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Hugh Marriage Posts

Repairs to Jubilee Pier, a new ferry and some new buoys

At the last moment South Hams District Council decided to repair Jubilee Pier after all. The boulders have been re-pointed and the whole structure has been bound with a stainless steel band, anchored in some way into the middle. What is more, South West Water are looking into the possibility of removing their sewerage tank from inside the pier, which may make it possible to fill the void with something more structural. All this should do for another five years…

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This isn’t Cornwall but the Duke owns it

As a civil servant, I often had occasion to show foreign visitors round Parliament. Usually the most difficult part was explaining why (in those days) the House of Lords consisted mainly of people who were there because of something their ancestors had done – sometimes centuries ago and including acts which are not fit to be described in a family newspaper. Europeans in particular could not understand a hereditary upper house: to be honest, they were genuinely astonished by it…

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Easter 2010: times and places

One of the amusing elements of my working life was having to learn new language when a Government changed. So Conservative governments used to talk enthusiastically of “crime prevention”; Labour governments spoke equally enthusiastically of “crime reduction”. Civil servants have to get on-message straight away. As it happens, I always considered it easier to talk about “crime reduction” – indeed, I used to say that crime prevention was impossible whilst crime reduction was easy. Crime reduction becomes easier if you…

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Jubilee Pier is getting serious

It is only a few months since I wrote about Jubilee Pier but things are going from bad to worse. The story so far: Jubilee Pier is the ferry point for the East Portlemouth and Kingsbridge (“Rivermaid”) ferries. It is also the breakwater which defends Salcombe against swell from the sea. The pier has been falling down for ages and was cut back about 10 years ago; but is still falling down. South Hams District Council (SHDC) owns the pier…

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Where angels fear to tread

It’s cold and quiet and there isn’t much going on in the Harbour. So one’s mind can safely turn to dangerous things – like harbour dues. Harbour dues are seen by some as fees for a service, and by others as a kind of kill-joy tax. They are, of course, the basis of the harbour’s funding: without harbour dues there would be no facilities. But nobody relishes opening the casket of how harbour dues should be levied. Like most forms…

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A happy new year

As we are about to start the New Year with the new smart Batson pontoons – some say that they look like a racetrack from East Portlemouth – it’s worth reflecting that there have been some pretty significant initiatives in the harbour over the last three years. Some of the bigger changes have been new pontoons also for visitors, now with fresh water; a new pontoon in Kingsbridge; dredging in Batson Creek; introduction of a six-knot speed limit; some tightening…

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A puzzle for Christmas

With Christmas on us, I will pose a puzzle this month. Not the usual kind of Christmas brain-teaser, but a real-life puzzle about what to do next. It concerns the Normandy and Whitestrand pontoons at Salcombe. Their significance depends on where you live. If you live on the Salcombe side of the harbour, Whitestrand is where you keep your tender to get to your mooring. If you live on our side of the harbour, Whitestrand is where you try to…

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Let’s hear it for Jubilee Pier!

Jubilee Pier is in the news again, this time because it is leaking sewage and South West Water won’t do anything until South Hams District Council (SHDC) makes proper permanent repairs to the pier. Jubilee Pier is that little structure which sticks out into the harbour besides the Ferry Inn. It has been the site of the East Portlemouth ferry landing stage since the 18th century and became a more solid structure in the 1870s. It is today used by…

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The season draws to a close

Well, it did not turn out to be a barbeque summer. Visiting yachts, which account for about a third of the harbour’s income, are probably slightly up on the last two years but still around 50% down from about seven years ago. This underlines how dependent the harbour is on the weather. We do face some difficulties in marketing the harbour. It is generally choc-a-block in July and August. If we promote the harbour, more people turn up in the…

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A day with the harbour staff

Harbour Board members are encouraged to spend one day a year in peak season with the harbour staff . This year I chose the first Saturday in August. This is an excellent way of finding out how the harbour works on the water. And water was my first stop: I saw the new facility which makes drinking water available to yachts on the visitors’ pontoon in the Bag. Trying to connect the pontoon to the water mains would have involved…

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