90 This Year – The RH&DR

The Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway (RH&DR) celebrates 90 years of operation this year.

This year also marks another celebration – 70 years to the day,(March 21st 1947) that popular comedy duo – Laurel and Hardy reopened the line which had not been fully operational (for the public) during the Second World War. A two page spread, with over half a dozen photos, can be seen in this weeks Kentish Express(March 23rd) – www.kentonline.co.uk/romneymarsh)
There will be special weekend of celebrations on 16th and 17th July. More details on the RH&DR website (go to ‘Links’)
Other celebrities to have visited the RH&DR include the, to be, King George VI in 1926 and in 1957 the Queen and family, with the young Prince Charles ‘having a go’ on the footplate.
Roger Daltry, rock legend from The Who, came along last year to open the new Cafe at Dungeness.

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Snack Shack Shortlisted for Award

The ‘Snack Shack’ – situated on the beach, owned and operated by Kenny Thomas and family, has been shortlisted in the ‘Best Coastal Fish Restaurant of The Year Awards’. The fact that it is in the open air, with diners sitting outside on an array of seating, seems not to have been a deterrent to its nomination into the U.K’s only fishing industry awards. Organised by ‘Fishing News’ the awards are in recognition of those who actively promote and highlight the fishing industry.

The ‘Snack Shack’provides an extensive choice of quality sea foods and can boast that what was caught in the morning can be devoured the same afternoon.
Local caught fish can also be purchased as soon as the catch has landed. Can’t get fresher than that!

The shortlist is available to view on www.fishingnews.co.uk and public voting is invited – UNTIL April 28th.

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a.m. p.m.


As nothing seems to be happening locally, worthy of comment, I thought I’d start adding a few pics past and present!

At the start of a day, less than 20 miles away, the sun rises over the French Coast on a frosty morning.

At the start of the day-Edit

And at the end of a day the sun sinks on Eastbourne

At the end of the day

Photos: © Mike Golding




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The Pilot Public House – Revisited

I had forgotten how good the Pilot is for food. One tends to forget what is on ones doorstep.

It has been some considerable time since I last visited The Pilot and whilst some prices are a little higher than I remembered the quality of food and the service of the ever attendant staff makes the place an exceptional place to eat. Although previously finding fame for its Fish ‘n’ Chips – the menu now ranges from sandwiches and pies to King Prawns and Steaks. The full menu can be viewed on their website. And I will add this is not a paid for write up but a result of a genuine reaction from a visit last evening!

The fish meal is exceptionally good and it doesn’t have to come with batter. Pan fried was perfect – with a large salad. In all a healthy well balanced meal – but spoilt with an apple crumble pudding with cream and ice cream. I am weak!

The pub is owned by locals Niko Miaoulis, his wife Rachel and Michelle with son Rob in attendance.

Well worth a visit next time you are in the area.
MG

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Road Repaired

At, very long, last the road is being resurfaced – properly!
This means the speed merchants who like to visit the area will be able to achieve at least 100 mph without endangering themselves on the pot holes.
Thank you EDF

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Tsunami Threat????!!!!!!!!

Headline scare stories say that underwater movements off the coast of Norway could bring 60 foot waves to the area and demands are being made for the protection of the power station. Protection of the power station? 60 foot waves will spread across the Marsh beyond Appledore and Rye. I don’t think any survivors will be worrying about a bit of under water radiation (can you radiate under water?) and in any event it would need a very big wall to be built around the ‘B’ station to protect it. Just thought – ‘Donald Trump’ – he could help once he has finished a bit of brick laying on one of his borders.

Having said that the newspaper article (and it wasn’t even in the ‘Sun’) did then taper off to the smaller print where it said it was unlikely that the south coast would be affected from anything emanating from north west of Scotland. I suppose ‘Tsunami Not Likely’ is hardly a good headline – so best stick to scare mongering.

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Memories Continued

Having seen the lovely picture of the school with all the proud school children circa 1940 below is how it looked like after Hitler decided to close it.

