Nick Ardley is an eccentric, an anachronism from a simpler age, for the way he sails his clinker sloop around the Thames estuary. In Rochester to Richmond: A Thames Estuary Sailor’s View. The book is a reflective journey between Rochester and London, a path once of commerce, but now pleasure. Rochester was of immense importance to Britain’s past trading richness too. The belching chimneys pouring acrid fumes and cement dust have evaporated. Oil refineries have slipped away, but wharves lining the banks survive. As a distraction, he wanders a little above Rochester and then again, a little above the Pool of London towards Richmond. Between, he lands amongst the marsh and mud, finding graves and farmsteads enveloped in purslane and lavender. Many towns sailed past were part of this heritage, supplying building materials and food carried by the tan-sailed barge to London. Ardley dips and dabbles into these communities and explores how they have transformed.
Nick will have copies available on Whimbrel at the Queenborough Classic Boat Festival on 9+10 September.
MSBA Chairman Brian Corbett was treated to a personal tour of the indescribably weird and wonderful steamship SS George Stephenson. The beautiful vessel is the brainchild of eccentric Dutch owner Vaas Stik who used hundreds of recycled components and materials, some more than a hundred years old, in her construction. The ship has both a steam engine and an eight cylinder 1950s Gardner diesel engine, both wonders to behold in their respective immaculate engine rooms The ship is moored on the waiting pontoon in the river at Chatham Marina and is free to visit this week only, so don’t miss the opportunity!
We are sad to report that Ron Judd has died tragically. He fell from a ladder whilst working on Nepos in Gillingham Marina last Thursday. He was air lifted to London but he never regained consciousness. He had extensive head injuries and life support was turned off on Friday evening. Ron was a member of the Medway Motor Yacht Club, which was a member of the MYA. Details of the funeral can be obtained in due course from Nigel Jennings, past Commodore of MMYC, on 07775 701631.
Reluctantly, because of health and professional pressures, John Gore has decided to resign from the position of Chairman of the MSBA. All the members would like to thank John for his wisdom and good service to the Association.
On John’s recommendation, Brian Corbett will be acting as Chairman, and Tony Lavelle will be acting as Vice Chairman, subject to ratification at the next AGM.
Gavin Parson, again due to professional pressures would like to pass on the mantle of MSBA secretary. Although we have been asking for volunteers at the last two members’ business meetings, we would also welcome and consider the offer of administrative support, including minute taking at the monthly meetings, on a fee paid basis.
Bob Cox has told us of the sad news that his father, Stuart, died on 16 October. Stuart was a popular GP and had a distinguished career in local politics. As a pillar of Medway Yacht Club he set up the Medway Yachting Association, which became the MSBA, and it was his idea to link the RYA membership to clubs.
Read full obituary…