Paleolithic rock shelter.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Some of the River borne activity 26 april

picture one shows a tug travelling stern first down the river
picture two, sister ships passing
picture three a sad memeorial to a young child.
picture four A close view of a stern-first tug.


Tugs greet us roayally as we embark on the Gravesend Tilbury Ferry (OAP's £1.70)
The ferry took us over to Essex,a lovely sunny day with only a slight breeze on the water.Lots of interesting stuff to look at,Bulk Carriers,Container ships,tugs,Pilot and Customs cutters,barges,Ferries
We diembarked on the old rail terminal jetty at Tilbury and set off towards Tilbury Fort,we passed on the seaward side after peeping in through the gate house.The map does not show a footpath,but there is one.Past the Tilbury coal-fired power station,and past the coal loading jetty and then along in front of the sea wall. All very "distressed industrial" in appearance but nonetheless interesting.Through some strange smelling weeds and a short break sitting on the sea wall for sandwiches and coffee.Several intrepid cyclists were also using the path as we made our hot way to Coalhouse Fort. A pleasant spot with grassy knolls,where we rested before returning.The sun went in (good) and we made our way back by the same route.
Lots of timber baulks several feet square and up to 25 feet long on the foreshore if you could carry them.It was the Ferry's lunch break when we returned to Tilbury jetty so we waited about 20 minutes for it to come and fetch us back to Gravesend.It was interesting to see the other shore from the Essex side and identify all the disused factories and see all the new riverside dwellings.A suprisingly tiring day but very interesting.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Fancy falling off this balcony after one too many.
This lovely garden house perched on the side of the hill above the village ,at the end of someone's garden.


A 5 mile squarish ,circular walk from Sutton Valence village,a very pretty place with nightmarish parking.Starting to head East we soon left the lanes and headed across the fields,the weather was not too warm , but the rain held off.The views were very good but the grey clouds made things a little gloomy.As we crossed one field about half way into the walk,we saw John J,with his Spaniel going up the road,what a coincidence,John retired a little before the rest of us from the same establishment.After a 10 minute gossip we headed for Ulcombe and climbed the hill(losing my guide book somewhere)we then turned left by the church and set off back to Sutton Valence.
Passing across the Rec,we looked down on the village from upon high and negotiated a set of steps down the hillside to the pub
The Swan public house (13 century)was welcoming and the food (prepared by a female Chef)was very good and reasonably priced.We found out after, that a 20% discount applies to pensioners.
Sausage and mash seemed to be the popular choice with a side dish of vegetables .Staff very friendly .

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Close up of cable clips on oak tree. c 1940

On our second visit during a charity walk,later in the summer,the clips had been removed-after 60 years!
we still had a bit of trouble locating the site as the foliage was different.
A couple of ex-Royal Observer Corps members walked straight past it,even though they had been told where it was.
It demonstrates that the site was well chosen

Looking down the bunker entrance

We walked straight past this a couple of times,even with a map reference.Later next year ,when on a charity walk from Harrietsham,I took a couple of friends slightly off route ,they couldn't see it until I pointed it out.

Hollingbourne secret underground bunker

A series of photos of the incredible "Zero"station built during the very early stages of WW2 at Hollingbourne,as a radio relay for intelligence in the event of a German invasion.This was associated with the Home Guard Auxilliary units ,which were basically a British resistance movement in place.Non-military radio equipment constructed by Amateur Radio members of the organisation were utilised and you can see the incredible picture of the covert antenna/feeder wire up the side of an old oak tree near the bunker.Look carefully at the snaking path of the feeder and the metal cable clips still there after nearly 70 years. Ray and I are shown looking down the main entrance shaft.The actual bunker is much larger than the ROC bunker(the nearest equivalent)and features a remote escape exit,and blast deflecting inner wall to deal with a grenade attack.
Our walk took us to the Ringlestone arms where the food was excellent and a log fire roaring in the grate.Uphill going-downhill back,about 5 miles and following (roughly)the route of the summer charity walks in the area.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Our walk today 5th April,was in bright sunshine,with the odd cold breeze,but mostly warm.
We started at Chilham Village and walked up the hill to the Kings Wood and the North Downs Way.We then peeled off into Godmersham Park.The Park is very neatly kept and has Godmersham Hall in the grounds,this house being the inspiration for jane Eyre's Pride and Prejudice(her brother lived there)Crossing the busy A28 we passed under the railway and turned left to follow it along the valley floor.
The maps and footpath signs are ambiguous further on,and we had a little dither before we found the hole in the hedge.We walked through a farm/timberyard where there were dogs,geese,ducks,all making a racket.Back across the A28 and fields to Mountain Lane and into Chilham Village .The pub had NO bitter,NO alcohol free,and the food was not what we would normally expect.However it was a good walk,not too strenuous and about 5 miles .It was good to be out in the sunshine and feel the warmth.