Sunday, 27 July 2014

Blacking a BIG Bottom ……!

When we have to get Ellen’s bottom blacked it’s a significant event.  We’ve never done it ourselves but talking to those who have ……. it’s hard, messy work!

Well!  Consider the DIY blacking of a Dutch Barge – that’s the task son, Ben, has undertaken this week.  It’s actually a ship so …………… he has taken it to a shipyard ……………… at Chatham on the Medway.  A big boat needs a big dry dock!

Going through London – sights we have experienced ourselves on “Ellen” …………….

(* Little bits of factual info for those who like to know …….)

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*The London Eye stands 137 metres above the city.  On a fine day you can apparently see as far as Heathrow Airport and Windsor Castle.




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*HMS Belfast was in active service as a Royal Navy Cruiser.  She was commissioned on 5th August 1939 just before the outbreak of WW2 and finally decommissioned on 24th August 1963.  She was launched on St Patrick’s Day 1938.  She is now part of The National Historic Fleet and operated by The Imperial War Museum.  Each year she receives 1/4 million visitors.

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*Tower Bridge was built by Sir John Barry & Sir Horace Jones between 1886 and 1894. 

and, going downstream, sights we haven’t …………………First i phone pics 022

*The Cutty Sark was built on the Clyde in 1869.  She was one of the last tea clippers and one of the fastest sailing ships of her time.  She too is on The National Historic Ships Register and is now kept permanently at Greenwich.

She is one of only three remaining other clipper ships built in C19th.  Of the others one is in Australia and the other in Chile.  In 2007 she was badly damaged by fire but she is now fully restored and once again open to the public.

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*The O2 Arena.  We still haven’t been there!!!!!!!!





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*The Thames Barrier.  520 metres wide and built as part of the effort to protect London from flooding due to rising water levels and tidal surges.  This design was chosen from amongst 41 different proposals.




*The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge.  It was opened by the Queen on 30/10/1991 and its construction cost £120 million.  It’s 137 metres high and, despite the toll, an average of 130,000 vehicles use it on a daily basis.

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  At sea …..First i phone pics 034

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Arriving at the dry dock at Chatham.






I  wish we had been able to accompany him either there or back but it was just not to be.


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  2. I forgot how huge Bens boat is! Great few days, feel a bit 'flat' today (like flat Stanley). Have a lovely time with Rosa and Richard, talk soon

  3. Yes, BIG boat, and I only imagine how much work it must be.


    1. Rodney managed to organise himself a trip through London and back to Staines and he said it was a day to remember. xxoo