Sunday, March 23

Day trip to Bembridge

Bembridge village centre

Decided to take a day trip over to the Isle of Wight using the hovercraft service. The passenger capacity on the original SRN6 hovercraft in the 1960s/70s was quite small, so I was pleasantly surprised to see how big the passenger cabin was. Despite the passenger waiting area being quite full (I wondered if we all would get on), once everyone was onboard, there were still about 2/3 of the seats free.

Hovercraft passenger cabin
Hovercraft 'birthed' at Ryde terminal

The experience of travelling in the new hovercraft was similar to that of the old SRN6, but I think the new vessels are quieter.

The trip over to Ryde from Southsea was quite smooth and quick. The trip back was a bit choppy so the ride was a bit bumpy.
However compared to my bus journey on the island, the hovercraft was generally smoother!

Shelter with seats removed

From the hovercraft terminal at Ryde it's a short distance to the bus station and the long Ryde pier.
Along the pier the old style Victorian shelters were still present (maybe modern replicas?), but the seats have been removed and access around the shelters is blocked! Plus there are ''No Fishing" signs on the shelter windows.

I guess they had problems in the past with youths and others? Still seems like a great shame to not have seats. Another issue maybe that cars can drive along the pier to the car park on the piers ferry terminal, so maybe seats would be a safety issue?

Ryde pier (pedestrian and vehicle side), looking
back towards the town
It was a breezy day but nice and sunny, so walking to the pier head and ferry terminal was pleasant.
Train just departing at Ryde pier station
(beneath is the sea!)
At the end of the pier I picked up some tourist leaflets at the ferry terminal and took a look around the facilities and train station. The Isle of Wight railway is unique in that it uses old London Underground railstock and the trains run to the end of Ryde pier where passengers can catch a train, straight off the ferry.

Holy Trinity Church, Bembridge
The Bembridge bus was a double decker so I decided to take a seat at the front on the top deck.
Wow! That was a rollercoaster ride. The islands roads are full of pot holes and the tarmac in some places is non existent. On top of that, the roads haven't changed a lot since I was last there, so it was a very hilly and meandering journey.

But great fun! If you want to see the island in all it's architectural glory, take a bus and sit at the front on the top deck.

Bembridge windmill
Eventually we arrived at Bembridge which hasn't changed a lot since the 1960s. The village school next to the church is now a library, the shops have changed hands, but apart from a Cooperative store and a small Boots store, the other shops are small independents, selling fish, local farm produce and tasteful gifts/housewares.

After looking around the village centre it was time to visit the windmill which is now owned by the National Trust. It's a great example and I was told that they get it working occasionally to make sure the mechanism is in working order. At the entrance kiosk, they sell tickets for the windmill, ice creams and gifts. There are also plenty of walks in the area.

Friday, March 14

Newlands Solar Farm

Photo is a part of the Newlands Solar Energy farm between Fareham and Gosport. The size of the development was eventually cut down but it is still quite a big solar energy installation. The bigger Southwick Estates installation near Waterlooville has had no work started yet.

Also Ecotricity have announced that they are continuing to freeze energy prices through Spring and Summer this year, having started the freeze in September last year.

Thursday, March 13

Cycle ride at the weekend

Had a bike ride down some local country lanes at the weekend, stopped at some fields to take a break and near one of the gates to the fields I spotted that fly tippers had been busy:

The result of high carbon living, piles of tyres have been dumped presumably by a cowboy business or businesses.

Tyres can be reused and recycled but of course brainless jerks that do this don't have the neuron capacity to do anything useful with their lives.

Would it be to difficult to leave a camera at the location to capture the crooks in action?

Something like the Swann OutbackCam is designed to be left on site and is triggered by animals that move into range.

On a positive note...
On the way back I came up close to a Nissan Leaf!
It had stopped at a junction and when it drove off, it made a pleasant hum noise which reminded me of the vehicles featured in science fiction TV and films.

Sunday, March 2

Robert Checks Out The Latest Nissan Leaf

Robert checks out the new version of the Nissan Leaf and visits the Sunderland plant where it is manufactured...

Roberts Welsh Electric Road Trip

Robert seems to be busy producing videos. Here he does a road trip around Wales in his electric Nissan leaf. He visits some hydroelectric schemes and the Centre for Alternative Technology...