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    Re: Calling in at Fowey
    From: Henry Halboth
    Date: 2006 Oct 28, 13:29 -0400

    It is wonderful to hear about the modernization of Fowey, yet I cannot
    but fear that much of the quaintness has been lost. My recollection of
    the lading quay is that of a rickety catwalk. along which the ship was
    hove to position a central loading tip over each hatch in turn to be
    sequentially loaded. Including preparation of the holds, we were
    alongside at least 10 days which would probably be unheard of in modern
    It is the town itself that I fear may have suffered from this
    modernization. When I was there many of the structures dated back to the
    1400s and the streets were so narrow that one had to duck into a door way
    to let even an MG pass - one way. However, being afoot in those day, I
    never got a chance to explore the environs which may well have exhibited
    a more modern flavor.
    On Fri, 27 Oct 2006 16:20:59 +0100 "George Huxtable"
    > In a message [NavList 1487] Re: Cleaning arc of Vernier Sextant,
    > Henry
    > Halboth reminisced about a visit to Fowey. I would love to read more
    > of those "digressions"of his, from the days when ships really looked
    > like ships. I bet there he has many more up his sleeve.
    > But I suppose people, even in the 1930s, would have said that these
    > modern vessels don't really look like proper ships, any more.
    > Anyway, back to Fowey, a port I would always drop into on my visits
    > to
    > the West Country. Henry's account brings back my own memories.
    > Henry's account is exactly right. It's a one-product port, exporting
    > China-clay (kaolin) and nothing else. Brilliantly white stuff, it
    > was
    > spoiled if it got sullied with smuts, which accounts for the hold
    > ceiling that Henry refers to. Nowadays, it's handled in specialised
    > vessels that carry nothing else, so that there's no contamination.
    > These have the superstructure right aft, like a tanker's, and the
    > hatches are an immense sliding structure that opens the whole hull
    > length, folding like a concertina.
    >  It is not mined, but washed out from the hills that contain it by
    > high-pressure hoses, like firepumps. The white scars that remain are
    > a
    > landmark to passing vessels, which we refer to as the St Austell
    > Alps.
    > I think the trade has fallen on hard times recently.
    > To reach the loading wharves for the clay, the cargo vessels have to
    > pass through the narrow harbour, and turn round. That harbour also
    > acts as an anchorage for many small vessels like my own, who are
    > asked
    > to allow clearance for turning vessels when they do so. But I
    > remember
    > being woken in the (very) small hours of one morning, having strayed
    > into the area required for a particularly large clay-carrier to
    > turn,
    > and asked, politely but with no room for argument, to shift, and
    > pronto!
    > Now, an additional docking area for small-craft has been created,
    > just
    > opposite the clay-loading wharves, which is tolerable if you don't
    > mind a film of white powder getting everywhere. Absolutely
    > everywhere.
    > Henry's memories about the Queen's and the King's as drinking places
    > correspond to my own, but there are others, for the dedicated
    > searcher-out.
    > A pleasant spot, Fowey.
    > George.
    > contact George Huxtable at george@huxtable.u-net.com
    > or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    > or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    > >
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