Friday 26 February 2010

Butterfly Wharf

Dad takes a lieu day back for the weekend cover he did last weekend and, fortunately it's a blue skies, sunny one. We have a leisurely awakening and a long slow breakfast. The garden is full of birds enjoying the spring sunshine. At one point we are let out and we disturb the sparrow hawk down on the ground by the bird feeders. She shoots off down the garden curving away towards the trees round the Rec - we don't get a clear enough view to see whether she has anything in her clutches.
We head for the Terrier Heaven of Conyer creek - all low growing thorny scrub, rabbit-grazed sward and rabbit scrapes. Dad is curious. He knows of two Thames barge hulks rotting away against the seawall, now visible only as the skeletal remains of stem, sternpost and a few bottom frames. He'd been told these were SB Landrail and SB Kestrel (SB is Sailing Barge), but now finds that there are 4 barges listed as hulked at Conyer in the records, 2 "above Butterfly Wharf" and 2 below.
We are not 100% sure where on the ground Butterfly Wharf starts and stops, but it may be the sticky out bit you can see in my 2nd picture, which is on the very end of Conyer Creek before you get into the Swale proper. Dad's two barges are definitely "above" this (ie further from the sea) and might therefore be, in fact SB Dabchick and SB Band of Hope. If there were 2 barges below this "sticky out bit" they are long since almost destroyed by time and tide.
Right adjacent to the lower end of the possible wharf is a sticking up chunk of well rotted serious wood which might just be a stem-post/apron, with a few planks leading off which might just be planking around a barge's stem or transom. One other sliver of metal sticks up which might just be a shroud-eye fixing. Who knows? We're not even sure the sticky out bit is Butterfly Wharf.
Ah well - keeps Dad amused for hours and gives us plenty of time to scurry around the rabbit scrapes and thorn scrub.
Have a good weekend

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