The third floor of the M Shed, a museum dedicated to the story of Bristol and its “unique place in the world”, offers exceptional views of the Floating Harbour and various points of nautical interest. Here are some of the main points of interest; photographed on a remarkably sunny afternoon.
The Electric Cranes.
40 cranes like these once worked the City Docks during Bristols 1950’s maritime hay day, but now only four remain. These cranes were a product of the Stothert & Pitt works in Bath.
It is difficult to believe that this ship is not even as old as I am; the ship being commissioned in 1994. The Matthew, captained by John Cabot, set sail from Bristol and across the Atlantic to find a new sea route to Asia, but bumped into Newfoundland instead.
The Fairbairn Steam Crane.
To quote the M Shed’s website, “The striking banana-shaped crane is the Fairbairn Steam crane, now the oldest surviving exhibit of its type in Britain and a Scheduled Ancient Monument“. The steam crane is also a product of the Stothert & Pitt works in Bath and, according to a certain on line encyclopaedia, it weighs in at 35 tons. You can also see two trains from the M Shed’s collection and I believe the one on the left is “Henbury”, built by Bristol based locomotive manufacturers Peckett & Sons in 1937.
The tug, John King, was built in 1935 to tow cargo ships from the City Docks to the mouth of the River Avon.
Weymouth is a lovely place and I had the pleasure of visiting the town in the run up to the 2012 London Olympics [Weymouth being the venue for the sailing events]. This photograph of some beach huts was my first on that day, but my dear friend Mr. W and I had started our walk much further up the seafront and we park the car either further away from the centre of Weymouth than that.
Our first sighting of celebratory bunting occurred a short walk further from the beach huts, on the front of some guest houses that must have boasted quite impressive views of the beach. Further up the promenade again, the bunting was joined by banners with messages like “Inspiring A Generation” (one of which I photograph next to Weymouth’s Jubilee clock).
Our walk along the promenade took a turn inland as I got distracted by a very impressive statue of King George III flanked by palm trees. I was delighted to find out that George III also enjoyed holidaying on the Dorset coast and showed a liking for Weymouth, to the extent that he bought a holiday home there! [You can read more about George III and Weymouth here]
Now distracted by a side street we headed into the hustle and bustle of the town.
Eventually we navigated our way to the harbour; passed “The Ship Inn” where I had a very enjoyable tea, or a late dinner, the year before.
Don’t neglect the harbour in favour of the beach if you are visiting Weymouth this Summer. The harbour is a hive of activity, with the fishermen on one side, and a sense of fun, with pleasure craft of all sizes plying to and fro.
Here are some of my favourite photographs:
We walked along the harbour side and then along a pier dotted with anglers. After taking in the view (and resting our feet) we headed up to take in the view from the Nothe Fort, a Victorian coastal artillery position, which is open to the public. Naturally, the Nothe has the best views of both Weymouth on one side and Portland on the other and I do believe they used it during Olympics to observe the sailing events on the Weymouth .
After a Pint of bitter by the Harbour we headed back to the promenade and the beach, a voiding the narrow streets of the town this time.
It was only then, after hours of walking on one of the sunniest days of that Summer, I realised I had failed to put any sun cream on the back of my legs and that they were red like lobsters! I still enjoyed the walk back along the beach though, despite this painful realisation. My last vivid memory of Weymouth is of a delightful helter-skelter, so I am going to leave you with a photograph of that. I hope if you visit Weymouth you enjoy it as much as I did.
Whenever the London 2012 Olympic Games are mentioned I always remember our medal winners, the Golds (medals, the post boxes and Luke Campbell’s gold telephone box) and… Weymouth.
It is a rainy morning at home today, so it’s not surprising I’m thinking of sunny holidays elsewhere. Looking through my photographs of seaside holidays past I’ve noticed that visitors to Swanage, on the Dorset coast, seem to have a very special relationship with the sea. Only one of my photographs shows people sunbathing on the beach, sat in their deckchairs and eating their ice cream and the majority of captured moments have caught people (and one dog) relaxing by the waters edge. Here are five of my favourite photographs from that day: