A few days away.

We had a few days away in the campervan this week. About 130 miles away from home near Burnham on Sea on the Somerset coast.

The tide goes out a long way on the North Somerset coast into the Bristol Channel – but mud is a big sticky danger with over a couple of miles on mud to the waters edge at low time some places having a 35 foot drop in water at low tide. Several of the coastal towns have RNLI Hovercraft rescue craft as well as lifeboats.

These pictures show the tide going out at Weston-super-Mare The Island in the background is Steep holm. A place of nature and old coastal gun batteries.

Weston-super-Mare Grand Pier. Opened in 1904. The pier was gutted by fire in July 2008. but was rebuilt and open again on 23 October 2010. £3 for Donkey rides but closed for the winter.

If anyone remembers the 1967 British TV series The Prisoner you will recall the beach ball stopping people from leaving the village I had “I am a person not a number moment “while on the beach when I was passed by a giant beach ball bouncing along the beach!

There is a gem of a pier at Weston-super-Mare Birnbeck Pier which is sadly in a poor state  It is the only pier in the country which links the mainland to an island, linking to Birnbeck Island.In the past the pier was popular with locals and tourists as a boarding point for steamers in the Bristol Channel. During WW2 the pier was commissioned as HMS Birnbeck by the Admiralty as part of miscellaneous weapons development site. After the war the steamer trade declined and by the 1970’s the pier started to fall into its current unsafe state. Today it is in a largely derelict state. Part of the pier collapsed during storms on 30 December 2015.

Heading up the coast to Clevedon is a pier that has been restored and well worth a visit and this shows you what a great attraction Birnbeck could be.

A modern lighthouse at Battery Point,

There is a good view across to Wales from the point.

A warning sign at Battery point and a memorial.

Black Nore Lighthouse which is also known as Blacknore Point Lighthouse) at Portishead. it was judged to be no longer needed for navigational purposes, and the light was decommissioned in September 2010. It is a listed building and now owned by a trust.

 

Itchen Valley Park.

A short walk in Itchen Valley Country Park. In part of the wood we came across some building remains. Having lived very locally for over 60 years I was surprised not to have seen anything about this ruin before. The remains are the remains of a pair of 3 flue scot brick kilns. Dated to the late 1800s,They were used to make bricks, tiles and drainage pipes made from local clay. The heavy wooded area around them was used for fuel. This kiln is quite rare and one of only two such sites that remain in Hampshire.

Some nature spots along the way. Ganoderma applanatum is a common perennial bracket fungus. The underside is creamy white and can be scratched with a sharp point to leave brown marks and over the years has been used to draw images on it hence the common name. Artist’s Fungus.

I am struggling to identify this bug possibly a Brown Shield Bug or a Dock Bug.

Another Nursery Web spider.

Dark waters.

The Elan Valley Reservoirs are a chain of man-made lakes created from damming the Elan and Claerwen rivers within the Elan Valley in Mid Wales . The reservoirs, which were built by the Birmingham Corporation Water Department, provide drinking water for Birmingham in England,

It all started in 1893 when the building work began. About 100 people living in the Elan Valley had to move, only landowners received compensation payments. Many buildings were lost including 3 manor houses, 18 farms, a school and the church. 

On 21st July 1904 King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra opened the Elan dams and water started flowing along the pipeline to Birmingham. The scheme employed 50,000 men constructing it.

The church in the valley was lost to the raising waters of the dammed rivers – a new church was built and the graveyard from the old church was relocated.

Cofiwch Cwn Elan sign to remember those who lost their communities land and farms when the dams were built.

Monument to the workers that built the dams.

NB apologies for gap where a photo has dropped out I can not seem to edit out the gap!

Clean air?

There is so much in the news is about “clean air” & reducing our carbon footprint – We should moving away from from petrol and diesel combustion engines in our cars & doing less air miles. Little is said about shipping. Last night this container ship off the Isle of Wight approaching Southampton Water was demonstrating all modes of transport – land sea and air are polluting.

Hastings Strade.

Further picture of the fishing boats at Hastings. With lockdown easing we felt it was safe enough to take a couple of nights away in our camper-van. We went down the coast to the east to Hastings.

Hastings is one of Britain’s oldest fishing ports, but there is no harbour. Boats have worked from the beach in front of the ancient town for over a thousand years.

The Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society preserves the fishing community’s medieval right to carry on using that beach – known as the Stade.

The beach known as the Stade has about 25 boats, It is the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Britain.

Old tractors and Bulldozers are used to push the boats down the beach and pull them back up. The whole area has a charm which lends it’s self to photographing a different way of life.

Fish is sold from little sheds at the top of the beach. There is some strong feelings about number10 and how our Government has failed to support our fishing fleets.

The RNLI lifeboat beach launches from the Strade film I took back during a visit in 2018 and also on a stormy day an aborted beach landing.

from my 2018 vist to hastings.
Same spot in poor weather!

A village on the Hamble.

Situated at the mouth of the River Hamble, where it enters Southampton Water is the village of Warsash. A popular sailing area, historically Warsash was known for fishing and smuggling. Nearby are a number of old Salterns (area for making salt from seawater).

Details on the Memorial on the quayside.

“COMBINED OPERATIONS BRITISH AND ALLIED NAVAL AND COMMANDOUNITS SAILED FROM THE HAMBLE RIVER ON THE NIGHT OF 5TH JUNE 1944 FOR THE D-DAY LANDINGS ON THE NORMANDY BEACHES 40TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION THIS MEMORIAL WAS UNVEILED BY THE COUNTESS MOUNTBATTEN OF BURMA CD JP DI ON 5TH JUNE 1984 ERECTED WITH THE AID OF DONATIONS FROM THE PEOPLE OF FAREHAM, THE FAREHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL AND THE HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL COUNCILLOR DR H.G. JERRARD MAYOR OF FAREHAM/ 1984 – 1985 FOR OUR FREEDOM”.

Harbour Master building.

Warsash Maritime Academy survival craft training facility. Fawley Power Station in background

Crab pots on the beach.