Monday, 6 April 2015

Golden Hinde II - Sir Francis Drake

Flowing from the hinterland of a green and old England until it drains into the North Sea, the River Thames is awash with history.
However, for sheer density and variety I find it's hard to beat a visit to 'the smoke'. Those who know London and the area by the river will appreciate the amount of development and how this has opened up the Thames pathways to pedestrians.

A stroll along the waterside on a Sunday morning, for a drink in the Flounders Arms, The Anchor or the Prospect of Whitby, 30 years ago for instance may well have been taken alone. Today people come out in their thousands. And you cant blame them as some of the best views of London's city-scape can be taken for free along the waters edge.

For us salty types the city can be the proverbial sweet shop and the image below shows just one little treat that can be found tucked away in St Mary Overie Dock, literally minutes away from Shakespear's Globe Theater. This is a full size ocean-going replica of Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hind; Golden Hinde II. Built by J. Hinks & Son in Devon and launched in 1973, she's also sailed around the world but other than a visit to the boat show in 2003 she has been sat here since 1996. She was the dream of two Americans who wanted to celebrate the 400th year since Drake landed on the west coast of North America. Her story is a fascinating one, too long for this page but to share one small thought, to those who like to mix a little ale with their sea-salt - when Sir Francis Drake set sail on his epic round the world exploration, in 1577, he would have sailed right past the Prospect of Whitby as it was built in 1520. Tony

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