Peel Ports have announced an 8.5% price hike in charges (see notice).
The MSBA has previously objected to their massive annual increases in charges and we have made the point more than once that such price hikes jeopardise the viability of some of our clubs. We obtained an undertaking that the process would be transparent and we would be consulted but this has not taken place.
The MSBA has asked for a detailed breakdown of the justification of this figure and will be pursuing this matter with Peel Ports.
Happy New Year! Click “Weather” on the menu to see our updated weather, tides and webcam links. This now has 2022 tide tables from the PLA and Peel Ports (Sheerness and Chatham). You can also check real time tides, wind and weather at each of several stations in the Medway from the approach channel to Strood. Also we now include a link to the superb weather station and webcam (updated every 10 minutes) at Lower Halstow Yacht Club.
The MSBA supports Faversham Creek Trust in their campaign to restore the swing bridge, which would allow craft such as sailing barges to use the basin at the head of the creek. On Friday 10 December Helen Whately MP met with representatives from Kent County Council, Faversham Town Council, the Faversham Society and the Faversham Creek Trust to discuss progress since their last meeting in June. The Town Council kicked off the meeting with an update on their legal advice. It said the Secretary of State has the power to issue an Abatement Notice under section 43 of the Medway Ports Act 1973 to compel the party with obligations to maintain this bridge, sluice gates and associated works so as to permit navigation again. The Town Council has written to the Secretary of State for Transport asking him to issue this notice. The meeting agreed that supporting the Town Council to achieve this objective was the best way forward. Money currently pledged by Kent County Council, Swale Borough Council, and Faversham Town Council and raised from the community by the Faversham Creek Trust, is not enough to cover the cost of restoring the bridge. We need Peel Ports to play their part to get the bridge back into working order, this would go a long way towards plugging the funding gap for making the creek basin usable again. KCC confirmed that the Faversham community funding is safely held in a separate account except where individual donors have requested and received their donations back. Kent County Council is helping the Town Council to provide the Department of Transport with further information about the bridge and creek. Helen Whately will press the Secretary of State to take this course of action. While this is a positive step forward there is still a long way to go. KCC confirmed that design work on the bridge and sluices is completed and tender documents are ready. Both Helen and KCC have agreed to update residents about progress so far including future designs for the bridge.
Medway Council is in the process of creating a River Strategy which, once completed, will be instrumental in helping to address river user needs, monitor pollution, coastal erosion and secure future funding to protect and enhance river access locations and plan ecological improvements such as salt marsh preservation and creation. To help us understand the changing nature of the estuary and visual history of the river, we are seeking old photos of the following:
St Mary’s Island
Hoo Salt Marsh
St Mary’s Island
If you have any photos of these sites we would be very grateful if you could scan and send them to email@example.com or alternatively photos can be collected from your address, copies made and then returned to you.
This is a unique opportunity for river users to make the first contributions to the River Strategy. For any photos we use we will credit the person who provided them.
In the meantime, here are two photos: the farmhouse which once stood on Nor Marsh, taken in 1932, and Sun Pier taken in the 1960s, which we hope are of interest to MSBA members.
We look forward to hearing you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.
Following the recent regional Affiliated Club Conferences, in January the RYA will be running a series of online club development workshops to cover the topics that conference delegates said are most important. These free workshops are a repeat of the workshops presented at the conferences so are ideal if you were a delegate and now want to revisit the content, as well as for those who were unable to make their live regional event. Each workshop will leave you with the latest information and ideas to create or update your plans and find out what support is available from the RYA.
10th January – 8-9 pm – How can you plan to retain more members?
17th January – 8-9 pm – How can you plan to recruit and retain more volunteers?
24th January – 8-9 pm – How can you plan to develop or replace your facility?
31st January – 8-9 pm – What are the governance and legal challenges that your club is facing?
If you register for the workshop you will be able to view a recording if you cannot make the live session. These are open to representatives from RYA Affiliated Clubs so do share the details with others involved with running your club.
We are having a Festive Open Day on Saturday 18 December from 12 noon till 4pm. Social distancing and masks will be required but it will give you a chance to see how Raybel is progressing. Access to the Raybel display in the museum will be available but small groups only. The windows will be open so please wrap up warm, and sensible shoes only on Raybel. There will be music from 1pm – 3pm and festive pizza from 3.30 – 5pm made in our own oven. Bring a torch if you are coming late as some parts of the site can be dark. If you can’t make it, you can catch up with the latest restoration blog on our webpage
News from MQPS: Unfortunately she is set to continue to look magnificent there for a little while yet. The plan was for her to come off the slip yesterday afternoon and for the tugs to bring her back to Gillingham at the earliest opportunity. The operation had hardly started and MQ was about a quarter of the way down when the winch jammed. Now we have to wait for that to be fixed. We have been assured that she is high enough to be in no danger, but it is still a cause of considerable frustration! It is just “one of those things” and we have to make the best of it.
The Swale Smack and Sailing Barge Match, organised by the Kentish Sail Association, has been changed to Saturday 25 June 2022 (not as published on the KSA website) because of a clash of dates for 20 August with other East Coast events, which would have prevented many of the usual entrants from being able to take part. Next year is the 50th Anniversary of the very first Swale Match inspired by Laurie Tester, Lena Reekie and Richard Hugh Perks.
There will be distinct advantages with the change. The later tides mean a very civilised later start than usual and, although this also means that the evening events will have to start later too, the long hours of summer daylight will mean that the prize-giving and party can go on for longer and without crews having to rush to catch a falling tide at Hollowshore.
More details about the Match will follow in the New Year.
This tidy Leisure 20 was found drifting unmanned in the Thames Estuary and was brought into Queenborough by the Southend lifeboat. Using social media the harbour staff were able to trace the owner within two days.