Category Archives: Media reports & pictures

Gravesend again – having a whale of a time!

Benny the whale at Gravesend

It’s clearly a Gravesend week.   Two days ago we highlighted the coming auction of West Street Pier in the town.   Some barge people have since suggested it would make a good base for Thames Sailing Barges  –  lot of money, lot of work needed, as ever with barges.

Now today there is an article in The Times about that whale which came for an autumn holiday in the Thames at Lower Hope Reach, and liked it so much it stayed around the area for several months, even being seen off Gravesend Promenade.   Although nobody knows whether it is male or female, it was christened Benny by local people and seems to have contributed considerably to the town’s economy.   Postcards, mugs, fridge magnets and cuddly toy whales appeared in the shops, and there was even “Bennie’s Ale” at one of the pubs.

When we went over on the ferry for the SSBR Committee meeting at the marvellous Three Daws last autumn we all had our eyes peeled but didn’t have the luck to see Benny.

The last sighting was January 6th and even that is just a maybe.   Has Benny gone?   Did it decide the Thames in December was not the place to be?   Gravesend businesses hope not.   They hope Benny may be in the outer estuary, or if it has gone that it will come back again.   They say Benny had adapted well to life in the river and was happy.

For the sake of all those Benny fridge magnets, they hope to see the whale again.

Read the story here.

Advertisements

An Asian Stackie

Thought some of our readers might like to see this photograph from The Times today.   It’s from Northern Bangladesh and shows a boat on the Jamuna River loaded with dried grass.   The stacks are 60ft long and 10ft high and sometimes rest on two boats floating side by side.  And look the crew are up on top of it.   It’s an Asian Stackie.   Not sure what the one standing up is doing.   He could be desperately pulling on the strapping to stop the load shifting or maybe there’s some sort of controller to steer the boat.   The one sitting down looks every bit as if he has a mobile ‘phone clasped to his ear!img20181118_00240627

John Lewington’s Barge Match picture in The Times

I’m beginning to think that someone on The Times’s editorial or photographic staff is a Thames barge fan.

Again today there is a superb barge picture, this time by John Lewington of barges in “a Thames barge race in Southend”.   Difficult to work out from the description whether it is a Thames Match at Southend, or a Southend Match.

The photograph has been entered  for the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society’s photography competition, now in its 179th year.   img20180801_20163131

%d bloggers like this: