The Danbury Society


The Annual Coach Outing - Saturday, 14th June 2003.

This year it was to Chatham Dockyard & Historic Rochester.
An air-conditioned Lodges coach left Danbury at 9AM and headed to Chatham Dockyard. The weather forcaste had promised rain and a cooler day than the previous with temperatures at the most of 18 degrees, so there were plenty of umbrellas & macs - however it turned out to be a cloudless sky & very hot!.

The organiser, David Bolwell had worked out a programme - we arrived at 10.15 and were split into 2 parties for our conducted tour. Harry, our guide said he was well qualified having served in the RAF for 35 years!.
One party visited the Ropery. This is where rope is still made in the traditional way.

Ropewalk

The Ropewalk
Photo by Sue Jeager

The Ropewalk is 1/4 mile long and Members were amazed to find that a bicycle was used to get from one end to the other.

A large coil of rope

A large coil of rope being made
Photo by Sue Jeager

One party went past HMS Gannet which is being restored to its full Victorian glory - the front mast was hoisted last week.

HMS Gannet

HMS Gannet being rebuilt the mast was added last week
Photo by Sue Jeager

The other party went past HMS Gannet and looked at the huge 200 year old wooden shed which has just been reroofed at a cost of 1 million ponds.

HMS Gannet & shed

Harry's group unfront of the wooden shed.
Photo by John Bowen using his 3 single use camera

Then past the submarine Ocelot which saw service in the Falklands conflict.

Submarine Ocelot

The Submarine Ocelot
Photo by Sue Jeager


Submarine Ocelot

The Submarine Ocelot from its rear
Photo by John Bowen


Submarine Ocelot's torpedo tubes

The Submarine Ocelot's torpedo tubes
Photo by John Bowen

Next to the submarine is the Destroyer Cavalier

Destroyer Cavalier

The Destroyer Cavalier
Photo by Sue Jeager

Some members had a conducted trip around both.

We then went to the Officers houses which have now been restored and passed into private hands. We were fortunate to be invited to tour one of the private gardens restored to how it would have been in the early 1800s.

An Officer's House Private garden

An Officer's House Private garden
Photo by Sue Jeager

An Officer's House Private garden

An Officer's House Private garden
Photo by John Bowen using his 3 single use camera

The Commissioner's Gardens were our next port of call.

Commissioner's Garden

The Commissioner's House and Garden.
Harry is the guide in the straw hat. He said the house was built in 1753.

Photo by John Bowen

Curt & Jean Brown in the Commissioner's Garden

Curt & Jean Brown in the Commissioner's Garden
Curt is the Chairman of the Danbury Society.

Photo by John Bowen

In the Commissioner's Garden is the old Mulberry tree referred to by Sameul Pepys.

Mulberry Tree in the Commissioner's Garden

Mulberry Tree in the Commissioner's Garden
Photo by John Bowen

The Garrison Church was cool and inviting where we sat & listened to its history. Harry told us that no Naval Church is consecrated so that all persons can use it regardless of their belief.

After lunch the trip on the coal fired Kingswer Castle proved a great success which lasted an hour. The water was very smooth.

The Kingswear Castle approaching the pier

The Kingswear Castle approaching the pier after the hour cruise
Photo by John Bowen

About half then went to Rochester Town, some looked at the Cathedral, Castle, Dicken's Museum while others found a tea room of their choice.

Rochester Town

Rochester Town

At 5PM Steve in his cool coach picked up the hot crowd and went back to the Dockyard where the remainder of the party got on and headed back to Danbury.

Dave Bolwell was thanked for organising such a good outing & the Met Office got 0 out of 10 for their forecast.

Where do we go next year?. It has been suggested Windsor & then Frogmore - any ideas?

A very good day out, pity it clashed with the Twinning Jumble Sale, though.



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Copyright (c) John Bowen 2003
Last revised:- 24th June, 2003.