- 18th September - 8:00pm : ‘The Abel Label’ - By Katie Ellis.
- 16th October - 8:00pm : ‘Fire Safety in Your Home’ - By Melanie Quinn.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

PRINCESS POCAHONTAS - The ship (not the film or the Native American.

Northdowns District has 9 W.I's and from Time to Time we get together to enjoy ourselves.
In September 2011 we took a trip on the MV Pocahontas from Gravesend, via Greenwich to Westminster on the River Thames. (plus return to Gravesend)
The Ship seems bigger than it looks with seats for all on one of three levels. Food and drink can be bought on board or packed lunches can be taken on board to enjoy as the day goes on.
Gravesend town may seem all one way streets and hussle and bustle,
but on the river all was calm.
though the River Police were zooming around and in this case caught up with people using skidoos too fast and in the wrong area.
We passed ships of all kinds - here a small container ship
A New view of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge (The Dartford Crossing)
What appeard to be a 'Rust Bucket' but was in fact a working dredger.
Several Thames Barges in full sail.
and we passed through the Thames Flood barrier with the gates open. Take the opportunity on 9th October to see the barrier closed all the way across. There is a car park on the south side of the Thames with a visitor centre which will give an excellent view. 5.25am to 15.25pm.
We stopped at Greenwich for travellers to get on and off. As it was exactly 12 we were able to see the Time Ball on the top of the Greenwich Observatory rise and fall to indicate the time.(see the small church like building above the trees in the middle)
ABRAMOVICH' yacht - The small one apparently) was moored in sight of a new building.(see next picture)
For those of you who don't know, he is a Russian, and the Owner and Chairman of Chelsea Football Club
THE SHARD - to me it looks like a glass windmill without the sails to see.- But no doubt people will pay millions to live in it.
Passing The Tower of London, WI Members from Lenham & Bearsted Green
(Lenham Institute are not in the Northdowns District but we had invited them along as well)
Beneath the London Eye, A Bearsted and Thurnham husband enjoying the view.
Inge from Lenham, passing Big Ben and The Palace of Westminster. This was as far as we went, as it was a high tide, and there river level was also high due to previous rain, and we could not get under Westminster Bridge.
Throughout the journey upstream we had a constant commentary explaining the names of the places we passed - their history, who had or had not given the agreement for planning (and whether our man agreed with them or not), where the RSPB sites were etc etc. The names and ages of the ships, the creeks and docks and so much more. He was a mine of information having worked on the Thames from around 1960. When we passed vessels such as The Portway above, our 'hooter' was sounded and they responded.

It really is a day to remember. The season ends this month, but make sure you take the trip next year, you will not regret it. - So much to see and you don't have to stand up or walk - what ever your age you will be sure to enjoy it. 01732 353448