Author Topic: Completely covering Kent  (Read 9052 times)

gunwharfman

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #90 on: 11:30:56, 18/05/20 »
Manston Airport, memories from my youth. I had a Norton ES2 single-cylinder 500cc motorbike and I chatted up a young lady in Maidstone who told me that her mum and dad lived near Manston airport. I volunteered to take her home and it was fine until I was driving around the Canterbury ring road. I crashed, we were both thrown off the bike and it slid between the wheels of a large lorry. She was bruised, grazed and shocked but I managed to slide on the tarmac, so much so that the road surface ripped the material on my buttocks to shreds! I had large grazes especially on one cheek which bled a lot and I always remember being in so much pain. My knee came up like a balloon and I felt bruised and battered all over. We were very lucky. We ended up in the local hospital and her parents collected us. The relationship didn't last! I managed to get my bike back a few days later, the repairs were costly!

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #91 on: 12:55:11, 18/05/20 »
Thanks for the interesting story GWM.  O0 (But how did you happen to crash?)

Motorbikes were my main form of (motorised) transport between the ages of 23 and 61. I had 8 in all, including one with a sidecar (a nightmare!). I came off many times but only ever had superficial injuries and when I parted with my last one I felt a tremendous sense of relief that I'd lived to tell the tale!  :)




gunwharfman

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #92 on: 14:02:24, 18/05/20 »
I just can't remember now, just too long ago. Years later when I commuted to London from Portsmouth, I always knew to be wary of diesel on the road and 'slippery' metal manhole covers, etc.

In my Norton era, I wore a 'pudding basin' crash helmet and my visor was a circular plate-sized see-through perspex disc that spun at high speed, designed to whisk and rain and condensation away. Do you remember them?

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #93 on: 16:25:34, 18/05/20 »
I just can't remember now, just too long ago. Years later when I commuted to London from Portsmouth, I always knew to be wary of diesel on the road and 'slippery' metal manhole covers, etc.

In my Norton era, I wore a 'pudding basin' crash helmet and my visor was a circular plate-sized see-through perspex disc that spun at high speed, designed to whisk and rain and condensation away. Do you remember them?

I bought my first motorbike (a horrible MZ150!) in the early 70s not long after helmets were made compulsory. I've only ever worn full-face helmets and I'd never heard of the 'disc' system you've described, although it sounds intriguing! Having said that though, I had ridden pillion on friends' bikes (I recall a Norton 600 something and a Lambretta) without a helmet when I was younger.

gunwharfman

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #94 on: 21:42:48, 18/05/20 »
It did work, there were vanes on the disk to help it to spin very fast. If the edge of the disk was too near your chin though, it could cut you badly.


WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #96 on: 14:53:16, 22/05/20 »
We were supposed to be starting a holiday in the Peak District today, but we've postponed it for a year. And that explains why my wife (who is working from home at the moment) was on holiday today and why we were able to go for a walk together this morning.  :)

We wanted to go somewhere flat, where we could see anyone coming a long way off, and only a short drive away. So we went to Chislet Marshes, which is where the sea channel between mainland Kent and the Isle of Thanet once was. The area is at sea level and is criss-crossed by a great many drainage channels and waterways - and it's only a 20 minute drive away.

The first half of our walk was across the marshes to the Wantsum Channel - a river-sized channel that's now all that separates Thanet from the mainland - then along narrow lanes through Chitty, Chislet and Marshside.



For a fairly short walk, there were a lot of footbridges!  :)



Not surprisingly, there's a lot of wildlife in and around the waterways. We passed a pair of swans with a cygnet, and a channel called North Stream was positively teeming with large carp. More surprising was spotting a pair of Rhea in a small field at Marshside:



There are several paths across the marshes with names like Snake Drove and Gilling Drove. The paths are raised and I wonder if these were routes once taken by drovers taking livestock from the Canterbury area to ports in Thanet.

A fantastic area for walking in the present situation!

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #97 on: 14:48:52, 24/05/20 »
We're still venturing out on local walks while trying to avoid other people as much as possible, and today we did a circuit of my favourite local countryside - mostly on country lanes, with a little off-road walking where the track was wide enough.  :)

I wouldn't normally post about a local walk, but I managed to include a short section of footpath that I'd not walked before. Basically, I've long wondered about the big house in the distance that I could see from 'my favourite road'. (Centre of photo, a long way off!)



It turned out to be Nash Court and a footpath crosses the field in front of it. So we paid a visit...



This is quite a well-off area. Not far from Nash Court is this little property - complete with three supercars. The third one along doesn't show up very well, but it's my favourite - a bright green Lamborghini that I sometimes see out and about: 



Just along the road is another nice place - Mount Ephraim. The gardens are normally open to the public, but not today of course. However, a public footpath runs straight through the grounds so we made use of it. A few of Mount Ephraim's magnificent oaks:



More of the gardens - from the footpath:



Next to Mount Ephraim is the lovely village of Hernhill, with ancient pub, church, lovely old houses... and the obligatory stocks:



My first photo above was taken from Dawes Road and this is another from nearby - I call it Green Photo with Pheasant:



A llama, with Blean Woods behind:



On our way home, we passed through the normally quiet village of Rough Common. Today it was absolutely full of cars - we've never seen anything like it. As we passed by the entrance to the woods, where there's a car park, we noticed the track was blocked and the car park was closed. We wondered... how is closing the 'out of village' car park a good idea, when it should be obvious to anyone that people would simply park on the roads in the village instead?

gunwharfman

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #98 on: 15:57:28, 24/05/20 »
My son's school friend James Batchelor works for Autocar. He tested a Lamborghini, I'll look it up.

