1.   Candlelit Dartmouth

2.   New slipway

3.   The bridge has arrived

4.   Small News




1.  Candlelit Dartmouth

This was arguably the very best Candlelit Dartmouth yet.  Starting on Friday with Christmas carols and Santa arriving by boat, and on Saturday the wonderful lantern procession.  It moved local poet Kevin Pyne to write a poem for us:

There are none about us who
Are strangers
Just friends that we have not
Met yet possibly
Who now gather so as to sing!
Carols by candle light
Besides the Christmas tree

Then let us sing of the messiah
A baby born on Christmas day
And glorify his name
In our carols as we give of our
Best voices so as to be this way

And if any ask why we do this
Then let us say that
We are Christian folk
Who live in a Christian country!
Who believe in the words
That our mighty Lord made known
To us and which the bible
Says must truly be

So pass around something
Warming and cake and a
Mince pie as well
For while it is that the bigger
World may have its woes
And troubles the little folk
Have much to sing about and tell

So hold about your lanterns
Down by the harbour
As old Santa comes in over
The sea
For it is Christmas that now comes to
Our little town when the lights
Bid him welcome into our community


2Tentacled Lagoon Worm probe on new slipway site

An environmental survey to help to protect the rare Tentacled Lagoon Worm, which is less than five millimetres long, is being carried out by engineers wanting to build the first public slipway in Dartmouth for 50 years.

Proposals to build a new launching slipway, alongside the Higher Ferry slipway, to make it easier for both the RNLI to launch its inshore lifeboat and local boat owners and the town’s rowing club to get their craft in the water without danger from the ferry cables are now hanging on an environmental survey of the river bed.

Low spring tides have been awaited in order for experts to check the area alongside the existing slipway where the new one is being planned. The environmental assessment is being carried out at the moment (from December 5 onwards) to see whether the Tentacled Lagoon Worm (Alkmaria romijni) a protected species does inhabit sediment in that part of the estuary. It is protected under Scheduled 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

The work has been made necessary since the old slipway is narrow and does not have a kerb to stop trailers or vehicles slipping over the edge. Also in certain tidal conditions there was the potential for the wire hawsers guiding the higher ferry to conflict with the slipway.

South Hams Senior Planning Officer Ed Brown said: “As part of the planning application we need to know what effect we may have on the bed of the river where the new slipway is going to be constructed. We have to satisfy ourselves that there will be no damaged to the ecology of the river. As this is part of the application we commissioned an ecological assessment. It will investigate all the ecological implications and see if the Tentacled Lagoon Worm is present – and suggest appropriate mitigation if required.” Mr Brown says he will be “taking advice” from the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Estuaries Officer of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which the slipway plans fall inside. He added: “We have had sites in the past like this where we have been able to agree mitigating measures that would allow the development to go ahead, but we will just have to wait and see if there are any of these worms in the river there. We understand that they are found more on the Kingswear side of the estuary.”

Councillor Hilary Bastone, South Hams District Council member for Dartmouth and Kingswear said: “I have been fighting for this slipway for 20 years, but this is just one of the hoops we have to go through.”

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3.   The bridge has arrived

Dartmouth Town Jetty now has two new bridges at a cost of £310,000 to provide better access to the town pontoon and to make it easier to carry out future repairs without disrupting ferry, pleasure boat passengers and yachtsmen.

They were swapped in a major engineering exercise last week that involved a 40 metre high 80 tonne crane mounted on a barge which moored alongside the Station Café and succeeded in lifting out the old single gangway bridge – but not without a slight hitch – it was slightly too heavy for the crane.

The existing 25 year old bridge weighed in at 24 tonnes – and because of its weight it could only be lifted and removed after workmen used cutting equipment to cut it into two halves.


4.   Small News

  • Don't forget this Saturday's Farmers' Market is the last one before Christmas so come along for outstanding local produce ready for Christmas.

  • This Tuesday sees the annual Fatstock Show, taking place this year in and around the refurbished Old Market.  Come down early and see the judging take place - will your choice get a rosette?

  • On Saturday 10 December the Britannia Choral Society perform Vivaldi's Gloria in St Saviour's Church at 7.30pm.  Tickets are £10 and available from the Tourist Information Centre or on the door.

  • Kelly Martyn reports: Hi, I am the owner of Ruby George, one of the longest standing ladies independent clothes shops in Dartmouth.  After 10 long years I will be shutting my doors in January 2012 due to a number of reasons, but mainly my landlord who doubled my rent. So reluctantly I am having a closing down sale which starts this Saturday 10 Dec.

  • Join our Dartmouth News Facebook page and read things  you never knew about Dartmouth!  Click on the logo or click here.  Or if you are travelling it's simply www.facebook.com/DartmouthNews  nothing more !

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