HMS Express leaving

It is a very quiet bank holiday Monday here. I did go out with my camera on Saturday but it was hot and quiet so I am pleased that something is happening today.

HMS Express has been with us for a couple of weeks – no doubt doing some training somewhere (maybe at Cambridge with HMS Trumpeter’s crew?). As I have mentioned, HMS Express is normally based near Cardiff so was an unexpected visitor here.

Anyway, she is leaving now so I took some shots of her and her crew as she queued up for the lock.

Not much happening

After all the hurly-burly of the weekend, it has reverted to a calm but hot few days. The temperature has been hovering around 76 – 82f (24.5c and 28c) and all is quiet.

There is little cladding news except that they are supposedly changing the lock on our patio door sometime next week. As we are retired and nearly always at home they want to use us as a fill in between others that are tricky to arrange. We have a good relationship with Steve and Andy from Carters so it is working out fine for us (and for my blog).

There were discussions taking place today – they do seem to spend a lot of time standing around talking to various groups of workers. This time it is a security firm so my guess is that these are the people that are going to change the locks.

Apart from that, the waterfront is quiet. Here is a shot of one of those “hazy, lazy, crazy days of summer” to quote the song. The lock gates will open eventually.

Fun fair fireworks

As usual, we had fireworks around 9.45 on Saturday night. It is a tremendous display and I hate to think how much it costs. I can’t find out who is paying for them. I assume that they are being sponsored again but there is no publicity!

Before the fireworks, it was a lovely evening and we had a pleasant sunset.

Anyway, 9.45pm came along and we were all awakened with a huge display. It was very impressive. My photos were timed over 8 minutes so that is a lot of fireworks. First off, here are some still images.

My camera has a clever trick up its sleeve. If you set it up correctly, when you hold the shutter button halfway down it will start taking pictures so that when you do decide to go, it has 15 images that it has pre-taken so you never miss that quick moving shot. The above are from these series of images.

It’s tricky to predict where the next fireworks are going to be so sorry for the jumping around. All in all, it was a very good day with another one, hopefully, tomorrow.

Today is the Fun Day

It’s a lovely day and the Waterfront is crawling with families all out enjoying the sun and the fun. I wandered down with my camera and had a lovely time. First off, I visited the live stage where there was a couple of guys playing some good R&B. This brought back memories of visits to the Marquee club in Wardour Street where we used to listen to Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, Cyril David’ All Stars plus the Yardbirds and Rolling Stones.

This was all taking place in the University car park where there were a few food stalls as well. I had a bit of a shock as thought that I would buy myself a sausage as a snack. I asked for a pork and leek one only to find out that it was going to be £8! I politely declined and bought myself a croissant in Tesco a little later.

The main area along the waterfront had a good selection of food stalls and a small selection of knick-knack stands.

The fun fair was well appointed with a good few rides including some for young children.

Here is a composite video of the rides. The carousel and the chair-o-planes were very vintage and nice to see.

More fun of the fair

It will be a busy weekend. The fun fair is going together nicely. First up, you have to have the porta-loos.

Everyone is busy building up the rides. It is a lovely day with a clear blue sky and around 75f.

Bars, food and hats are all getting ready for business tomorrow.

They have had to move the two Owls out of the way and protect them with barriers.

I took a couple of short videos showing the effort involved in getting these rides up. They have a big responsibility to get everything nice and safe.

Finally, back to my favourite (?) subject – Carters. They are extending their little enclave and are also blocking off the car parking under the balcony.

The funfair starts to arrive – oh and some cladding news

We are not having a Maritime weekend this year. We have a new event called The Ipswich Summertime Festival. The rides are starting to arrive today. I caught up with the first one around 10 am so I guess it will get busier. This one passed me in the car park but by the time I got to it, it had dropped its second trailer. These things must be fun to steer through traffic.

I noticed that Thistle was still berthed up agains the wharf where the funfair is going.

After all our hot weather, you can see the clouds gathering just in time for a wet weekend! What else in the UK?

Now to the cladding – again!

I was driving down along West End Road near the council dump when I noticed that the tall block of flats along the River Orwell was covered in scaffolding and starting to be clad. I came back with my camera (and my nosey wife – grin).

This is what we can expect except that I feel that the sheathing that they showed us was thicker than the one used here!

The work is slowly getting underway

Monday morning dawned to see Anglo-Norden doing their usual unloading job from the front of the Aurora just as Carters are starting. All we had, first off, was a single red van. Then, yesterday, a cabin arrived.

Then, today, a load of mesh fencing arrived.

This is to be the perimeter of the Carter’s work area. Mind you, its going to be a bit cramped for all concerned!

The Drought

They keep threatening thunderstorms but they never reach us although other parts of the country are having them. It’s getting really bad. Here is one of the trees on the podium and the ground underneath!

Very sad. We do hope that they recover once the rain does, eventually, come.

So what is 90f anyway?

According to Alexa that is about 32.2c so a bit warm then! Another Saturday and I had to go up to the Fore Street post office to make sure that a birthday card went in the post today – they have a Saturday collection at 12.30. I took my camera looking for something to light up my creative juices. Guess what – it was just “HOT”!!!!

Well here are some pictures that I got. The best theme that I could think of was boat names so here are a few.

Decky Doo Dah is the best I think.

