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Report - - Kingsnorth Coal Loading Jetty, River Medway - July 2020 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Kingsnorth Coal Loading Jetty, River Medway - July 2020


LashedLlama

Sauter Les Frontières
28DL Full Member
History:
Kingsnorth Coal Loading Jetty in the River Medway, although officially named Oakham Ness Jetty, was built in 1964, as part of the construction for Kingsnorth Power station, which was to become operational 9 years later in 1973.
The jetty itself was built 1.2 miles out into the estuary, which subsequently meant it that it was able to be used at any time, making it ideal for all tidal landings. The jetty brought in coal along its conveyors, which would've been unloaded from the many cargo ships carrying what would've been the vital fuel for the power station on land. However, once Kingsnorth began to use oil as a secondary fuel source, coal was no longer seen as an absolute necessity for keeping the power station running.
Ultimately, this led to a large decrease in activity on the jetty, and with this level of inactivity, came an opportunity for the nearby "Berry Wiggens Oil Refinery" to use the jetty to import large quantities of oil.
Over the years, the jetty has seen a variety of changes, and was even involved with the famous Kingsnorth Six episode in 2007. However, due to the power station's demolition, there is no real purpose left for the jetty, and since the closure of Kingsnorth, it has remained disused.
Sadly, permission for its demolition was given the go-ahead shortly after the demolition of the power station's chimney in March 2018. Fortunately, there has been no recent changes to the jetty, and if nothing is altered, the permission will expire in 2023 (fingers crossed), although if it is to remain, it's future is still yet undetermined.


Cargo Ship Offloading At Kingsnorth - 2005

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The Explore:
I'd seen this jetty countless times over the years, but never thought to actually try and get a closer look. My original plan of attack was to go from land, but, after realising the end of the jetty comes out behind the fence of the Kingsnorth substation (which is very far from being abandoned) I realised very quickly that it was to be a no-go. So, with that in mind, the only option left was to do it via the river...
Now, with myself and @james nichols having unloaded the kayaks, we began to set off on a rather lengthy kayak across the estuary all the way from Lower Rainham.


Phone Shots Of The Journey Across

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After roughly an hour of kayaking, we'd made it, however, having not seen any detailed shots showing the base of the jetty, I was questioning how we'd actually board the structure without having to use rope and other equipment.
Fortunately for us, it turned out there were several ladders leading into the water to make access a doddle, and so, we tied the kayaks off and climbed up onto the concrete base. Funnily enough, when we first started kayaking, the centre crane seemed massive from shore, giving the illusion it was relatively close, but, as it turns out, it was just simply enormous.


The Eastern Crane

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We began to make our way off the eastern crane, and see what else this industrial giant had to offer, I was personally quite taken by just how much was left unvandalised, it's not all that often you encounter somewhere that's completely abandoned that's also graffiti-free (makes a nice change).
Now having made it back to ground level, we checked out what was originally some sort of electrical control board, and even came across one of the original jetty transformers, all of which were situated in the middle of the jetty.


Jetty Transformer & Electrical Board

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With little else to see at this level, we thought it best to make our way up the central crane, by this point we could already feel the tide starting to turn, and didn't want to linger for too much longer, or we'd be in for a very muddy landing back at shore.
However, I was determined to make it to the top of the central crane, just to take in the panoramic views of the estuary if nothing else. This was by far the most interesting structure on the jetty, not just because of its towering height, but because of what else it had held within it, such as the cable winding room for the crane arm.


The Centre Crane

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Looking Downwards

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By this point, the tide was starting like a noticeable turn, and so we knew the chance of exploring the western crane was basically second to none, and from what we could see on the outside, it would've been more than less identical to the eastern side. Nevertheless, I wasn't leaving without at least getting one shot of the main conveyor, so here it is!

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And that ladies and gentlemen is the Kingsnorth Coal Loading Jetty... And as said, it's not known exactly how long this place will remain to stand, but all the time it does, it will stand as one of the most prominent landmarks on the Medway Estuary.
On a personal note, I've always been keen on seeing the old industry and learning a bit about what was used to power machinery and keep the lights on. And, if this place was to be torn down, it wouldn't be anything short of a damn shame.


- Thanks For Looking -
_____________________________________



 

Down and beyond

I am just developing the mine by improving access
Regular User
Awsome job on this one mate summit completely different but seriously cool !
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Very cool. Great report as usual. Very well covered. Stunning shots of the crane. Looking down your 3rd to last shot, it almost seems 3d. Very weird view, nice one.:thumb
 

LashedLlama

Sauter Les Frontières
28DL Full Member
Great pics. Loved your idea to kayak in. Difficult access probably explains the lack of graffiti.
Definitely mate, I know only a small handful of people who’ve braved it from the land and hugged the fence. But that’s pretty much a no go. I climbed up the conveyor when I went back the other day, could see how savage the fence is when I looked through a gap in it

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