Yellow & White + all steamed up.

Yellow and White flowers and a steam fair. Today was a Sunday tour around the Winchester area. Twyford old waterworks had steam up day with several visiting steam engines and road rollers.


White flowers cover many of the woods with both their colour and their odour. Wild garlic,  also known as Ramsons, Buckrams, Broad-leaved garlic, Wood garlic, Bear leek or Bear’s garlic, a bulbous perennial flowering plant in the lily family Amaryllidaceae. It is a wild relative of the onion, native to Europe and Asia.




Many of the farms’ grow oil seed rape which turns the views yellow.yellow 1.jpg


On the edge of the M272 near Brockwood is a mound of flints and a stone circle. These are said to have been built by a local landowner Col. Meinerzhagen – who was a very interesting character (See link below). Next to the flint mound is a headstone with an inscription that reads, “HERE LIES COL. R MEINERTZHAGEN’S HORSE MELKSHAM BURIED UNDER THESE STONES WHO DIED AT THIS PLACE IN 1910”.

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Small boat fishing.



In most areas around our coast especially in small harbour towns, there are signs of fishing. Much of this industry is from small open boats. It never fails to surprise me how dangerous the sea can look from sea level in a small boat. One of the reasons that one of the charities I support is RNLI who provides lifeboats around our shores.


Jurassic coast.




We visited Kimmeridge Bay which you reach via a toll road and walk down steps to the beach following a small stream which has cut a breach in the cliff. At the bottom of the cliff, the gap is protected by dragons teeth (anti-tank blocks) and a circular pillbox from WW2.





The rock is known as shale and rich in fossils but due to the pressures in the formation of the shale they are not very strong they have been pressed flat and crumble away when exposed. 

In Medieval times people near Kimmeridge Bay knew some of the rocks exposed in the cliffs would burn they had a free fuel for heating and cooking. The locals called it “Kimmeridge Coal”. By the 1930s it was known that there was an oil deposit within the scale although was not until 1959 that the first well producing oil and gas was installed. Oil is extracted by a single beam “nodding donkey” pump on the cliffs above the bay it is the oldest working oil well in the UK. The well produced 350 barrels of oil a day at its peak but this has now declined to a fifth of that level.

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At the East end of the bay are more WW2 defences.

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There are also a number of restored fisherman’s storage huts.



Also above the bay is Clavell Tower which was built around 1830 by Reverend John Richards Clavell The tower is about 35 feet high.



Fish at Whitstable.




Whitstable has a classic, fish market, right by the fishing boats in the busy little harbour. The fish is not cheap like from the boats at Hastings. I think the proximity to London and the London prices are reflected here. At over £28 a kilo for Dover and £35, a kilo for Halibut gives an idea of the prices here. I am not into making political statements but the flag flying in the harbour was telling all some of the local fishermen’s view of the EU.


Ready the nets.


Hastings is the home of the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe, by contrast with the small fleet I saw yesterday at Dungeness this fleet from the Stade as it is known has more than 25 boats which can be seen  when they are not at sea.


The fishermen launch and recover their boats with winches and bull-dozers. They also manage the single on the beach to ensure the tradition can continue at Hastings.





Many little huts are at the top of the beach sale some of the freshest fish available and at very competitive prices.