I usually shy away from blogging anything controversial or political as I am always shy of anyone thinking that it is Cambria Trust policy or opinion I am quoting. I am definitely not – these opinions in here are purely personal and I am speaking for myself only, all be it they will sometimes coincide.
I am, however, very happy to report a bit of news from the long running saga of the Lower Halstow Dock and the ‘will she / won’t she’ drama of whether the semi-derelict brickie barge SB Westmoreland might be allowed to moor there while she is restored. Since her rescue and disinterment from Faversham’s tidal mud in April 2011, she has languished in Colin Frake’s own lighter / dry-dock without a proper home to go to and I know attempts have been made to secure funding for a major restoration along the lines of Cambria’s. The local council have been in debate about whether the Lower Halstow Dock is appropriate for such ‘working boatyard’ activities or whether this might despoil the picture post-card scene. Major stake-holders the Gransdens, whose barge Edith May already ‘lives’ in this dock have reported regularly on progress via Facebook.
Tonight, though, big news from Tricia Gurnett writing in Facebook on behalf of the Society for Sailing Barge Research says,
“After an eternal wait – the results of the poll are in!
There was a 53% turnout out of 913 potential voters.
340 people voted in favour.
152 voted against.
Delighted to announce that the large majority of the village wish to protect Lower Halstow’s heritage and see the Westmoreland return to her home port to be restored.
The parish council will now have a meeting to discuss the planning and licencing restrictions on the restoration.
Here’s hoping they get right behind the project and all villagers can work together to get this famous barge up and running again.
Updates will be posted as the project should move rapidly along now”.
The Edith May camp says, “Lower Halstow villagers have voted in favour (340 to 152) to return the Westmoreland to Lower Halstow dock to be restored – looks like Edith May is going to get a stable mate!
Still a way to go yet, as the parish council decide the terms and conditions, but it is a positive step along the way.”
Good News for the Barge World I say (in my own opinion; I cannot speak for the Cambria Trust)