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View Full Version : Update on improvements to Medway Navigation.



oldgit
15-02-09, 20:25
Have a look HERE (http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Number=2185751&page=0&vc=1&P HPSESSID=#Post2185751)

Timothy
15-02-09, 22:02
We visited the Medway in 2007 and had a great time but do admit to finding some of the locks a little hard to work. We assumed that this could have been one of the reasons for people tending not to use the upper parts of the river. As for funding, ALL boats on the non tidal Medway pay a licence fee even if the boat just sits in the marina. So come on EA get that ruling introduced on the Thames.
p.s. We are making the trip back to the Medway for a few weeks this summer. Thanks to the Medway users for making us feel so welcome.

oldgit
16-02-09, 09:34
Surely everything floating on the Thames has to pay dues,wether in marina or no ?
Lets hope we get a decent summer and hope to see you round here soon.
Our first trip out to your neck of the woods (as usual) is likely to be St Kats at Easter.

TrueBlue
16-02-09, 10:50
[ QUOTE ]
We visited the Medway in 2007 and had a great time but do admit to finding some of the locks a little hard to work. We assumed that this could have been one of the reasons for people tending not to use the upper parts of the river. As for funding, ALL boats on the non tidal Medway pay a licence fee even if the boat just sits in the marina. So come on EA get that ruling introduced on the Thames.
p.s. We are making the trip back to the Medway for a few weeks this summer. Thanks to the Medway users for making us feel so welcome.

[/ QUOTE ]

EA tried to change the rules three years ago with a rag-bag of measures that upset a lot of folks, so they dropped it. Call it "harmonisation"

Last year they started again, simpler scheme - but they didn't make the "mistake" of actually consulting anybody, so the changes will slip through.

Charade.

ianc1200
16-02-09, 14:34
We took Straight Across up the Medway in October 2004. We were warned by the lockeeper at Allington not to come because of the debris in the upper tideway, and we had a lot of trouble getting through, trees/logs/sofas/huge sheets of plastic/other general rubbish totally covering the surface of the river for last few miles. Managed to get up to Tonbridge, but not a non tidal river I'd want to do again. Between Maidstone & Tonbridge nothing but locks and very few places for casual mooring, all a bit grim.

oldgit
16-02-09, 20:35
The lack of public moorings has been a constant complaint for a long time and the final touches in the scheme are apparently to provide a couple of overnight mooring spots at each of the more isolated locks.
As you say not a lot to do between Maidstone and Tonbridge as you are right out in the countryside with only a couple of spots bringing you in contact with civilisation,otherwise a couple of miles to the nearest village.
Think the best comparision twixt the Medway and the Thames would be that of a small meandering country road and the M25 on a very bad day.
A quiet day on the Thames
http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m312/medcam/PEACEANDQUIET.jpg
A busy day elsewhere. http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m312/medcam/FordorOak.jpg

Medway_Squirrel2
16-02-09, 22:38
Hi,
Oldgit, thanks for the kind words and Timothy - we look forward to seeing you this year.

For the others, the river has changed considerably over the last 2-3 years, the highlight being our new facilities at Allington, and new upstream and downstream landing stages at most of the locks. Photos of all of these and the rest of the improvements can be seen here: www.allingtonlock.co.uk (http://www.allingtonlock.co.uk)
Click on "Photos" then "River Improvements since 2006" to see what we've been up to.
In terms of overnight moorings we should have completed 4 new mooring sites by April this year. Details will be posted on the website as soon as complete. (Note ship to shore plank may be required at some locations)

Hope you can take the time to visit us

Medway Squirrel

ianc1200
16-02-09, 23:39
Is there still the problem of rubbish in the upper tideway?

IanC

Medway_Squirrel2
16-02-09, 23:58
IanC, to be honest I am not sure if Medway Ports have improved this section yet. We have continously requested this. I'll have a chat to the lock keepers and reply or perhaps someone on this site has travelled this section recently?

Medway Squirrel

Medway Squirrel

slowboat
17-02-09, 17:24
Gotta say ARC I think your comments are a bit harsh. The upper Medway is well worth a visit with great country side, however there is a shortage of organised casual moorings as Oldgit says. The rubbish can be an issue especially after spring tides but is normally reeds and a few bits of timber which is fine if taken at slow speeds. On my couple of visits last year the river was quite clear. The very very organised Upper Thames it is not, but the piece and quiet is very welcome for some

apollo
17-02-09, 17:31
I dont think it is harsh, have been visiting medway for last 30 years and every time we have gone up from Medway Bridge to Allington there has been tons of driftwood.

I think you may not have read ARC post properly especially where he says "upper tideway"

Improvements look good, now you watch the beancounters in Reading increase the registration charges next year....

