Tue 15 May 2018 12:30I've walked around East Tilbury lots of times but I've decided to finally check out the real deal.
I've driven past the passenger ferry terminal - reminding me that people do actually drive here to go on holiday - and parked up in the car park of the World's End pub. There's been a pub here for hundreds of years - Samuel Pepys mentions it in his diary. (Tilbury has a Pepys Close in his honour). During World War I, the Belgium Re-mount Depot was established in the buildings to the right, preparing horses for army use.
Up to the sea wall and I can make out Gravesend on the other side. My zoomless camera still made a decent job of picking out St George's Church in Gravesend, where Pocahontas is buried. Years ago I remember rolling up with my friend Andy and getting the ferry over to Gravesend, just because it was there. There was a British Rail station at the time (they operated the ferry) - according to the internet it closed down in 1984, but I am pretty sure that's wrong as Andy wasn't driving until 1986, so it would have been soon after that.
A short walk to the west leads us to Tilbury Fort, now an English Heritage site. The site was closed when I got there but I was still able to walk around, just about making out the star-shaped lakes around it and the cannons still pointing towards the French fleet.
Carry on walking and you will start to approach the Sertão. You can see it for miles so I was glad to get up close to it at last. It was built by Samsung Heavy Industries in 2012 - nice to know it came from the same company as the phone on which I took the photos!
It worked in Brazil for Petrobras until May 2015 and has been adapted for operating in High Pressure, High Temperature wells, capable of drilling wells up to 11,400 meters deep in depths of water of up to 3,000 meters. Mindblowing to think a ship can do that.
Sertão is currently "warm stacked" (??) here "under the arrest of the Admiralty Marshal of the Courts of Justice of England & Wales" which sounds incredibly formal, but I suppose you need special permission to park a ship like this. It's up for auction next month - a bid of US$75m was turned down for it last year.
Another exciting thing about this walk is that just past the ship there's a lot of what I can only call "mod graffiti" on the walls. I didn't take pictures of all of it, but there was a lot of it. I don't really care much for the whole mod scene but I did like the Jam when I was young and it's weird seeing lyrics from Saturday's Kids and Thick As Thieves painted on the walls. I have no idea how old it all is, although cleaner, newer looking graffiti had a 2009 date on it, so could be well before that. Is this as much a part of English History as the World's End and the fort itself?
Article written Tue 15 May 2018 12:30, last modified Sun 20 May 2018 10:50