Thursday 25th March 2021 - Slump Removal and THV Patricia
People moving into the village have often expressed concerns over the slump on the access road to the promenade from Clifton Way. Since we have lived in the village we have watched the slump gradually push further over the roadway until only a small portion of tarmac remains visible. This has made it increasingly difficult for access in the case of an emergency on the beach, emptying the bin and collecting larger items from beach cleans, as well as beach hut owners wanting to remove the contents of their huts in the autumn and replenish in the spring. Going back to the concerns; the District Council and our Councillor, Angie Fitch Tillett, have always said the slump should be left, as removal of the toe will encourage more debris from the old Overstrand Hotel to slide down. However there seems have been a change in the Council’s policy. This morning we saw a large digger/excavator at the bottom of the cliff and that one section of the slump has been removed, revealing for the first time in many years, the curb stone on the south side of the road. The removed material has been deposited behind the revetments at the bottom of the road. We will wait and see if the other section is removed too and whether part of the work in hand will include relocating the large lumps of concrete, currently in a corral at the base of the cliff, to increase the current sea defences.
We see all types of vessels passing along the coast. Most of these are fishing boats, tankers, container ships or support and supply vessels for the rigs and two windfarms. In the past we have seen the occasional cruise ship but yesterday I spotted a different ship at anchor of the coast. It was late afternoon and there had been a bit of a thud which we assumed was part of the cliff slumping down. I decided to check out of our window to see if there was any change to our view, which fortunately there wasn’t (phew) and this was when I spotted the ship at anchor. My view was partially blocked by a tree so I was unable to see the name on the hull through our telescope. However, the marine traffic locator website showed it as the THV (Trinity House Vessel) Patricia, which is used for navigation work, towing, wreck location and marking plus other projects. What we didn’t know until after we had talked to fisherman Andy this morning is, the Patricia carries fare paying passengers, but obviously not during the current Covid pandemic. What is offered, is not a cruise and is different to passages on cargo ships. Thanks to the web, I found an outdated brochure with details of the voyages and photos of the cabins. Forget any ideas of sleeping in hammocks; the cabins are all ensuite, and well equipped and furnished (Royalty have stayed on the ship), plus there is a lounge and dining room for passengers. In addition there is good access to the working parts of the ship. The Patricia must pass regularly along this stretch of the coast but without dropping anchor, otherwise we would have spotted it before. The ship was too far out to be able to take even a half decent photo, so instead I have copied one of Trinity House’s.
THV Patricia © Trinity House