By Phil Boak
Between the years 1913-1962, Felixstowe was a major flyingboat base, with the aircraft operating from the River Orwell on the site now occupied by the Docks. Operating during WW1, flyingboats partook in anti-submarine patrols of the North Sea. In the interwar years, the focus switched to research and development, with the performance of the seaplanes and flyinboats carefully evaluated through tests and trials. On completion of their operational lives, several of the larger flyingboat hulls were taken to the hamlet of Felixstowe Ferry and repurposed as houseboats, providing picturesque, if not cramped accommodation. This short article brings together before-and-after images of six such flyingboats, with a summary about what is currently known about them. Continue reading
By Julia Jones and Charles Payton
On August 9th 2023 Historic England put out the following press release:
The iron hulk of the Lady Alice Kenlis, designed by the same shipwright as the Cutty Sark, has been granted protection by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the advice of Historic England.
The Lady Alice Kenlis was an iron steamship designed by Hercules Linton in 1867. He is the designer of the internationally renowned Cutty Sark, launched two years later in 1869. The Cutty Sark (now at Royal Museums Greenwich) was a state-of-the-art Victorian tea clipper. It was one of the fastest of its time, making the journey from Sydney to London by sail in 73 days.
By Sally Westwood
Plate 1: Canada Goose
Source: rspb.org.uk (2023)
You may have observed large flocks, or a gaggle of Canada Geese1 (Branta canadenis) (see Plate 1, below) on the mudflats and surrounding marshland of the Deben. It is the most familiar goose on our river. It is perhaps not surprising that the Deben functions as a habitat for four geese, including the Canada, the Barnacle, the Brent and the Greylag goose, since the Deben and the surrounding marshes and farmland has a wide range of food available for geese. The Deben estuary has narrow mudflats at the mouth of the river and wide mudflats on the inner section of the estuary. The majority of the land to the side of the estuary is agricultural farmland and this is flanked by grazing marshes. The estuary is also heavily fringed by Saltmarsh, as well as small side creeks, the largest of which is Martlesham Creek at the northern end of the river. Continue reading
by Kate Osborne
I remember the first time I ever saw someone collecting rubbish from the beach. It was a beautiful white sand cove in Corsica. What struck me as odd wasn’t the fact that he was stark naked (it really was a deserted beach!) but that he was carrying a torn white plastic feed sack and he was using it as a sling for all sorts of other litter. I’m ashamed to say I laughed – whether inwardly or outwardly I’m not sure – but I’m still friends with him and the rest of his family, so it can’t have been that obvious.
with thanks for their enduring contributions to the Nancy Blackett Trust, Maritime Woodbridge, the Longshed, River Deben Association & Woodbridge Cruising Club
Micheal Rines (1933–2023)
Mike Rines restoring Nancy Blackett.
Peter Willis writes…
Mike Rines, rescuer and restorer of Nancy Blackett, has died, at the age of 89. He first discovered Arthur Ransome’s boat virtually derelict in Scarborough Harbour in the early 1980s. Initially unaware that she was the inspiration for We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea, and the original of the Goblin in that book, he simply saw a boat that, as he said, ‘was too pretty to die’. He eventually persuaded her owner to part with her, and had her transported back to the River Orwell in Suffolk, where the opening of the book is set, and where he himself then lived, as it happened only a few hundred yards from where Ransome had lived when writing the book. Continue reading
By Sally Westwood
Martlesham Wilds Bill Board.
I popped along in the car, the day before my arranged walk with Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s meeting point for the Martlesham Wilds walk, at the car park for St Mary’s Church, in Martlesham. I scanned the field to the right of the car park and spotted four Curlews, two at the edge of the field, and two more in the centre of the field. I could see a pair of Geese in the distance, in the same field but could not identify them without my binoculars. This looked promising. Curlews were in residence, feeding near Martlesham Wilds. It was farmland, a stone’s throw from the River Deben. Continue reading
By Sue Ryder Richardson
Looking towards Waldringfield from Hemley.
Walked in that no-mans-land of time ‘twixt Christmas and New Year, when weather can be as tiresome as the turkey left-overs, but on this day the sun shone, the west wind blew sharply into our faces, the dogs ran, and the tide was low.
By Alice Thorogood
When your child starts dinghy sailing for the first time, it can be daunting to know what they need, especially if you are not a sailor. Credit: Alice Thorogood
Before my children joined the cadets I had very, very little experience of sailing. Everything was alien to me, from the sailing language, the kit they needed to what it meant to spend a day out on the water.
By Julia Jones
For our last issue of the RDA Journal 2022 we offer you reading recommendations from a dozen RDA Members and Contributors to The Deben magazine. Initially we just asked for recommendations (which is why the first two are quite brief) but then we began to ask people a little more about their reading habits – what sort of books they regularly enjoyed, did they usually buy or borrow books, did they use the library? Continue reading
By Colin Nicholson
At a recent River Deben Association (RDA) committee meeting, co-chair Colin Nicholson reported back from a recent visit to Anglian Water’s Wastewater Treatment Works at Martlesham Creek. The committee felt that this information was likely to be of interest to members and should be reported back. (Minutes of the meeting will also be available on the RDA website when they have been formally agreed.) Hence this article via the RDA Journal, which does not claim to be a complete overview of the complex topic of water quality, merely a personal update on matters of current interest and actions taken to gain better information.
As organic matter trickles down over stones it is consumed by bacteria.