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Hugh Marriage Posts

10 years of progress in Kingsbridge

Kingsbridge Basin has seen significant changes over the last decade. It has been dredged twice, and will now be routinely dredged every five years or so; pontoon moorings were introduced in 2014; and two large sections of the harbour wall have been rebuilt. The dredging makes quite a difference. Injection dredging renders the procedure affordable and permissible: this method runs the mud downstream to Gerston, which is as far as Natural England will allow. That lowers the basin down to…

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Losing the French connection

In June 2014, I wrote about Kingsbridge’s twinning with Isigny-sur-Mer. Both Kingsbridge and Isigny are small harbours – Isigny considerably smaller than Kingsbridge – and are linked by history as troops left Salcombe Harbour and landed near Isigny to make it one of the first French towns to be liberated following the 1944 Normandy landings. When we visited we were marking 70 years since the landings and 50 years of twinning. Sadly, the twinning has now come to an end…

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Never underestimate the seriousness of the issue

New years bring both excitement and uncertainty and perhaps this year, more uncertainty than most: but, as criminologists have long recognised, probably nothing new by way of problems. There are several recurrent themes, almost laws, in criminology: one is that every invention gives rise to a new crime which then has to be tackled by retro-fitting security – think drones. Another is that high-value crimes and even wars generally mimic the ways people and countries trade: think internet scams and…

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Lots of preparations for the New Year

In the quietness of winter, a controversy blows up. Like most local authorities, South Hams District Council (SHDC) is strapped for cash and scouring around for economies. It has 47 public lavatories – more, it is said, than any other comparable local authority – and they all require cleaning and maintenance. Could some of them be changed to pay-on-entry (PoE, but be careful of these acronyms), or passed on to, say, parish councils who (why?) should be able to manage…

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Do fish like sunscreens?

It is a little while since I had any responsibilities for cosmetics testing, a controversial and much misunderstood subject. Most cosmetics are not tested as they consist of well-known substances and, generally speaking, the cosmetics which need testing are those which have active ingredients, like fluoride in toothpaste, the agents in anti-wrinkle creams and, of course, sunscreens which can involve clever chemistry. The concern in testing sunscreens is to ensure that the chemicals which protect against the sun inflict minimal…

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Some progress on water quality

The quality of the water in the Harbour is important because so many Harbour users come into direct contact with it – swimmers and children on beaches; canoeists and paddle-boarders whose hands always get wet; people who fish; dinghy sailors when launching or recovering, or when they capsize; and sailors on yachts when handling mooring ropes. For all of these people – and more – it is absolutely vital that the water they touch is clean and will not give…

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Choosing what is on the menu

We spent some of August in Iceland rather than Salcombe. While the UK was enjoying its glorious heatwave in June and July this year, Iceland was having the wettest summer on record, with only 5 rain-free days between April and the end of July. Fortunately all this changed the moment we arrived and we had the benefit of lots of lovely Arctic sunshine. Relations between Britain and Iceland have had a chequered history. British troops occupied Iceland during World War…

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Special Jubilee Edition

Last month I raised the question as to why Salcombe has a Jubilee Pier to mark the end of the Franco-Prussian War. The answer apparently is that, although the pier was built in 1871, it was named in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Indeed, the main part of the memorial might well have been its ornate lamp post (note the red light on the right). I posed that question because I knew that this August piece would also…

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Marking the end of the Franco-Prussian War

The breaking news is that Cameron Sims-Stirling is the new Harbour Master. Cameron is well known locally: he was an Assistant Harbour Master for a little time, then Deputy Harbour Master and has been Interim Harbour Master since January when Adam Parnell left for Torbay. He is a Salcombe boy who has worked his way up through the ranks. He absolutely loves the Harbour and we wish him well. Last month I mentioned the number of staff who were on…

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Good use for a washing line

I have written before about the day I try to spend each year with the Harbour staff, which they generously refer to as a Harbour Board Member getting work experience. I have just done my 2018 day. We have a super Harbour staff: did you know that 11 of them are lifeboat volunteers, two are volunteer firefighters and one is a volunteer Coastguard? This was just before the bank holiday weekend and the Harbour was getting busy. Two yacht rallies…

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