we have had further vandalism to the token machines both on shore and on the pontoon so at the moment access will only be available to those who hold an access card. Users are able to moor and to exit but will not be able to regain entry to the pier using a token. I visited the pier today with one of our electrical contractors and am awaiting a quote for the repair works. We will aim to have this fixed as soon as possible but it is only 3 months since the token machine was replaced so funding will be an issue.
- Gillingham Pier – I am ordering improved signage to make it clear that launching of jet skis is not permitted at Gillingham Pier.
- River Festival – There has been an issue with the date that was proposed but we are working on getting a new date for the 2016 festival confirmed ASAP. As discussed today it will be good to have a greater presence ‘on the water’ and look forward to working with MSBA to make this happen.
- Battle of Medway – The 2017 commemorations are being planned and we discussed the early phases of how this event will take shape. More details to follow.
- We are looking to work with MSBA to improve publicity and information concerning river access in Medway – putting details on our website and other tourism sites, along with updating the brochure which can be sent to anybody wishing to visit Medway by boat.