Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Deja Vue all over again

OK where was I?

Oh yes, we were staying in Bigbury-on-Sea with a magnificent view across to the art deco Hotel on Burgh Island.

These are the security gates which are closed to prevent passing holidaymakers catching a glimpse of Agatha Christie or the Duchess of Windsor.

But how can you reach the island when the tide is in, I hear you ask. Well, unusually, the hotel has what professes to be the only "sea tractor" in the World. It's powered by an engine on top which drives a compressor connected by hydraulics to the wheels below water and was designed in 1969 by Robert Jackson CBE (a pioneer of the nuclear power station programme in the ‘50s) in exchange for a case of champagne. It cost £9000 to build but I would gladly have sketched out an alternative design for a much simpler floating passenger carrying vessel in exchange for a case of Pinot Grigio.

To give you an idea of scale here's me in my holiday hat. It's 7 5/8.

Here is the Sea Tractor in action. Most of the time the trips were actually serviced by two Range Rovers which belted across the sand and the rocks at each end. They were obviously leased.

It costs £2 for a member of the public to ride on the Tractor but I didn't fancy it because you'd have to sit in embarrassed silence opposite famous celebrities such as these.

However I did have a strange sensation all week that I had visited this place before and suddenly it came to me! Yes, 20 years ago I came down to Burgh Island to prevent Tinker's sister from losing the Hotel to loan sharks.

I can remember it all now.......


Mike and Ann said...

Hello Rog. You'll be pleased to know that the original Tinker is alive, well, and living in Lavenham -- Well, she was a few months ago.

Soaring said...

Maybe Tinker's tailor sold ya a spy script?
The "world's only" claim re the sea tractor is debatable. My next-door neighbour owns & runs another one:
The South Sands Ferry
But I don't know if his is hydraulic. I'll ask him.

Dave said...

Come global warming you'll see tractors like that all over Norfolk.

Z said...

Soaring, I'm so impressed that I've forgotten what I was going to say.

Oh yes, Rog, I was going to commend you for all the work that's gone into this post.

I've done enough admiration for today, I'm going to make some coffee and get back to work. *Work*, that is.

Rog said...

Mike & Ann: Swanning around in Lavenham eh.

Soaring: It looks very much similar. I hope the Burgh people ask for their champagne back.

Dave: sea tractors indeed.

Z: Don't get him started on the tides again - we'll never get any work done.

Nota Bene said...

Vroom, vroom...that'll be the Range Rovers whilst the tractor just went chug, chug...I think you may have taken against this whole rich aristocracy and famous people thing...