All abandoned boats have gone

THE rotting hulls of a number of boats abandoned on the foreshore of a popular riverside beauty spot have now gone – leaving an open vista of the river.

THE rotting hulls of a number of boats abandoned on the foreshore of a popular riverside beauty spot have now gone – leaving an open vista of the river.

It took just days for contractors at Pin Mill to get rid of the remains of the wooden barges the Maid of Connaught and the Leslie West as well as a dilapidated World War II landing craft and another unnamed vessel.

A fifth boat, thought to be the admiral's launch of a 1950s navy destroyer, was saved at the last minute after Ipswich man Andy France decided he would have a go at restoring her to her former glory.

The launch has now been moved to the nearby Webb's boatyard run by Jonathan Webb.


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Mr Webb said the clear-up, organised by Babergh District Council's Pin Mill task group, had made it easier for boatyard owners like himself and his neighbour, Jeff King, to work on the hard standing.

He said: "It's a lot better, but the artists who have been down here this week have been complaining."

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The wrecks had been on the waterside for so long some people were unsure how they felt now they had gone.

Mr Webb said: "It's different. We have areas of the hard now that we can use for boats that are under way and in use. Pin Mill is one of the very few places in the whole country from which you can launch a boat free of charge."

He said he would like to see some money spent on restoring the old barge blocks and on providing better access from the river for visiting yachtspeople to get onto the hard, beyond which is an area of sticky mud at low tide.

Jeff King, of King's boatyard next door, has been at Pin Mill all his life and is also an artist.

He too was happy to see the wrecks gone but had less sympathy with the artists' complaints.

He said: "It's a changing process and always has been. There's a lot of difference between historical wrecks and rubbish, which just breeds more rubbish.

"I'm all for the place to keep working and for boats to come in to be repaired then move off again. That would be good for the artists too."

A spokesman for Babergh said the next stage in the clean up process would be on Sunday, September 21, when calls are going out for volunteers to help clear the shoreline of rubbish.

The clear-up starts at 10am and skips will be put out before the day so that local householders can deposit any items they wish to see removed.

On the clear-up day the National Trust will be supplying gloves, rakes, ropes saws and wheelbarrows for volunteers to use.

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