Port of London Authority
Every so often the Port of London Authority holds a series of consultations with those who are involved with riparian matters. It usually consists of a report on commercial and recreational matters to do with safety and the ever changing environmental problems.
Both the Chairman and the Harbour Master make their views and hopes known and open the floor for comment.
The recurring complaints about the Thames Clippers show how much the river community are concerned about the wash of these speedy craft and the effect of the wash that they throw up on their fellow craft at their moorings and of the scouring of the foreshore. This gave me an opportunity to report that jo public often gets an unexpected soaking on the Thames Path- especially when wind and tide combine to create sea like conditions with breaking waves. The skippers have to complete a hectic timetable and thus are on the lookout forward and with little or no regard to where they have just been. The Mayor is dead keen to extend this river ferry service by creating more pier stops – which is splendid.
Not surprisingly trade on the Thames is flat as competition with European major players increases. Lets hope that the recently opened Thames Gateway Container Port stimulates demand.
Major civil engineering projects should improve the demand for aggregate into central wharves – these are money spinners and thus new facilities are planned wherever there is spare land.
This month’s meeting was held on board H Q S Wellington which is moored along the embankment close to Temple Tube Station. This historic ship is the home and Livery Hall of the Master Mariners and is always full of nostalgia but alas reminds one of the ever diminishing Merchant Navy which mathematically is not so obvious as the size of the vessels built in the Far East is almost beyond belief.
Sea Breezes – a monthly maritime magazine keeps my head above water – with its rich nostalgia but this monthly update is an easy read and I recommend it – ideal for Christmas too!! (Phone 01624 696573)
PS The Kingswear Castle has left her Medway cruising grounds for her home territory on the Dart; while the brand new replica Medway Queen has arrived from her shipyard at Bristol to trade from Chatham – I look forward to an outing in the summer.