Monday, 22 June 2015

Pitched Perfect - St.Martin's June 2015

We are pitched in a new position - this our third stop at this wonderful campsite on the island of St.Martin's, Isles of Scilly. Possibly a little more exposed to the wind though in full sunlight.
We have brightly coloured flowers as our personal garden.

The tides have been high (and therefore low) this last week, so a few of us made the 1 mile walk out to Guther's Island. We had to follow a route across the sandy bars of Jack's Ledge and Moths Ledge before wading knee deep across the channel onto the sandy Guther's Bar. There were nesting sea birds on the rocks so we didn't disturb them!
You have about an hour to get back before the tide turns and comes in fast! We made it - though with cold feet!

Looking out to Guther's Island with the castle like 'tors'

These rocks are granite - very similar to my beloved Peak District.
They make for good nesting for the variety of gulls and terns here

A view back to our beach - as you can see the weather was quite murky with a cold wind.
It's a mile back across the sand bars and a wade through the Broad Ledge channel

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Ferry Trip and arrving on St.Martin's Island - Isles of Scilly Jun 2015

Mon 15th June - The Scillonian III

We were up early, leaving the welcome overnight Travel Lodge ay Hayle and down to Penzance - there was little traffic at 6.45am!
After a last minute sort in the car park (off loading any rubbish) we went onto the small quay and off-loaded our camping and holiday bags. This year there is a 20kg restriction on each bag so we have brought more bags - and they are easier for all to handle.

The ferry trip over was most pleasant and we were soon on the St.Martin's Campsite with Caroline and Ben who run it in a friendly, helpful and efficient manner.
These are the photos of the trip and setting up!

This is our boat over to the Isles!
No - only kidding - our passenger ferry is the Scillonian III

I saw this Co-op Lorry delivering to the freight quay - goods over to the main island of St.Mary's 

This is the freight vessel that brings the heavy freight over to the Isles - the distance is about 26 miles and everything needs to be shipped (or flown, eg the papers) hence the increased cost of everything! 

Queuing up to get on the ferry

We sat on the lower aft deck and so could watch the crewhands work the ropes - considerably larger than ours on the canal boat!

Laying in the ropes ready for docking again

A view back to the quay as we leave for a month!

Happy to be on our way at last - after considerable planning and logistics - all going well!

Arriving at Hugh Town Quay at St.Mary's - a diving platform for the work on the new quay extension

The crane rig. We were told that when the existing Scillonian III reaches it's retirement, they are building a larger island ferry and hence need an extension to the present quay 

The crewhand uses the power capstan to pull the docking hawser tight

The 'off island' passenger boats line up to collect the luggage

The 'Voyager' for St.Martin's is on the outside

A view of the Scillonian III

This tug was holding station - presumable the support vessel for the diving work

Ah! Here is our boat - "2 singles to St.Martin's please?" £9.20


This is our stuff for a month - ready to pitch camp in a new position this time.
And the bonus is it's a sunny afternoon!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Beauty and Breakdown! June 2015

Short Camp to test our camping gear - June 2015

We travelled over to a Caravan & Camping Field we know near Chelford, nr. Macclesfield, to test our camping gear ready for our West Country tour this year.
And we are so pleased we did!!

Beauty and Breakdown!

First job was to waterproof the tent - here splashing on the Nikwax

Strange! The tent seems not to want to go up properly?
Turns out it was a pole short - there's a joke here somewhere!?

Chris watching - 'We are not amused!'

In more relaxed mode!

A short visit up the National Trust Garden at Hare Hill, nr Prestbury, Macclesfield

The beauty of colour in the garden

On the way back home - the BREAKDOWN - engine mounting bolts failed and the engine dropped! The only good thing was we were travelling quite slowly (at about 25mph) and were local to Chris' sister!

RAC rescue from Egertons
Happily the repair work was sorted out by our excellent motorvan garage and we collected the van in enough time to set off on our West Country Tour 2015

Back at the marina - finding the missing pole and re-stringing the section

All loaded up for our trip to Penzance for the Ferry for our camping trip to the Isles of Scilly!


Rode Hall Silver Band - Whit Friday Marches May 2015

Our Rodee Band !

One of my favourite Rode Hall Band events is going up to the Saddleworth area for the Whit Friday Marches competition.
We had a good and full band this year, ably led by our MD Nigel. I have been playing my cornet on the 'front row' at the 4th position - called '4th man down'!
We played 'Castell Coch' in the competitions this year, a reasonably difficult march for the cornets - though for the actual marching we stuck to the much simpler standard of 'Slaidburn'.
Our Silver Band boarded a coach bound for Saddleworth to take part in these annual Saddleworth & District Whit Friday Brass Band Contests. The contests are also known as ‘The Greatest Free Show on Earth’ because around 100 bands from all over the country, and beyond, travel from village to village playing two marches at each contest to both a ‘blind’ adjudicator and an appreciative crowd, before boarding their bus and moving on to the next village. Each contest typically hosts between 50 and 70 bands, from non-contesting to world class bands.
This year Rode weren’t able to perform at as many venues as previous years, due to congestion and queues at the venues, however we did manage to achieve our minimum target of six contests. These were Diggle, Uppermill, Dobcross, Scouthead, Lydgate & Denshaw. The band are particularly proud of their second place prize in the 4th Section at Lydgate. The weather was pretty cool all evening, but dry until our very last performance at Denshaw. As we watched the penultimate band perform, the heavens opened. Torrential rain turned to an onslaught of hail stones as our band played on to a handful of equally plucky spectators. As the last band of the contest, we brought the contest to a close with a soggy National Anthem.

A happy bandsman! 

Our poster on the front of the coach

Getting ready at one of the venues

Performing our competition march!
Here is a link to the band playing on the march up to a venue and then playing our competition march - Castell Coch -link.

At Denshaw, at midnight! In a hailstorm !!