Thursday, September 29, 2005

(H)arry Pound's

Paula, who came to survey the yard, caught Robin and I sitting about on deck, drinking tea and trying to avoid doing any work.

To be fair, I had been rust-busting on the outside of the hull and Robin had just arrived to help with welding on the back deck. At that point the sun was out and it was very pleasant to just sit about and chat.

Later on in the day, after some welding on deck, conditions became unpleasant with a cold wind picking up from the south, so we opted to visit (H)arry Pound's.

Arry Pound's, which is essentially a ships breakers yard, is an amazing place on a scale which is hard to imagine. It is apparently a shadow of it's former self in busier times when the military was actively downsizing.

The scenes outside, with people standing, shrouded in smoke, cutting up massive sections of some poor ship lying in the dirt, is reminiscent of a Steven Spielberg movie set. There are anchors and the detritus of ships from a bygone age scattered everywhere. I also saw old army tanks, beat up cranes and ships and boats of all sizes. There are even a few submarines tucked away somewhere.

Inside the massive warehouse there are rows and rows of all sorts of interesting 'stuff' (H)arry Pound'sstacked right up to the roof, all covered in layers of dust gathered over the years. A true grown boy's heaven. I truly doubt that anyone knows exactly what's in there anymore. Most, but not all, of the stuff is ship and boat related. Everything is for sale.

The point of the visit was to find some much needed ballast for Lady Jane. After enquiry, and some rummaging around, we found some three and a half tonnes of the stuff. Toblerone shaped pieces of cast iron, apparently out of submarines, each weighing exactly 18 Kilograms (roughly 40lbs).

The 'Toblerone' ballast is perfect for what I need, being light enough to manhandle down into the confines of Lady Jane's bow, but shaped so it can be packed in neatly and securely. I don't think that three and a half tonnes is nearly enough, but it's a start.

Now it's just a matter of getting it all from arry's into the bowels of Lady Jane.

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