Skip to content

Category: Uncategorized

Getting the air to breathe

At one stage I spent quite a bit of time working on the psychology of perception – how we make sense of the world around us and respond to it. One of the issues in perception is visual illusions and one of my favourite illusions is sea waves. We have all seen the waves rolling in towards the shore but, of course, the water itself stays more or less in the same place, only the wave moves – and that…

Comments closed

Updating harbour dues

The September meeting of Salcombe Harbour Board routinely covers financial performance, budget, and charges for the forthcoming year. The Harbour is not allowed to make a profit so the test of performance is how close it ends up to the forecast balanced budget: this year, as usual, it is pretty close. It follows that the charges for next year are set so as not to make a profit but be balanced yet again. But 2020 will see a major change…

Comments closed

The race we must win

In 1297 a line of Franciscans solemnly processed into Monaco and promptly seized control of the principality. For they were not friars at all, but soldiers led by Francesco Grimaldi from Genoa, known as the Wily One, il Malizia. The Grimaldi dynasty rules Monaco to this day and a scion of the royal family, Pierre Casirgahi (son of Caroline, Princess of Hanover, and grandson of Grace Kelly) is one of the skippers sailing a boat named Malizia II across the…

Comments closed

Where have all the curlews gone?

Curlews, the beloved and iconic wetland bird mentioned in Piers Plowman in 1377, are on the edge of extinction and, believe it or not, merited a 10 Downing Street “curlew summit” on 8 July To find out why, we need to look at invasive species. Invasive species can be plants or animals, but let us stay with animals where we have seen these effects for a very long time, invariably for commercial reasons. The demise of woodlands on our moors,…

Comments closed

Are your scallops hand-picked?

DEFRA has designated 41 new marine conservation areas (MCZs), bringing the total number to 91, effectively a Blue Belt around the coast of the UK. There are now 175 marine protection areas of various kinds covering 40% of English waters. MCZs protect “wildlife”, which is a kind of euphemism for the fish we eat. MCZs protect both the habitat and the level of fishing – by and large successfully. However, in the middle of all this there is controversy: traditional…

Comments closed

Can dreams become a nightmare?

I was sitting in a dentist’s waiting room in Kingsbridge when my eye fell upon a motor boat magazine. It was glossy and full of wonderful pics of motor boats with their shiny chrome and glistening varnish and white leather seats and cocktail cabinets and king-size beds. Each and every one of these dream boats cost as much as a house and some as much as several houses. Every one seemed to be able to go as fast as a…

Comments closed

Be careful what you wish for

Local authorities work to rigid protocols and the Harbour Board routinely used to consider Harbour dues at its September meeting, so that they could be ratified by the next full Council, published and be in place for the new season. But this meant that, if the Board didn’t like what was proposed, it could not change anything because there wasn’t time to go through the whole process again. However, in a radical innovation, April’s Harbour Board meeting was presented with…

Comments closed

Kingsbridge Silver Band Summer Concerts 2019

The Kingsbridge Silver Band is playing at a number of events this summer. This page is updated regularly to give the latest information as and when the details of each event are confirmed – so bookmark it to keep an eye on where the band is playing. Come and hear a series of popular tunes, modern as well as old favourites, played in the open air by Kingsbridge’s own big brass band consisting of instruments ranging from cornets to the…

Comments closed

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…

Comments closed

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…

Comments closed