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Tuesday 20 December 2016

A tenuous nautical theme.

Last week we went down to London for a couple of nights as it was my daughters graduation. I had missed her 'do' from Durham University as I was still at sea then so it was nice to be able to come along for this one.

Goldsmiths started out as the Counter Hill Academy for boys in 1792 to 1838. The Royal Naval School then bought it and educated the sons of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. In 1889 it was again sold on to the City Livery Company of Goldsmiths who set up their Technical and Recreative Institute were for 13 years they educated males and females of the area. In 1904 they gifted the site to the University of London, so long as it was always used for education. Goldsmiths College of the University of London opened in 1905 and has always been connected with social science and the arts.

The ceremony was very good and the speeches mainly uplifting for me, never mind the students. There were several glasses of prosecco and canapes and a good chat before been ushered out in to the city.

Just down New Cross Road in Deptford Town Hall. This building was also opened in 1905 and had the Council chamber and three meeting room. It now also belongs to Goldsmith's College. The builders were Lanchester, Strewart and Richards and sculptor was Henry Poole, RA. There is a very nautical theme to the carvings as the area was for 600 years or more a naval dockyard. The figures on the second story, from the left are, Sir Francis Drake, Robert Blake (The Father of the Navy), Lord Nelson, and out of shot to the right a generic Edwardian Admiral.

Atop the clock tower is an ornate galleon weather vane.

In the triangular typanum is a naval battle and below is the bow of a ship with many oars and in the back a focstle with four lamps on it. There are also two fishes and two horns of plenty with the figures of Caryatid and Atlantes to either side.

Over the door way are two Tritons who have long tails with fins and also they have wings. You can also make out seahorses in the iron scroll work above the entrance.

I did chat to the Mayor and his Mace Bearer as they also attended the ceremony but they were representing Greenwich.

In the afternoon we headed over towards Southwark and looked round Borough market before taking a walk. This area just south west of the market is the site of the fabulous Hop Exchange and we went into the basement for a late lunch. Over the road was this lovely building with a beautiful sculpted design at the top. It is a Grade II listed building.

In the evening we went to the Menier Chocolate Factory Theatre to see 'She Loves Me'. It was really very good and a great entertainment. I would recommend it to anybody, before it goes to the West End and become too expensive to see!

We were staying over in Dalston, very close to our daughters school, and the next morning we went for a walk close by and passed this old factory that used to make those little water colour sets you could buy. The builder in 1868 was Sewell and Sons for a cost of £2343. The factory was badly damaged in WWII and closed in 1954. Round the corner was Ridley Road Market that had just about every part of many animals displayed and for sale! There were not just whole plucked chickens hanging up, but every size of trotter and hoof, every bit of intestine, and ears and snouts, along with complete heads. There were many types of fish I had never heard of and a wide selection of vegetables from around the world too. We also found a shop in an old Art Deco building from the 1920's that was a Daks Suiting Factory. It was also used as a Cuban Cigar Factory in the film 'Die Another Day'. It now houses 'Beyond Retro' that is one of those cool brands. They have shops in Sweden and Moscow too. Helen found a Christmas cardigan at a bargain price too.

Helen really loves the Shard so she wouldn't forgive me if I didn't include a shot in daylight. We had a flying visit but it was great to be there for Amy's day and the weather was fine too. The trip on Hull Trains was very comfortable and the hotel was one we will certainly use again. Bring on Christmas now.

Sunday 11 December 2016

Boat dash.

Helen and I managed to dash down to Streethay to check the boat out and chat with Tom and Nick about the repainting, and finalise colours. Very boringly perhaps, we are having just about the same as previously so it made it quite simple really.

The propeller that they would have to wait until January for has already arrived and it is so very obvious that the one we have on at the moment is of very thin scantlings. There is no way that I would be able to bend a blade back into shape with mole grips as I have done with the old one. I will keep the old one and see if it is worth fettling and balancing to keep as a spare.

I got quite a surprise when I saw the needle guns on the roof. I spent many hours with them as an apprentice when I went to see. The ships I was on were beautifully maintained and on a trip to the Far East all the running gear got maintained on the way out, and on the way back everything got painted. Needless to say salt water and steel don't really mix and there was always plenty of chipping of rust to do. It did look smashing when finished, but my elbows are paying for it now I think.

It is all sealed up so we weren't able to pop in to see but there is plenty of dust about as you can see. It wont be too long before they have it all prepared ready for painting.

They have left the windows in until they have the thick off the preparations done and will soon be taking them out to 'do' the areas round the window frames. I hope they come out okay with out losing all the blacking.

The boat has been out and had three coats of Intertuff put on. The bill came to £550 which I think sounds about average for having it done for you. It sounds okay if you say it quickly anyway!

I had painted the interior of the semi trad stern black and Helen liked it so we are going to keep that with the new paint scheme.

The sign writing will get done later and we will be having something very similar to what we had before as we really liked it. Boring again I suppose.

Next year I will have to set to and paint out the lockers and engine hole. I reckon that is a very good reason to go on a diet so as to be able to fit in the engine hole better.

Before we left the boat at the end of September we had Kim at the Little Chimney Company put a new flue in for the stove as the one we had was not fitted to take a double skinned chimney. The last thing we wanted was to pay out for  a new paint job and then get it ruined with the first fire. We had the chimney fabricated at the same time but it wasn't finished until we had gone home. Tracey and Kim held on to it for us and as we were in the area we went over to see them and pick it up. Kim says they are very busy and we just missed Tracey unfortunately.

The double skin means that any tar coming up the chimney will not condense so quickly and drip down as the inner flue will remain hotter. Any that does condense will drip back down the flue where it can be burnt up again as it will be hotter down there. Fingers crossed anyway.

Just the quick visit to the boat made us both realise how much we miss it and has pushed us into thinking about plans for next year so that we can schedule in time away on the boat as well as the volunteering work for the City of Culture year in Hull. That's getting very close now, and excitement is growing.