News & Blog

  Thursday 18th. July 2013.                      Tractor & Trailer ride across the Purbecks from Corfe Castle Twenty five members and guests climbed on to the trailer in Corfe National Trust car park for a two hour exploration of an area of the Purbecks.  The journey took us across Middlebere Heath to Hartland Moor and then along the ‘clay line’ to Middlebere farm.  (The clay line was an iron track built to move clay from the Norden area to the shores of Poole Harbour from where it was shipped to eventually arrive with Wedgwood in the Potteries.)  We then travelled to the peninsula between Middlebere Lake and Wych Lake before returning to the car park.  The views from Middlebere Heath and the peninsula are spectacular. A wonderful if very bumpy outing on a balmy evening. P1010165P1010166P1010173P1010174P1010176 Tuesday 28th. May 2013.                 38 members have just enjoyed a well organised day out in the Isle of Purbeck.

Starting at Perenco’s Collecting Station we were given a conducted tour of  3 well sites with all their background, the history of the Poole Harbour oilfields  and what is happening now. Travelling by bus over private roads to the various sites, we were able to see parts of the Harbour from a different view point.

Leaving the oil wells and arriving at Norden, we entrained on the Swanage Steam Railway to Corfe Castle and on to Swanage. After a fine lunch in a cafe in Swanage we returned to the Railway Station and steamed back to Corfe to have a conducted tour of the Signal Box which controls the whole line and the small museum of the Railway. Now that we were thoroughly in to steam, we chugged back to Norden .

Our final visit of the day was to the Purbeck Mineral and Mine Museum attached to the Norden terminal. It has only been open for six weeks but it is a real eye opener concerning the Clay mines in the Isle of Purbeck up to 1998. Excellent pictures and descriptions and a full size mine with trucks, angled shaft and cutting face. The clay from these mines was shipped to Poole Harbour [Middle Bere Quay and Goathorn Quay] by tramway, using small trucks towed by small  steam engines. Barges then took the clay to Poole Quay where it was shipped onwards to factories in the Stoke-on-Trent area.

This was an excellent day out with much to see and enjoy as well as a great deal to learn about the area around Poole Harbour. Well worth a revisit.

 Shipwrecks of Poole Harbour.

The PHHP Seminar on the 23rd. of February 2013, held at the North Terminal in the Port of Poole. The Poole Log boat. Clare Randall, from the Poole Museum, gave the introductory presentation about the Poole Log Boat, the oldest vessel that has so far been found in Poole Harbour. Discovered in the Harbour in 1964, near Brownsea Island, the log boat was lifted in two pieces and put into a Borough of Poole Store where it was preserved in PEG solution, [polyethylene glycol which interacts with the water in the waterlogged timber and eventually replaces it]. The boat is now stable and quite recognisable as a long narrow canoe, with a filled in transom and thicker areas left in parts of the hull to create strength. The tree from which it was built was cut down around 240BC. It was probably used for fishing and carrying goods around the Harbour, and is remarkably well preserved for a vessel over 2000 years old. It forms a large exhibit in Poole Museum, which is at the bottom end of the High Street, just off  Poole Quay. The Studland Bay Wreck. Peter Hayton who, with other members of Hamworthy Sub-aqua Club, carried out the diving and the work of surveying the Studland Bay  wreck over the course of three years, gave an enthusiastic and well illustrated presentation on his personal involvement in the meticulous work that was carried out. The results produced much more knowledge of the vessel and its cargo of Isabella Polychrome pottery, from the Iberian peninsula. The wreck was then covered to store it for the future when it might be re-investigated or even raised. The Swash Channel Wreck. To round off the afternoon’s presentations, Dave Parham, from Bournemouth University gave us the story of the discovery of the Swash Channel wreck and the work that has been carried out so far. This is a work in progress on a fine quality, heavily armed vessel of the 17th century, which has been buried in sand on the Hook Sands within feet of the edge of the main channel into Poole Harbour. Some of the pieces, particularly the rudder and carved rudder stock have survived in remarkably good order, along with cannons and a well preserved galley, including the tiles surrounding it. Dave finished his talk with some photographs of an aluminium boat, the remains of which are sunk on the south side of the Harbour. It is a Royal Naval Air Service Lighter, built around 1917 which was towed by a Naval vessel and from which a Sopwith Camel aeroplane could be launched. One of only three built it is a great rarity and brings Poole Harbour wrecks up to the 20th. century. The Seminar was run by Professor Timothy Darvill of Bournemouth University, Chairman of the PHHP Committee. Captain Michael Fulford-Dobson, the PHHP Patron, welcomed everyone and introduced the afternoon and gave the vote of thanks. Around 90 people attended and enjoyed sandwiches, wine and three excellent and interesting presentations. Our particular thanks to the Poole Harbour Commissioners for their support and kindness in allowing us to use the North Lounge in the Ferry Terminal.
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