Seatribe - Part 3
Continued from Seatribe - Part 2
For the latest news Project Redsand now have their own established website use the link at the bottom of this page
Tuesday 1st August 2006 - Project Redsand report that the Naja is being repaired by N E Murray Tugs of Queenborough, Isle of Sheppey as the tug is no longer required by the project since there are a number of vessels available in North Kent for tendering the Thames Estuary Fort on Red Sands. It is hoped that the Naja will eventually return to her birthplace in Appledore, Devon where she will form part of a maritme museum
More of N E Murray Tugs in Big L 1997 & Afloat
Tuesday 2nd May 2006 - Tony Pine tells that the Naja is now in Queenborough awaiting assessment. Inspection reveals severe corrosion of a composit iron/brass engine core that leaked sea water into the engine room, finally overwhelming the vessel
Tuesday April 18th 2006 - With the Naja for sale, whilst at sea we logged marine radio diolog between Medway Radio (Port Control) & a tug alongside Naja at Harty Ferry advising her sinking
Saturday 8th Sunday 9th April 2006 - The Maunsell Forts Weekend at Whitstable Castle on Tankerton Hill includes exhibitions, talks, audio-visual presentations on the forts use for Pirate Radio
Monday 3rd October 2005 with weather permitting engineering work is planned to commence by Mowlem Marine with the positioning of a new landing platform on the G1 Southern Gun Tower
The design of the new platform is different from the original ladder & gantry. But the new system will provide a more solid unit & allow for better access to the towers. G1 will provide a base from which a jungle walk bridge similar to the one constructed on Shivering Sands will be built to replace the fallen catwalks making access to the Control Tower
It's the intention to make good the Control Tower first
We'll provide pictures & more information from our next trip into the Estuary
Saturday 17th September 2005 - Naja breaks her mooring & beaches at Tankerton
She's undamaged & is taken back to her mooring
Thursday 26th May 2005 - Naja mooring in Tankerton Bay
Monday 20th June 2005 - Thanks to Skipper Graham & Dave Firth, here's a little about the Naja:
Built in 1961 she was Agnes a Lady Class Naval Tug of 38gt
Known affectionately as the Girl Class from the female names given by the Navy, the Agnes worked in Falmouth Royal Naval Dockyard
Decommissioned Alan C Bennett of Medway bought her renaming her Naja after an old London tug, as were all their requisitions
The Naja on the River Thames on 12th May 2001
Reproduced by kind permission of Tugphotos
Sadly most of this class of small tugs were broken up, although a few of newer ships were sold on. This class of Tug was replaced by the superior Dog Class
Wednesday May 25th - Open House on 30th & 31st July from 11.00 - 14.00 BST
Sea Fort audio visual presentations & displays at St Mary's Hall Whitstable & Whitstable Castle on Tankerton Hill
Come to the seaside for a relaxing day & find out more about the forts; Design & development, trials building, sinking on site the sea forts fore runners for oil exploration
Learn how the forts became bases for Offshore Radio & what's happened to them since & the plans to preserve the most complete set of sea forts
Wednesday 25th May - All secure, Naja's now on a proper block in a sheltered anchorage off the North Kent Coast
Saturday 14th May 2005 - The Naja broke loose from her mooring in heavy seas off the North Kent Coast. Fortunately a crew member was on his way out to her at the time as she closed for Seasalter beach
Sunday 1st May 2005 - The former Admiralty Tug Naja now the Project Redsand work boat on Whitstable Harbour East Quay Brett's aggregate wharf
Tuesday 8th March 2005 - Seatribe have bought a tug for the project nice boat with 500 HP engine & two auxiliaries each with AC generator
November 2004 - Official Project Redsand News Letter
There was some good news for Project Redsand following the preliminary survey carried out in July this year. A report by The Taylor Woodrow Materials Division showed that the basic structure of The Redsand Towers is in remarkably good condition. Considering that it has existed in the hostile conditions of the Thames Estuary for over 60 years with virtually no maintenance, this is indeed a credit to the designer, Guy Maunsell.
There is of course a great deal of corrosion but thanks to
the robust architecture and substantial steelwork employed, none of the load
bearing members needs replacing.
Had this not been the case, the cost of securing a future for the fort would have been prohibitive.
Currently, a number of small companies are bidding for the
supply of materials which will be used to provide a landing stage and new
access to the Control Tower. A scaffold system has been designed which will
allow safe access to the tower house
during restoration. This scaffolding will be used on a tower by tower basis and we are hoping to raise sufficient funds in order to purchase the materials rather than hire them.
During the early stages of the restoration and from time to time as things progress, we shall be assisted by The Royal Engineers Theatre Troops who will ensure that the work is carried out safely and professionally.
Discussions between Project Redsand and the Department for Transport, the Government agency responsible for the navigational aspects of the Redsand Towers, have gone extremely well. Consultation with the land owners, The Crown Estate, has proved very satisfactory with no objections to the restoration plans. Furthermore, The DFT has assured Project Redsand that there are no plans to dismantle the fort in the light of the restoration program. However, the removal of the Shivering Sand Towers is still under consideration due to its position within the shipping lanes.
If the good luck continues and all goes to plan, there will
be two events taking place aboard the fort in 2005. Following the provision
of safe access, basic amenities and a further qualified inspection, an Arts
Council sponsored event will take place. This event is not part of Project
Redsand and the details of which cannot yet be publicised.
We’re hoping to announce the details in the next edition of “Offshore Echo’s”.
Many of you will already be aware that a celebration of Radio Sutch is being planned for late summer 2005. A Radio Sutch RSL, using a medium wave frequency, will be announced later. The organisers are in discussion with Project Redsand with the view to transmitting the service from the Control Tower at Redsands. By then, facilities should be in place in order support this. Depending on the frequency allocated, it is expected that a wide coverage area can be achieved with the minimal power level permitted. We are all looking forward to re kindling the excitement of Dave Sutch’s radio shows from the gun towers of the Thames Estuary, if only for a few weeks!
Official public launch of the Project Redsand followed on Monday by breakfast interview on BBC Radio Kent
The 3d animation begins
Features an all angle virtual tour of the control tower
Project-Redsand Manager Robin Adcroft with guests Offshore Echoes Magazine Editor Chris Edwards & Terry Vacani
*Latest News* visit the Project Redsand website
Grateful thanks to Ian Scoones, Robin Adcroft, Paul Harris, John Hatt, Guy Hamilton, Hans Knot & John Spargo for their contributions to this item
For Red Sands Fort & it's Radio Stations navigate from Red Sands Rendezvous
For the Navy Forts & their Radio Stations navigate from Radio Essex 222 & Sealand One
For details on all the Thames Estuary Forts see Fort Fax
Make sure you also see the NAB "Mystery Tower" the forerunner to Maunsell Forts in Solent
For the range of documentary CD's in the Offshore Radio "Roaring 60's" collection, the Sealand VCD, books, & a video on the Army & Navy Forts go to Offshore Shop
For fort trips to the forts from Whitstable & Herne Bay see Sutch & City Part 1 & Red Sands Rendezvous