Rochester Rail Bridge inspections, 11 Oct

Peel Ports advise that on 11 October 2020 from 0800 to 1800 there will be an inspection of the Rochester Rail Bridge structure which will cause some disruption to river traffic. The bridge investigation work will be carried out by rope access teams and will be completed in two stages. Span closures will be imposed whilst inspections are underway and two safety boats will be deployed beneath operational areas to police traffic, the safety craft will be monitoring VHF channel 74 at all times.

Faversham Creek progress

On Friday 18 September Helen Whately MP brought together representatives from Kent County Council, Faversham Town Council, the Faversham Society and the Faversham Creek Trust to discuss progress restoring the swing bridge.  Kent County Council reported that they are making progress towards the restoration of the bridge, including detailed design work on a potential replacement. KCC is also meeting Peel Ports shortly and is hoping that Peel will engage and support the project team in progressing the restoration project.  Helen Whately made clear that she believes that Peel Ports had an obligation to keep the bridge and creek in good working order. She has discussed the situation with the Maritime Minister, and he has written to Peel Ports Chief Executive about Faversham’s bridge and creek. She confirmed to the group that she supports the bridge and creek being locally managed and operated in future, once they have been restored to good working order. Faversham Town Council indicated that they also want to see the bridge and creek back in working order. Next steps included a meeting between the Town Council and KCC to discuss how the bridge could be operated and managed in future, and who would be best placed to take responsibility for it. Sue Akhurst from the Faversham Creek Trust and David Melville from the Faversham Society drew on their knowledge from many years of planning the restoration of the bridge and creek, advising that opening the bridge would be no good without the sluice gates, and ineffective without dredging the basin and much of the Creek. They stressed there is lots of local support to restore the basin to use.  Next steps include further discussions between KCC and the Town Council about future operation of the bridge, KCC’s design work on the restoration of the bridge and discussions with Peel Ports, and Helen Whately’s ongoing engagement of the Maritime Minister to encourage Peel Ports to play their part. The group is due to convene again later this year. 

Your Brexit questions answered, 2 Oct

Howard Pridding (RYA Director of External Affairs) and Stuart Carruthers (RYA Cruising Manager) will give an online presentation from 7.30 pm on Friday 2 October, with opportunity for questions. Registration is required and attendance is free. We hope it will help to clarify things for boaters about 2021 and beyond.  Register at www.ryabrexitforum2020.eventbrite.co.uk

The online forum is in lieu of a face to face forum, which is now not possible following the latest government stipulations about meeting only in groups of 6. The forum is specifically being offered for boaters in the RYA London and SE region, but will be opened up to others if numbers permit. There is a limit of about 250.

Another cargo arriving by sail…

The sailing vessel De Gallant is returning to our shores with a cargo of olive oil, olives, wine, coffee and chocolate, almonds, chick peas, pinto beans, sea salt and honey. Here’s the schedule, subject to wind and weather:

Friday 18th SeptemberDe Gallant arrives into Ramsgate Harbour, where friends and partners Kent Sail Cargo will be hosting a day of unloading and collections. Whilst in the harbour we’ll also trans-load the London cargo on to Sailing Barge Dawn, for the final leg of the journey up the Thames estuary.
We’re offering the opportunity to be on board Dawn as she sails up to St Katherine Docks. Be part of these inaugural sail cargo charters which are available for two stages of the journey:
Monday 21st: join at Queenborough Harbour or Leigh-on-sea for the passage to Gravesend, with an unloading at Tilbury.
Tuesday 22nd: join at Gravesend for the meandering course into central London, through the Thames Barrier, passed Greenwich, around the Isle of Dogs to St Katherine Docks.
Wednesday 23rd we will host the London collection event at St Katherine Docks for customers who have placed their orders.