Advertisements

Trinity Buoy Wharf 20th Anniversary – 26th September 2018

 

Regular readers will know that I am fascinated by the Trinity Buoy Wharf area which is one of the most unusual places in London. The area has a fascinating history,  The Corporation of Trinity House were a company responsible for buoys, lighthouses and lightships and in the early 19th century established Trinity Buoy Wharf as its Thames-side workshop where wooden buoys and sea marks were made and stored. Eventually new buildings were constructed during the Victorian period including the Electrician’s Building and an Experimental Lighthouse whose roof space housed a workshop for the famous scientist Michael Faraday.

trinity 5

By 1910 Trinity Buoy Wharf was a major local employer, with over 150 workers on the site and carried on until 1988 when it finally closed. In 1998, Trinity Buoy Wharf which was then an empty, derelict site was taken over by The Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust which began to develop the area as a centre for the arts and creative industries and the location is now home to a working community of over 350 people.

As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations, Trinity Buoy Wharf will explore the site’s rich maritime history of Trinity Buoy Wharf; its buildings, lighthouse and the Thames, River Lee and their banks nearby with a night of special events will take place including specially installed light projections, art shows, films, images, stories and guided tours.

6pm- 6.40pm Maritime Heritage talk
6pm- 6.40pm “The Wharf” by Rupert Murray screening
6pm- 7pm Supercomputer performance
7.20pm- 7.55pm Guided Site Tour
8.30pm- 9pm TBW Drawing Prize PV

Open from 6pm- 9pm:
Story Box installation
3D projection light show
Lighthouse/ Longplayer
Andrew Baldwin’s Sculpture Park
Elisabeth Bond Exhibition
RioFoneHack interactive experience
Fat Boys Diner + The Orchard Cafe
Open Studios including:
Royal Drawing School
English National Opera
Trinity Art Studios
Kathinka
Hours Studio

One positive aspect of the trust taking over the site was that it has preserved many historical aspects of this important part of London that may have been lost. If you would like to see how this was achieved, why not visit the Anniversary party on the 26th September, attendance will be free and there are plenty of cultural delights to enjoy.

For more information, visit the Trinity Buoy Wharf website here 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Lord Nelson in West India Dock

After being away for a couple of weeks exploring the far north of Europe, it is nice to return and see the familiar masts of the STS Lord Nelson in West India Dock. By a strange coincidence I had a conversation while I was away with someone who had worked on the Lord Nelson for some years. As they say it is a small world.

The Lord Nelson was the first tall ship that was purpose-built with the aim of integrating disabled with able-bodied people. The ship was the fulfilment of the vision of JST’s founder, Christopher Rudd who believed that physically disabled people should be able to sail alongside able-bodied people as part of the crew.

The Lord Nelson sailed on her maiden voyage in 1986, Since that voyage, the STS Lord Nelson has sailed 461,943 Nautical Miles and taken nearly 29,000 people to sea. Of these, 10,500 people were physically disabled and more than 3,500 were wheelchair users.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the ship is that Lord Nelson’s has many facilities for disabled crew including flat wide decks, powered lifts, speaking compass, Braille signage and bright track radar for visually impaired crew members.

However, the whole purpose of these facilities is to enable the disabled crew to work side by side with the able-bodied crew.

Between 2012 and 2014, the Lord Nelson undertook its greatest challenge by completing a voyage around the world visiting 7 continents and 30 countries. Whilst in Australia and New Zealand she raced in tall ships races and also carried out an Antarctic Expedition.

The Lord Nelson and her sister ship, the Tenacious are regular visitors to West India Dock and both ships are a wonderful reminder of what can be achieved by fulfilling a vision of providing opportunities to people with a wide range of abilities.

MV Ocean Majesty on the Thames

At this time of year, the Thames sees the arrival of many cruise ships which make their way up to Tower Bridge, Eric Pemberton managed to capture some photographs of the MV Ocean Majesty as it passed by the Isle of Dogs.

The MV Ocean Majesty is a small cruise ship that was originally built-in 1966 as the ferry Juan March. As the Juan March, the ship worked on routes for the Madrid based ferry operator Trasmediterránea. During her service with her original owners, Juan March was mainly used to ferry passengers from Spain to the Balearic Islands.

In 1985 Juan March was sold to the Sol Mediterranean and became Sol Christina.She quickly changed name when she became the Kyros Star of Opale Lines. Eventually she was then sold to Majestic International Cruises, who rebuilt her from her original ferry-like form into a cruise ship, and she received her current name Ocean Majesty.

Since 1995, she has been charted out to other companies including Page & Moy and German cruise company Hansa Touristik.

The MV Ocean Majesty has a length 135 metres (443 ft) and beam of 15.8 metres (52 ft) and has 274 cabins, of which 185 are outside.

Thanks to Eric Pemberton for the photographs and it is time for us at Isle of Dogs Life to take a summer break for around three weeks.

WindQuest Catamaran in West India Dock

After the arrival of the new bridge, we have another unusual arrival in the shape of  85 foot Super yacht catamaran WindQuest.

 

Built by French yacht builders JFA  in 2014 , this is the first of  a semi-custom “Long Island” series. The hulls are aluminum-built while the deck is in composite material. WindQuest has three staterooms and an office.  In total, eight guests and six crew can be accommodated.