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #99 on: 15:28:04, 26/05/20 »
My wife is on holiday this week, so once again we drove to Minster to begin a walk.

Minster is in the far east of Kent and was once on the coast of the Isle of Thanet facing mainland Kent across the Wantsum Channel. Now the area is low-lying farmland and marshes and the River Stour runs through it from Pegwell Bay (just south of Ramsgate) to Canterbury and beyond. This is where St Augustine arrived in England, and the stone for building Canterbury Cathedral was taken up the river to the town of Fordwich, which served as a river port for Canterbury.

This area - the Monkton Marshes and Minster Marshes - is the perfect place to walk without seeing a soul. And even if there should be someone around, they can be seen miles away... literally!

From Minster, we did a circuit through Monkton and Gore Street and joined the Stour at Plucks Gutter. Then we simply followed the river all the way back to Minster.

Actually, it wasn't quite as simple as I'd expected. I walked along the north bank of the river a couple of years ago and I remembered the path being moderately clear. Today though, there were a great many nettles and my wife was wearing shorts. She was very quickly stung a lot!

She said that rubbing dock leaves on her legs didn't help.  :(



Photos from the riverbank:



More photos from the riverbank. We saw a lot of cattle which, happily, were all on the other side of the river.  :)



A rickety old bridge leading to a patch of nettles!



It can probably be seen from the photos that there isn't much of a path here. In fact, a long distance path called the Stour Valley Walk runs along the opposite bank, so that's what the few walkers who do come this way would tend to use. But it's on this rarely walked path that St Augustine trod... although I'm not exactly sure how anyone knows...



Here's a photo of me - just to prove I was there too.  :)



I said the area is flat, however, the OS map shows a number of named hills, including Coxon's Hill (5m), Docker Hill (5m) and Boxlees Hill (3m)!  :)

And finally: the riverside section was the only bit of this route that I'd done before so about half of today's walk was new to me and has therefore been added to my Kent Walks map. This is the updated version:


gunwharfman

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #100 on: 18:06:35, 26/05/20 »
Being from Kent we were always bought up on the idea that Dock Leaves stop stinging nettles from stinging. As an adult I'm not convinced. I've always found the best way to stop the stinging is to avoid touching or scratching the area, if you can of course!

Dock leaves were also suggested as an alternative to toilet paper, and when dried and crumpled some people used to 'roll their own' and smoke them, I tried it once, dreadful!

SteamyTea

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #101 on: 22:51:02, 26/05/20 »
Manston Airport, memories from my youth.
Me too, we had a caravan near there.  Two summers we spent in it, my Father, who was rebuilding Shellhaven Refinery after the fires, always managed to have to work.
Got my cousin's husband to tow the van to the South of France (Port Grimaud).  He fell asleep and totalled it.
So new van in France.
Funny, my Father always managed to turn up there.
I don't use emojis, irony is better, you decide

gunwharfman

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #102 on: 11:03:36, 27/05/20 »
In the 80s and 90s my wife and I had a 6 berth Pioneer motor caravan and I nearly wrote it off in France! In the early hours, whilst parked in the gloom of an Antibes seafront car park, I drove it down a flight of pedestrian steps! I thought it was the exit. Every human body, tin cans, and everything else besides went everywhere! The van and the people survived it thank goodness!  :-[

WhitstableDave

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Re: Completely covering Kent
« Reply #103 on: 15:02:33, 28/05/20 »
Following our walk two days ago that included a nettle-infested riverbank, my instructions for today were for "no nettles" as well as the usual "no hills". So Thanet it was then...

Almost the entire walk was off-road and across arable land - completely hassle-free rambling under blue skies!  :)

Crossing one field, we saw a farmer, with a dog, doing something by a hedge. It looked as if a number of birds the size of geese were watching him, as they were all facing him. The 'birds' appeared to be moving slightly but very intent on the farmer. Then, one fluttered a little way into the air and we realised the 'birds' weren't real after all. But what was going on? We've no idea...



This one's easier... potatoes are being watered.



I didn't give my wife time to compose herself for this photo taken in a field of corn...



A highlight of today's walk was going through the vast land of Thanet Earth (which I talked about in a recent post above). This place is quite incredible and actually feels futuristic and a little surreal. 220 acres of greenhouses producing 225 million tomatoes a year, yet there's hardly ever anyone around.



Looking through the windows...



This was a field of mature corn when I first came this way about three years ago and then, just as now, there was no sign of a path where one really ought to be. The crop is wheat this year, so we were able to reluctantly head across the field along the correct line. That time when corn grew here, I got lost for an uncomfortably long time and I even began to wonder when my body would be found...



I don't think anyone else ever crosses these fields by Thanet Earth, but we eventually came to a way that was recognisable as a track and we followed it almost to where we'd left the car. This is me, a bit of Thanet Earth, and lots of poppies growing in the wheat:



I'd walked very little of this route before (just the greenhouse bit), which is why I'm adding the account to my explorations of Kent topic!