In the first Arrival By Sea the newly-weds Sam and Chloe and family came by catamaran from Poole quay to Studland Bay. In perfect conditions the potentially delicate operation of ferrying first the Mothers of the Bride and Groom then the Bridal Couple themselves ashore went without a hitch. The secret was a giant (17’6″) paddleboard but the real genius was to have a couple of deckchairs placed amidships so the dignitaries could sit in some splendour. Then it was up the beach steps to the waiting reception. Couldn’t have gone better.
The lane from the road by the thatched cottages up to Harry Warren was in a very poor state and getting worse. What really did for it were the very heavy rains a year or two ago that washed tons of fine material out of the lane and on to the road. It was so bad that diggers were used to clear it out of the road.
We wrote to the County Council, the Parish Council, the National Trust and so on but none of them could do anything about it. The lane belongs to the National Trust who are responsible for its maintenance but they said that they did not really use it so it was not that important to them. Even though it is part of the Southwest Coastal Path and was becoming a walking hazard.
In the end we just hired the machines, bought the stone and repaired it ourselves. It took less time than all the letters we had written and actually got a result.
Had to keep on stopping the roller and chatting to people I knew were walking the path, including a wedding party from a couple of years ago.
The end result is that we have a nice flat lane (Alex has found a lump) that anything can now drive up with ease. The bottom couple of metres is still quite rough to discourage people from thinking it is part of the highway.
This will also make the walk from the Church to Harry Warren much nicer in its final stage. In one of life’s ironies, having just fixed the lane, our next bride is going to arrive by sea and up the beach steps. Will she be wearing Welly Boots?