This ship actually visited West India Dock in 2014 as part of her maiden voyage.

 

 

Although we have plenty of Super yachts that visit West India Dock, however catamaran’s Super yachts of this size are unusual.

 

There seems to some confusion because the Port of London lists the ship as Christine but the boat still has Windquest logo whether this just a mistake or the yacht has been sold is not known.

Hebo’s Catharina 11 in West India Dock

Although we highlight the superyachts and other interesting vessels that visit West India Dock, there are other vessels that visit the dock that are more low key and more likely to be working vessels.

One of these vessels is the Catharina 11 tug that now lies in berth in the dock next to a large pontoon with a steel platform perched on top.

Catharina 11 is owned by HEBO Maritiemservice which is based in Rotterdam and was used to pull the large pontoon from Belgium. The steel platform looks like a piece of a bridge for the Canary Wharf site.

The steel platform was constructed by Victor Buyck in Belgium. The work in Canary Wharf is one of the largest building projects in Europe and has involved a number of construction challenges due to it proximity to the dock.

However this is one case when bringing the parts of the construction by water has been beneficial. If you are visiting Canary Wharf it is well worth watching some of the construction to get some idea of the enormous scale of the project.

 

 

MV Hebridean Princess in London

Eric Pemberton very kindly sent me a couple of photographs of the MV Hebridean Princess as she recently made her way up the Thames to Tower Bridge.  The ship visited West India Dock in 2015 and I was then able to have a closer look at what is considered one of the smallest luxury cruise ship afloat .

The MV Hebridean Princess  has an intriguing history and a Royal connection and is considered the height of luxury, however the origins of the ship were much more mundane.

DSCN6860

West India Dock 2015

The ship began life as the  MS Columba which was the last of three car ferries built in 1964 by Hall, Russell & Company, Aberdeen and operated by David MacBrayne Ltd, the ship also took up the Isle of Mull service. She travelled around the various Scottish Isles visiting Stornoway, Mallaig, Oban, serving Coll and Tiree, Colonsay, Iona, Lochaline and Tobermory.

DSCN6868

West India Dock 2015

In 1988, she was acquired by Hebridean Island Cruises to offer luxury cruises. After a major refit she emerged as the luxury cruise ship, the MV Hebridean Princess. She began providing luxury cruises around the Western Isles of Scotland. In recent times , the ship’s itineraries have been extended to include Ireland, the Orkney and Shetland islands, the Norwegian Fjords and France.

DSCN6865

West India Dock 2015

The ship is 72 metres long with a  beam of 14 metres, gross tonnage of  2112 and an average speed 12 knots (14 miles per hour). There are only 30 bedrooms on board, all named after West Coast Scottish islands, castles, sounds, lochs and bays – individually designed in the style of a large country hotel – with 10 cabins specifically designed for single occupancy.  With 50 guests looked after by a crew of around 38, The ship is very popular for cruises around the Scottish Isles where her size allows access to many locations not accessible to larger cruise ships.

DSCN6866

West India Dock 2015

The ships transformation from humble car ferry to luxury cruise ship was given a royal seal of approval when HM Queen Elizabeth II chartered the entire ship for a ‘family holiday’ around the Scottish Islands both in 2006 and 2010. It was estimated the charter cost was £125,000 for the use of the ship.

MV Hebridean Princess is one of the most unusual cruise ships in service and is always an interesting visitor to London.

Many thanks to Eric for the photographs.

In Dickens’ Path by Alfred Gardner

Recently, I was delighted to receive the latest book from Alfred Gardner who is best known for his two books, East End Story and Watch Your Fingers.

The new book is called In Dickens’ Path and is a series of short stories. The first story called ‘In Dickens’ Path’ features a fictional meeting between Charles Dickens and a twelve-year-old Limehouse errand boy called Gideon Woolfe.

Alf had drawn on his own family tree for the character of Gideon Woolfe, Gideon was actually Alf’s mother’s grandfather and was born on the border of Limehouse and Ratcliffe in 1839.

To put the story in context, Alf provides some background of both the area and Dickens connection with Wapping, Shadwell, Ratcliffe and Limehouse. As a young boy, Dickens would visit Limehouse to see his godfather, Charles Huffman who was a Limehouse sail maker, rigger and ships chandler. Even when Dickens was a celebrated writer, he was known to travel around the area looking for ideas for his stories and articles.

In Dickens’ Path finds the great writer relying on Gideon’s knowledge of the area and quick wittedness to help him with his enquiries.

The next story, An Indelible Impression carries on the theme of being rewarded for kindness but with a modern twist.

A Surprise Encounter brings together an Army sergeant who used to bully his recruits and one of his victims.

It Tugs at the Heartstrings reflects Alf’s love of opera and A Cottage to Let illustrates a life in the country is not always idyllic.

Bogus Callers is about a couple of nasty confidence tricksters and A Canine Tale follows the adventures of an enterprising Dachshund.

Alf lived in the East End for most of his life until he moved recently to the South coast. His books often exposes the kindness and unkindness of modern life and these short stories provide plenty of interest especially if you are a fan of Charles Dickens and the Limehouse area.

This book of short stories is only available from Alf directly and all profits will go to the Children with Cancer UK charity.

If you would like more information or buy a copy of the book, contact Alf at agardner1941@btinternet.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 232 other followers

Twitter isleofdogslife

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.