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January 2009

Taw Torridge estuary and Bideford Harbour January 2009.

Lack of demand for Ball Clay in Finland and Spain has led to a continued decline in shipping in the harbour. Ball clay usage being tied to the building trade, prospects for a revival do not look good in the near future. 

The search for alternative cargoes for the port is underway, and a successful fact finding visit to Avonmouth was made in early January by the Harbour Master, with the intention of securing the export of glass from Bideford to Ellesmere Port for re cycling. 

At present the South West’s waste glass is driven by lorry at 30 tonnes per load all the way to the Liverpool area. Shipping to the same area in loads of 2000 tonnes by ship would drastically reduce lorry mileage.

Recresco who take much of the South Wests glass for recycling are keen to find a greener alternative - even without making monetary savings. However early calculations also promise monetary savings if the sea option through Bideford is exercised.

The export of twenty thousand tonnes of glass per year is planned through the port – this will include locally collected glass.

The planned launch of the huge super yacht hull from Babcocks Appledore Yard went ahead successfully on Thursday afternoon of the 11th December. The complex shaped hull of the vessel was towed to Babcock’s Plymouth yard by the tug Flying Spindrift. 

The Bideford Harbour Committee is due to meet on Thursday 12th February at 1600 hrs. at Riverbank House. 

A highly successful clean up at East the Water of the river bed adjacent to Clarence wharf was undertaken on Wednesday 29th October last in Co – operation with the Environment Agency and other volunteers. Bideford’s 44 tonne new Harbour crane traversed the Longbridge under sanction of Devon County Councils bridges department, and was invaluable in removing scrap and rubbish from the river bed collect by the Environment Agency and volunteers.

Major works on the Long Bridge at Bideford are continuing.

Captain Roger Hoad Pilot Harbour Master. January 19th 2009
 
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