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 Alice Thorogood
It’s been a BIG summer of sailing. Every year since my three children started in Cadets there has been a BIG summer of sailing. This year we’ve been to Newport in Belgium for the World Championship, a long weekend back home for the Waldringfield Cadet ‘Week’ then a quick wash of everyone’s kit before we headed off to beautiful Abersoch for the National Championship.
Sometimes I find myself asking if all this packing/unpacking and travel is worth it…
Then I see some of the wonderful things our Cadet Alumni are up to, and I know that the work we all put into Cadets – as parents or volunteers as well as sailors — is more than worth it. We are helping to develop resilient, capable young people who will go on to achieve different successes in the future.
It was a real honour to take a break from the crazy whirlwind of The Nationals and talk to an inspirational ex-Cadet sailor who embodies more that we might have dreamed of. Willow Bland is about to take part in the Ocean Globe Race as part of the crew of Tracy Edwards’ boat Maiden. 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 Simon Read
Directly opposite Woodbridge Town Quay, there is a small saltmarsh of approximately 2.5 hectares. This is Sutton Saltmarsh and was the subject of a management project undertaken by the River Deben Association in 2008-2009. Continue reading
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 Robert Simper
George Collins (from The Deben River: an enchanted waterway by Robert Simper)
I suppose the first time I remember meeting George Collins was in about 1948. This was first time I first went afloat and at young age I found nighttime trawling very exciting. We were in the open boat Lassie, built in 1924 and sadly shortly after this her owner died. Jack Garrard bought the boat and was one of first people to have a boat mooring at Ramsholt. 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.
Report by Julia Jones
The speaker at this year’s AGM was John Patrick, founder member of the Felixstowe Hydrocycle (https://www.felixstowehydrocycle.com/).
His talk was detailed and fascinating. We are most grateful to him for allowing us to reproduce the slides from his presentation. This report can only skim the surface and hope to convey a few main points as understood by a completely non-technical audience member. Continue reading
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 Ben Grundy
Last year Julia asked me to write something for the RDA Journal and I had agreed without much thought what to write about. Then in January the opportunity to become the new Chair of the Kyson Fairway committee came, and then came again an email from Julia asking if I was still interested in doing an article. Yes, I was still interested but the theme didn’t come until late April when I was voted in as the KFC chairman.
Making fast our towing gear in the “Deben” to the “MSC Tessa” on her maiden call to Felixstowe last week – Photo credit Jeff Welch photography