Taken around 1950 it shows the author and, younger, Uncle on the rather unstable roof.   No one had heard of ‘Health and Safety’ in those days.  Rather sad really as there seems to be very little  left for the ‘adventurous’ growing up these days.

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                The railway station, taken at the same time, had simply run into disrepair. 

  This line ran past the old school and provided an additional  playground for youngsters.

 

Still looking for a photograph of the original ‘Britannia’ pub, which had been burnt out.   But still inside was the old ‘Joanna’ which still made a good noise by plucking the strings.

And of course, even in the ‘Fifties’ there was still no running water, electricity or means of sewerage disposal.

Water came from a pump in the beach – usually situated in the kitchen.   Some shacks had small pot bellied multi fuel heaters – otherwise nothing as there was no electricity.  Light came from paraffin lamps or pressurised  mentholated spirit contraptions and just can’t remember how we heated food or made hot water – possibly from an adaption of the aforementioned  pressure  lamps.  Milk was delivered in bulk and was collected from the lorry in jugs.   Fish were caught by tying hooks to a line with a large pebble with a hole through it – and a length of rope with a wooden handle or in the mackerel season hooks were floated from sealed bottles that simply floated about.

Back stays were the order of the day – like flip flops but made of flat pieces of wood – to stop one sinking into the beach (yes there was no vegetation in those days so no believing English Nature saying so many plants have been here forever are are indigenous to the area).

And finally the bucket with the human waste  was taken over to the sea at high tide.   Frequently one got their own back if the wind was blowing the wrong way.

Those were the days.

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House of the Year 2016 – Another Dungeness ‘Shack’ Shortlisted

Dungeness new build house ‘North VAT’ has been longlisted for the Channel Four ‘Grand Designs’ RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) ‘House of the Year 2016’. THURSDAYS 9pm to 10pm and repeated at other times!

The following is an article from the RIBA (apologies for not obtaining permission)

ARCHITECT: Rodic Davidson Architects CLIENT: private

AWARDS WON: riba SOUTH EAST award 2016

This house is the latest in a series of new homes at Dungeness. The trend for inhabiting the beach was set by Derek Jarman with his garden at Prospect Cottage, and since then architects have take inspiration from the open, often bleak, beach to design new occasional homes. This house, by Rodic Davidson Architects, is one of the best in the collection.

The architects had previously worked with the clients on the refurbishment of their London home. Here the brief was to create a single living environment, allowing for entertainment, enjoyment and art. This was to be a calm and simple space where everyday activities could co-exist and all aspects of the surrounding landscape could be observed. There was no question about replacing the existing fisherman’s cottage and the form was conceived as a ‘cluster’ of small shed-like structures, referential to the local vernacular of pitched roof huts scattered along the beach front. The plan form of the proposed cluster was derived from the locations of the existing cottage and sheds, minimally adjusted to provide a simple living layout whilst maintaining a low impact on the ground ecology and sustaining the sense of randomness that was found in the original buildings.

The resulting house alludes to these familiar influences and even mimics some recent nearby homes (some of which are award winners themselves), but does so in a manner which is arguably truer to the original precedent of dark stained beach hut or ‘net shop’. The jury was persuaded by the ambiguity of ‘one home’ versus ‘a cluster of sheds’ approach, and won over by the intimate relationship between designers and client which has resulted in a finely-judged balance of high architecture and comfortable beach living.

Despite the temptation to celebrate the panorama of the vast beach and seascape, views are framed judiciously like pictures at seating- and standing-height, providing a sequence of selected connections to the outside. Only in the circulation spaces between the ‘sheds’ is that connection seamless, with frameless glass taking one within millimetres’ distance of the frequently harsh external elements. As the architects suggest, ‘walking in and out of the rooms feels like walking in and out of the landscape’.

Each Dungeness black box has to be measured on its own merits, but this particular synthesis of client aspiration, site character, and thoughtful detailing left this year’s jury feeling very comfortable with its decision.