There was an old wooden boat, moored up near Stoke Bridge, that I don’t recall seeing before.

Around there I used my camera’s clever multi-shot capability to get a photo of a seagull. The camera starts recording images when you get the shutter halfway down so when you actually press it, the camera is already 15 images ahead!

That one was quite easy to get. This little idea lets you get a bit more adventurous. With the usual time for reaction, this one would be missed.

The only person interest I saw all the way there and back was this extremely long hair. Not much but something, I suppose. I know that my hair is long but this must be warm on a day like this

Back to the cladding!

We have had our first newsletter from Carters. Things are looking up if they are going to do this along the way. Anyway, there was a couple of interesting comments in there. First off:

“R G Carter construction team will commence the works on 15th August 2022 with the establishment of the site compound area located in Aurora car park located directly adjacent to 51 Patteson Road – activities over the next four weeks will include the following:

  1. Site mobilization:
    – erecting site compound fencing
    – install temporary site welfare – initially a temporary oasis unit to be followed by fire rated sitecabins providing offices, meeting rooms and welfare facilities
  2. Construction Works:
  3. installation of replacement locks to balcony doors
  4. isolation of balcony external lights
  5. erection of scaffold to perimeter of buildings – including any measures to maintain access to 7Anchor Street and 51 Patteson Road”

Here is the Aurora car park at this morning. Note the cars under our balconies. Let’s hope that these are gone by Monday morning.


Here is the wharf road along the front of Capstan House looked like this morning..

This would imply that Anglo-Norden are planning on unloading Suntis alongside the Aurora as they have done for about the last 4 or 5 visits. As I understand it, they have to protect “grandfather” rights which mean that they have to use the area or lose the right to. This could be interesting if Carters turn up and find the car park fenced off! My camera awaits.

There was another bit of interesting news in Carter’s newsletter:


The remediation works required to meet the fire safety standards dictated by EWS1 certification will include the removal of the existing timber rainscreen, ceramic tile and render facades to allow replacement of insulation and both vertical and horizonal fire barriers prior to façade reinstatement as dictated by the revised design. It has been determined that the completion of the works can be satisfactorily achieved without fully removing the existing balcony structures – although it will still require removal of the balcony decking to release the balcony glass balustrades.

All works associated with the cladding remediation works will be accessed off full height scaffold secured at ground floor level with solid metal heras type fencing and encased with a suitable fire rated and vented scaffold netting.”

So, they are NOT taking the balconies down. It will be interesting to see them take down the glass panels between us and next door as these seem to be well and truly stuck.

Oh well. Let us look forward to Monday and I will make sure that my camera batteries are all nicely charged!

New boats

I was talking to a lady that I bumped into (not literally) outside the Aurora about her going on a trip on Thistle and I said, “there she is now”. Then I realised that the boat I was looking at had a Dutch flag on the masthead rather than a Thames Barge “Bob”. On closer inspection it turned out to be Anna TX37. She is a Dutch two master gaff schooner.

I think that I must have seen her before but a long time ago.

Also, sitting next to here is the nice little fishing boat, Excelsior which is based in Lowestoft.

A short note on the cladding

Things are starting to move. The project manager was a round early this morning and the Aurora is having a big clear out from underneath. As I understand it, the project team’s cabins, etc. are going along our side of the car park so it needs to be clear and the Aurora needs access to the underneath of the building. I noticed, earlier, that they had closed off the car park, in the hope, I am thinking, of slowly clearing the cars.

Lastly, I must say that I am getting excellent service from Carters when asking questions about the work. My latest is to try and find out what will be happening, eventually, to the wood siding used to cloak the unit on the ground floor. As you can see, it is currently clad in wood which must have to go.

An ordinary Summer Saturday

I was on my way to the Pharmacy and Tesco so I decided to take my camera along for the ride. Here are a few topics.

Let us start with a nice friendly seagull

Thalatta and HMS Express are still with us.

It’s days like this that you see things in the sunshine that you don’t bother with at other times. It is so nice out here that the rubbish hits you in the face. The port or the council, not sure which, used to come along with some “grabbers” and pick all of this up but we haven’t seen them for a while. It would be good if the Aurora did their own clear up as it would look better for their customers.

It was definitely summer around the Cult café. There was a band setting up with Radio Suffolk in attendance.

Have we moved to Felixstowe beach? No, it’s just some deckchairs on the “grass” outside the Cult!

The grass has disappeared all over. We are desperate for rain here in Suffolk. Have a look at the leaves on these trees on the Podium! No green left at all. It looks like Autumn has come early.

Having mentioned the flats, I thought I would give you a last look before the remedial work begins on 15th with the removal of the balconies!

I am told that the big “pipe” that goes up in front of all the balconies is for show – “to make it look like a boat” was the comment the other night!

Two weeks time, this will all start to come down. Once the balconies are down and the scaffolding up, we will be wrapped in a fireproof membrane which, they assure us, we will be able to see through and get a breeze through, but as they are locking the patio doors and barring the windows, what breeze we will get is anyone’s guess. One thing I am sure of is that the wrapping will be nothing like this building on Duke Street because the most open wraps are NOT fireproof and once the building is inhabited that is the biggest parameter. Anyway, this looks good.

Well, that is all I have from my roll around yesterday. I will try and get one more in before they start work. I expect my efforts will be driven by that for a while.

Have a nice week. David