Timothy
17-02-09, 18:31
I am astounded that a claim has been made that a lock keeper advised against navigation because of debris! Sounds like a bit of exaggeration on someone's part !
When we travelled from the Thames to Allington we saw hardly any debris, in fact I have seen more on the tidal Thames. As for the upper reaches of the Medway, we enjoyed the isolation which is probably why we enjoy some of our boating above Oxford. I certainly don't need to be moored next to hundreds of other people but each to their own.

ianc1200
17-02-09, 22:04
The lock keeper really tried to persuade us no to come (we at Hoo Marina for a few days to lower mastsw etc). When we got there he told us tales of props being damaged, two boats in one lock full etc. Did seem a bit strange for him to tell us this, but there was a huge amount of debris. We didn't talk to him much on the way out, it was a Saturday afternoon and a club was going out, and a bit of a queue. However we caught some up later, one boat being towed by another, the towed one having damaged it's prop on the rubbish.

oldgit
17-02-09, 23:42
The junk in the water in the last mile or so was always a blimming nuisance and while it did not bother us locals who are well used to it ,it did by all accounts represent a bit of a challenge and put off possible visitors.The authorities did have a go a year or so ago to get the worst of it out.
Heres hoping the floodwater this year will help to clear it out of the way.
We normally go up around 7/8 times a year without problems and just keep a steady speed and good lookout around Aylesford Bridge or why not do what we do and sneak up following behind somebody else.

Andrew_Fanner
18-02-09, 10:58
I'm tempted to bring Jedi over in the Summer, but doubt we would get further than Yalding, and I'm only thinking Yalding because a previous owner had that as a home port on the transom. Off the top of my head I dont recall the clearance for Aylesford with 1.2m of water underneath or East Farleigh but Jedi's 3m minimum with the arch down may be an issue. Tonbridge is a no chancer although the old school boat club pontoon just downstream of Cannon Lane bridge may be a prospect.

I like the medway, its been years since I lived in the area but it is still, in some odd way, my personal home river.

Chris_d
18-02-09, 11:39
I've never been to the Medway and have for years had a plan to get there one day, i've been distracted by the open sea and still have never managed to turn right coming out of the Thames.
Have to say this thread has put me off a bit, is it worth the effort? problem is it doesn't sound very swmbo friendly, no nice moorings and things to do etc.. just erm.. mud and rubbish /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

slowboat
18-02-09, 14:07
Hey Apollo - You donít get spring tides on the upper river itís non tidalÖ.. /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

apollo
18-02-09, 14:17
TeeHee - try Teston lock in a flood, rose 6 feet overnight when I was last there, then a white knuckle ride down into East Farleigh, spring tides positively tame in comparison.

Medway_Squirrel2
18-02-09, 19:21
Obviously we can't force anyone up, but you will be made welcome by the lock keepers and navigation staff if you visit. We're all really keen to see more boats up here and we hope the improvements will be an incentive.

I'll pop a thread on here in March to inform users once the new overnight moorings have been completed. (don't like promising anything until I know they're in!)

Medway Squirrel

ianc1200
18-02-09, 19:36
We got Straight Across up to Tonbridge. We draw 3' 6" and have an air draft (once everything is unscrewed) of 8' 3". Only issue we had was Aylesford Bridge when we just crept under at about high tide. Otherwise no height/depth problems.

IanC

TNC
19-02-09, 01:37
Come off it Ian, you do like to exagerate!
We all know you would have been quite happy going up the Medway in a narrowboat /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

BTW do the locals know when Hampstead Lock will be finished? (I am new here, so probably missed this)

There are a whole bunch of Wilderness Trailboats going up the Medway on 2-4 May, trying out some new EA slipway

Medway_Squirrel2
19-02-09, 08:36
TNC, Hampstead Lock will be open Thursday 9th April - in time for the Easter weekend. All updates, river conditions, and photos (including the new slipway) are shown here: www.allingtonlock.co.uk (http://www.allingtonlock.co.uk)

Medway Squirrel

TrueBlue
19-02-09, 11:19
Welcome Neil,

Nice to have more long-thin-tin-boats on this forum. It helps to redress the balance somewhat.

I always wondered if the TNC actually had identifiable (well addressable) folk as members.

TNC
19-02-09, 13:20
It might surprise you, but the narrowboat hating Ian C of Straight across is a TNC member. Ian did most of the tidal stuff with us, including hi-jacking my narrowboat at Sheerness and taking it to the Blackwater.

TNC
19-02-09, 13:27
Thanks. I was just a bit worried for the Wilernii folk, as I am sure they will want to do the lot as well as attempting to get under Tonbridge. I had not been paying attention as at the time it was proposed as we did not have a serviceable trailer. Anyroad, even though we now have a new trailer for the Wilderness, Mrs TNC has dragged me off on one of her cruises on a big tin boat during that period.

Andrew_Fanner
20-02-09, 12:44
SWMBO's can always be offered Maidstone, plenty there I suspect. The river is very rurla above Maidstone so you should not expect too much!