Sunday, 14 October 2018

Ipswich - In Search of Bird Life Along the River Orwell

Magic Map

I thought of Swallows and Amazons when I considered my plan to sail along the River Orwell.  Arthur Ransome's eighth book in his series of children's books, Secret Water is set in and around Hamford Water in Essex, close to the resort town of Walton-on-the-Naze.  It is an area of tidal salt marshes, and low lying islands. Ransome sailed the Nancy Blackett from the River Orwell to Flushin.  Our trip was planned with Top Sail and the focus was Birdlife.  We hoped to see a variety of birds described as "of international importance, such as little terns and wintering dark-bellied Brent geese, wildfowl and waders.  Weather conditions made sailing challenging with a force 7 wind so we were unable to broach the Stour River channel or get nearer the banks. Photography was challenging as the birds were far away. Cormorants were in abundance as was juvenile gulls.  We sawa few Mediterranean gulls, Oystercatchers, Snipe, Herons, Green Shank and some Seals. I must remember the recommendation from a fellow passenger, that Mistley situated along the Stour is an ideal place to closely observe the bird life.  
There was interesting architecture in derelict and newer constructions in view as we made our way to the boat.  We passed through a lock and alongside different industries until we reached Felixstowe Port with the huge tankers with many containers. We watched some being loaded and stacked.



Sunday, 7 October 2018

Race Day, Shuttleworth - Old Warden Aerodrome

My first visit to Shuttleworth was certainly an adventure. The Shuttleworth Collection is an aeronautical and automotive museum located at the Old Warden Aerodrome, Old Warden in Bedfordshire. It is one of the most prestigious in the world due to the variety of old and well-preserved aircraft.  The best event of the day was the Edwardians. The 2010 design Bristol Boxkite took to the skies at the end of the day and was a magic site.  This is a replica aircraft built for the film ‘Those Magnificent Men and their Flying Machines‘ (Ken Annakin, 1965: UK) and is the last Boxkite still flying. 
Next was the 1910 Deperdussin an aircraft that is an easy example believed to be the 43rd Deperdussin and built in 1910, it was used at Hendon until sold in damaged condition in 1914 to A E Grimmer who repaired it and then flew it from the polo ground near Bedford.  When acquired by Richard Shuttleworth in 1936 it was in poor condition. The Deperdussin wings were re-covered with linen and stitched up by Richard Shuttleworth, his mother and sister on the billiard table in the House which was the home of the Shuttleworth family. In 1937 it was renovated at Old Warden to fly again. Stored throughout WWII, on display days it can achieve straight hops and it certainly did hope across the field but sadly did not make it back. It was such a shame as there was a beautiful sunset and we had dealt hoped to capture it in silhouette in the evening light.