Thursday, November 01, 2007

Wait for the Big Bang

Prepare yourselves for a big explosion off the coast of Margate today when a wartime mine is detonated.

The 1500lb device was trawled up a mile offshore yesterday by the same fisherman who netted a similar device three weeks ago.

When that German mine was exploded it sent a massive plume of water into the air and shock waves rattled houses, shops and offices around the coastline.

The Margate coastguard say the latest mine will be set off between 11.30am and 12.30pm.

One of our readers, Tony, has kindly supplied a "Photo of the demolition of the jetty during the famous explosion period (early 1979). This picture was taken after the first explosion leaving the lifeboat house remains tilted. The sections of the jetty were cut up and floated ashore using compressed air bags. The sections were later cut to specification for the Sheerness steel furnaces."

Ed:The trawlermen could have waited for November 5th but rumours that the fisherman planned to leave said mine on the beach inside Ramsgate harbour are entirely alarmist!

12 comments:

Tony Beachcomber said...

Ed, Thanet people certainly like their explosions. My happiest explosion was the Margate Lifeboat house demolition. Have you got one?

DrMoores said...

I don't have any happy explosions on account of the IRA blowing up some friends of mine on my day off. I was lucky enough to be playing Rugby..

When things go bang I duck!

ZumiWeb said...

According to the evening news the bang didn't happen (just a phhht and a small splash) so they'll be trying again tomorrow. A bit worrying that explosives experts can't blow up something full of explosives, but I expect there's a perfectly good explanation...

Anonymous said...

Was there not much local ribald comment about the initial ineffective efforts to demolish the original Victorian structure of the pier? Blowing up things is not necessarily easy, even today!

Michael Child said...

Zumi it is tomorrow now and after ongoing attempts to explode the bomb they have now lost it. This is not an exact quote as I haven’t got time to go and look it up, however Nicholas Mosley son of the well known Fascist and writer of experimental fiction, said something like. “Art is like a bomb in the maze, that fails to explode.”

Tony Beachcomber said...

Ed,Sorry to hear about your mates, I assume that they were serving British soldiers. It is sad statistic that in todays warfare more British troops are killed by hidden devices than in combat. Next week we will be able to remember them all.
In the meantime we have November 5th and the popular entertainment of burning and watching things explode comes to a annual climax. If the mine has not been blown up yet, I do hope they can delay it until Nov 5th which would be a nice little touch. Just think it could be called the Margate banger which would certainly put us on the map or even blow us off the map. Mind you, Sherness could try to upstage us with the Richard Montgomery next year. We will have to wait and see.

DrMoores said...

Funnily enough they weren't. It was after I left school that I had a job at the Ideal Home Exhibition in London. You may remember that the IRA bombed it. In this case the victims were some lovely girls that I knew and I was lucky enough to be playing for Roslyn Park against Esher that Saturday afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Tony, are there plans to try and blow up the Montgomery? Is that the ship packed with bombs and missiles which is currently just below the surface on the other side of sheppy?

Tony Beachcomber said...

The Richard Mongomery sank 15/08/1944 and lies in 33 feet of water and still contains 3,102 (imperial) tons of which 88% is general purpose bombs the rest of the cargo is HE arial bombs. The origal manifest is 6,862 tons the balance being salvaged. The position is 51.57.57N 00.47.12E on the Middle Sand, north edge, Sheerness.
The nanny state has imposed a No Smoking ban in the area long before July 1st.
There are no plans to move the wreck and it is regularily patrolled.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Sorry annon 9:12am, the position N is 51.27.57 not 51.57.57N.I better point that out as I don't want to be accused of leading people astray.

DrMoores said...

I know the wrech of the Richard Montgomery well. She still sticks out of the water at low tide and is surrounded by buoys. I'll be flying over her again tomorrow on the way to Southend for a "Will You Marry Me Banner".

If the wreck ever were to explode -God Forbid -The town of Sheerness would most likely be levelled by the force, depending on the tidal state etc. It's a huge health and safety problem and nothing can be done about it as the cargo is now so unstable.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tony!