CONTRACTOR: ECO-LIBRIUM SOLUTIONS LTD

STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS: Ten Design Ltd

Looked good on t.v. Simple bright and hopefully around for the next 100 years – by which time most of the ‘oldies’ will have been long gone.

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Examples of Power Plants Used as Filming Locations

Power stations are often used as filming locations for films and television series. Science fiction films are the most common genre to use power stations as a location due to the futuristic environment and feel of the stations.

In this article we will look at how Dungeness’s nuclear plant and three other power stations have been used as a backdrop for film scenes ranging from sci-fi to comedy.

Dungeness’s Nuclear Power Station, Kent

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The Dungeness Nuclear Power Station was used in an episode of Doctor Who. The Kent Film Office state that the station was featured in the 1971 episode, The Claws of Axons starring Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor. The Kent Film Office writes on their site that the power station doubled as a “Nuton power complex”. Cole Moreton a Doctor Who fan wrote in The Telegraph that the Dungeness beach was also used in the episode and featured in a key scene where an alien craft landed.

Cherokee Nuclear Plant, South Carolina

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The abandoned nuclear power plant is famous for its connection with James Cameron’s 1987 film The Abyss. Cameron chose the power station after deciding against filming underwater scenes in the ocean. According to film review and news site io9 the film crew constructed one of the largest underwater sets ever built. The site also reports how the set was abandoned to nature, as the cost to disassemble it was too high. The set was eventually demolished in 2007.

Battersea Power Station, London

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The iconic power station has been used as a film location for many famous films. The Guardian produced an online gallery that showed some of the films that had used the station ranging from blockbusters to science fiction films. Also included in the article was the British comedy Monty Python’s Meaning of Life. In the Monty Python film the station was used as the backdrop to the naked chase scene. Monty Python is famous for using unusual locations in its productions, to create a mixture of comedy and satire. Online gaming site Betfair Casino used this Monty Python principle of strange combinations in their Monty Python slot game Spamalot. The game combines comedy and gaming, creating an unusual juxtaposition that brings the core principles of Python’s work together for players. It also represents how popular Monty Python still is among the masses even today.

Satsop Nuclear Power Plant, Washington

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The Satsop power plant is a great example of how a disaster can turn into something productive. News Grio informs that the nuclear power plant is considered one of the biggest project blunders in US history as the $2 billion power plant was never completed due to budget issues in 1983. The site has found a second life as a dystopian film set and was recently used in the 2014 science fiction film Transformers: Age of Extinction.

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Further Memories

The following pics were taken by Peter ion the summer of 1959, who has fond memories of this desolate place – well it was in those days.    The first being the now long gone ‘Experimental Station belonging to ……………………. followed by the first digging of the large hole that was to be the bowels of the ‘A’ station nuclear power reactor.   And ‘they’ were told not to build it so close to the sea – but then ‘they’ know better.

 

The last pic is of Peters lady wife at the New Roney railway station – agin in 1959

 

Peter writes:-

 

I knew Dungeness well during my childhood.   Our family stayed in one of the  “rescued” railway carriages known as “Mossy-Cot” between the Fog Horn and Lighthouse during 946 and 1959.

I remember the filming with Googie Withers on the beach towards where the Power Stations are now.  In 1959 I took a photo of the first works concerning the future Power Station and still have it !
I remember the RHDR railway track being twisted and unusable in 1946 but in good repair and with trains running again the following year.
There was a community then which has sadly been lost to many week-enders in the interim but I remember the Tart and Oiler families and became first interested in Lifeboats when watching a beach-launch in fog early one morning. I was seven years old!
  It is my desire that Dungeness remains the beautiful and fresh-smelling area that I have been privileged to experience for a very long time and to say how fortunate anyone is to live there now.
You may also like to know that I have been a RNLI fundraising volunteer for some years now, due to my first experiences at Dungeness when Mr Tart was Cox’n.

 

 

 

experimental_station

experimental_station

experimental_station…..

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