Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pedal Days

Back to St Mildred's Bay again and this time a view of the pedaloes on the big slipway, taken, I suspect in the early sixties.

I worked a summer season on these after I left school; big heavy wooden lumps that they were, where the floats often filled with water by the end of the day.

We used to need a Land Rover to haul them, one by one to the low tide mark and every other week, we would work late, waiting for the sea to float a line of a dozen boats back into the slipway for recovery in the evening as the Sun set.

It was surprising how cold the wind would be during the summer, when the tide was out and of course, there would be more business when it was in, as people generally didn't want a long distance walk to find a pedaloe.

I recall one miserable summer's day when, as usual, come rain or shine, from the early morning, we had the boats anchored in a line off the beach at high tide, while the two of us sheltered, playing chess, in a small hut next to Pav's cafe. After some time had passed I looked out of the door to check on the pedaloes and to my surprise I couldn't see them. They had pulled the anchors in the swell and were now drifting around the point towards Westbrook.

In the days before Health & Safety at work and worried we would be fired, we dived into the sea and swam out after the boats and with a great deal of difficulty and against the current, managed to pedal and push all twelve back into St Mildred's, without the boss knowing that we had almost lost them.

There was another time, I remember, when two teenagers abandoned one at sea without us knowing and it started drifting upside down, again at high tide, towards Birchington. In those days, we had an Air Sea Rescue helicopter at Manston and the first I knew of the problem was spotting a missing boat through binoculars. This time, I managed to catch-up with it by running along to Westbay and going into the sea from there. Next thing I know, is a large yellow helicopter over my head and the winchman asking if I need rescuing as passers by on the shore had assumed that I had fallen out of the boat.

Happy days. You could swim freely between the bays without the danger of being run over by a jetski.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

The good old days, does anybody remember when a Tiger Moth from Ramsgate airport flown by a USAF pilot from Manston stalled and ditched in the sea off Foreness Point it floated and Taffy Rook in Vagabond started to tow it until it sunk or broke up off Palm Bay? Has anyone got any pictures it was in the 1950’s? The pilot was ok.

Anonymous said...

Last weekend (at Westgate) and also last summer (at Broadstairs) I saw HM Coastguard flying round the coast at cliff top level. Is that allowed? Seems very very low. What would happen if someone was flying a kite at the time it passed by?

DrMoores said...

Search & Rescue aircraft (SAR) are exempted from Rule 5 of the air inregard to low flying but I take your point about the kite.

However, I would expect and I am pretty sure that the pilot woul dbe well clear of the shoreline. I flew the same aircraft two years ago and we were at an operating altitude of 300 feet around the coast on a coastal shipping patrol.

Anonymous said...

It was definately over the beach on both occasions.

DrMoores said...

The beach is fine. As I mentioned SAR and military are exempt from Rule 5 but if it were a civilian aircraft the minimum is 500 feet from the nearest person.

Anonymous said...

Or if you fly from Maypole you can fly as close to residents & their property as you see fit.
'MR X'

DrMoores said...

Ahh.. "Mr Unpleasant" I assume?

The residents of Maypole know there is an airfield nearby which has very little activity or indeed noise or are you the same "Vexatious complainant" that plagues the council and the CAA?

I'm sure, that like me, all the pilots act with the utmost courtesy and consideration to local residents, which includes not overflying the village.

There are of course no properties in line with the final approach to Runway 20 and only one at the end of 02 and we are talking small light aircraft here not 747s

Kite Flyer said...

Hope I haven't started something! Just don't want my kite getting tangled up in some plane's propellors!!

DrMoores said...

Not at all. Mr X has a personal agenda as you will have gathered!

Anonymous said...

As usual facts all wrong !!!!!!
You certainly fly over more than 1 property when landing from the South, or taking off towards the South.
25% of the local electorate can't all be wrong in their amenities being ruined, or have personal agendas.
We are talking about the parish of Hoath, not the village. Following one of your previous reports, the locals describe the aircraft as 'our jet skis!' Similar situation, outsiders being a ruddy nuisance, with little regard for locals. We have a right to complain the same as you do in relation to your local environment.
'MR X'

DrMoores said...

Absolute b****s There is one property at the end of the runway, within the 500 foot descent line at the end of 20 (i.e. the 02 threshold) You can see this clearly in the photo here:
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?wip=2&v=2&style=r&rtp=~&&msnurl=home.aspx?mapblast%3dtrue%26redirect%3dfalse&msnculture=en-US type in Hoath - zoom up the map to a satellite image and you can see the evidence!

Secondly, this was covered in detail here a very long time ago and I'm afraid that 25% of the electorate had their information distorted by people like yourself. I know and you know that I was in the same village meeting where nobody was permitted to argue against the rubbish that people like yourself spouted!

Was the airfield there before you arrived on the scene?

Lastly, the matter was resolved and is, I understand not longer an issue except, with that single vexatious complainant mentioned previously. Would Mr X care to reveal his name or would you like me to guess?

Anonymous said...

Sorry but what has mr grumpy got to do with the airshow in Thanet other than hating aircraft or the Doc?

DrMoores said...

Yes, your'e right 12:36. I assume that Mr X is the same unpleasant cove who has offered to deliver the dirt on DrM in entries on two other local blogs. I would be very happy indeed to meet him in person if he wishes to take his aviation objections further but ThanetLife is probably not the place to object to the existence of Maypole airfield.

Anonymous said...

I bet you a whole gobstopper that Mr X hasn't got an aeroplane......or a kite ! Jealous or what ! Bet he pulls the wings off butterflies when he's bored and never danced naked in the moonlight ! Mr X, you owe me a gobstopper, where should I collect it from ?