Walking over water.

View of Eastbourne from the pier.

A walk on the victorian pier at Eastbourne last week on our short trip away. The pier was completed in 1872. It is is 300 meters long and built on stilts, which rest in cups on the seabed allowing the structure to move during bad weather.

The piers entrance was originally built on the lower promenade but after being swept away in a storm in 1877 it was then rebuilt at a higher level.

During WW2 like many piers the wooden decking was removed and it was armed with machine guns as part of the coastal defensive systems around the UK. During the war the pier was damaged my a mine.

I always like to look under a pier to look at their structures.

The pier was damaged by fire in 1970 and 2014.

Ownership changed in 2015 and much improvements have taken place.

Part of the charm of a seaside pier in the UK is the tacky shops.

It is nice to see the effort made to keep Eastbourne pier viable and well maintained.

Traveling West from Eastbourne towards home is the town of Brighton. Brighton has the Palace Pier (now called Brighton Pier). There is also the metal remains of the West Pier.

Behind the frame of the West pier you can see the Grand Brighton Pier with its funfair.

The pier was destroyed by fire in 2003. Much of the structure was wood and once a fire starts on a pier it is difficult to save the structure.

Number 28!

Martello Tower No. 28, Rye Harbour, Icklesham – Rother.

Martellos, or Martello Towers are small defensive forts first built in the South East of England  during the Napoleonic War between {1805 and 1808.} They were built throughout the British Empire, in 5 different continents, during the first half of the 19th Century.

On-line it says only 45 of the Matellos still remain but some are in ruins others have been converted into homes.

Each Tower had a number this is Martello Tower No.28 at Rye Harbour which is a ruin.

Today’s residents and there are are lots of them. The sounds of them cooing echo out of the windows of the tower.

Calshot spit.

Today we drove further from home to walk at Calshot Spit, a cold fresh and sunny day lightened ones mood in these difficult times.

Calshot beach forms part of a mile long shingle spit that reaches out into the mouth of Southampton Water. It is a great spot to watch ships coming into the Port of Southampton. At the end of the spit is Calshot Castle one of a number of small forts built to defend the south coast from the French by Henry VIII Calshot Castle was built in 1539. On the land side of the spit is salt marsh which is home to many water birds. Behind the marsh is the decommissioned Fawley Power Station which is slowly being dismantled.

On the Fawley site  MHI Vestas has a state-of-the-art painting and logistics facility for its 80-metre turbine blades which are manufactured on the Isle of Wight. They are moved on special ships to the site.

Redshank and Little Egret on the Salt Mash.

Stop line.

While our van was in for a service today I had about 3 hours to spare so I took a short walk from the garage to Testwood lakes and along a public foot path.

The footpath crosses over a small river which is part of the River Test. A the point where the river is crossed by a small bridge you can unravel some of our recent British history. In the river (in the left of the picture) you can see 2 cones. These cones are concrete dragons teeth, WW2 anti tank blocks. There were another 2 blocks still in situ on the left of the path.

These cone teeth are the only dragons teeth I have seen in the UK of this shape. As well as defences on the coast there were “stop lines” across the country at rivers and canals to slow down mechanised infantry if the invasion came. I expect where the bridge crosses the test was once a river ford for carts so these blocks would have stopped tanks getting to the ford. There was also evidence of slots in concerete on the path where steel rails would have been placed to prevent crossing the bridge but removable if needed.

Walk to Fort Gilkicker.

A walk to Fort Gilkicker Gosport. I last visited in Febuary this year. Link below.

https://a60716357.wordpress.com/2020/02/26/fort-gilkicker/

The fort now has 24hour security guards and is now fully fenced due to vandalism so it is harder than ever to record this Victorian Fort. I did try asking the guard to let me in to take some picture but sadly no joy there. On a positive note the fort will be protected from further damage.