Loss of visitor moorings at Chatham

The Rats Bay visitor moorings near Sun Pier at Chatham have now been removed by Peel Ports to make room for visiting vessels at the Queen’s Jubilee Pageant on 4 June.

Sun Pier and Rochester Pier (awaiting repair to the brow) are now the only free public moorings on the Medway, both council-run, but are not supposed to be for used for overnight mooring. At each pier a token must be purchased from a machine for re-entry to the pontoon.

Does the Thames Barrier cause Medway floods?

Extra high tides and flooding on the Medway often happen when the Thames Barrier is closed. In view of the flood event on 21 February 2022, Kelly Tolhurst, MP for Rochester and Strood and MSBA Patron, asked the Environment Agency if there is a causal relationship. Here is the EA’s reply with attachments (spoiler alert: No):

Do you still use Admiralty charts?

The UK Hydrographic Office would like to know if you would object if they withdraw the admiralty chart no. 2482 – River Medway and The Swale. The statutory harbour authority area of Peel Ports London Medway is currently covered by the following admiralty charts:
3683 – Sheerness and Approaches – Scale 1:12500
1834 – River Medway Garrison Point to Folly Point – Scale 1:12500
1835 – River Medway Folly Point to Maidstone – Scale 1:6000 / 1:25000 for the continuation.
2571 – The Swale Whitstable to Harty Ferry – Scale 1:12500
2572 – The Swale Windmill Creek to Queenborough – Scale 1:12500
2482 – River Medway and The Swale – Scale 1:25000
Chart no. 2482 is essentially a duplicate of 2571 & 2572 but on a smaller scale and Peel Ports would like to ask all river users for feedback regarding its withdrawal from the UKHO’s chart publication list. Please send all comments on this consultation to AllMedwayMarineManagers@peelports.com by 30 April 2022, we will collate the feedback and forward it to the UKHO, any decision to remove the chart from publication will be promulgated by further notice to mariners.

Viking ship remains found at Rochester

Typical Viking ship

The Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Normans have left plenty to see in Rochester, but until today (1 April) there has been no trace of the Vikings who visited in 842 and 884 AD. Although they were unable to take the city, they stayed until 885 AD when most of them were sent on their way by Alfred the Great. A few were allowed to remain in their fortified encampment, which according to the Anglo Saxon Chronicles was “by the entrance of the city”. Unfortunately the city, being of Roman design, had four entrances so until now the site was unknown. As the Vikings came by water they would probably have used the North Gate, which opened onto the marshes now being developed as Rochester Riverside, and this has been confirmed by Kent Archaeologists today.

Could this be Guthrum’s sword?

Workmen digging near the site of Acorn Wharf have uncovered remains of Scandinavian ninth century weapons and traces of a clinker-built ship of the style used by Vikings led by the warrior Guthrum.

A spokesman for the Medway Heritage Harbour Group said, “This exciting discovery supports our claim that Rochester has considerably more maritime heritage than meets the eye. The Romans, Saxons and Normans understood the strategic importance of the location, being where Watling Street crosses the Medway. Medway Council must ensure that the site is properly excavated and protected for use by future generations of boaters.”