We had an excellent time there and stayed in The Royal Harbour Hotel. The hotel was so good that we’ve sworn to go back again one day – that will also give us an opportunity to re-visit the Cervia, to see how the restoration is progressing. Loved the hotel! Had a slight problem there because we had no cash and couldn’t get any because we couldn’t remember the PIN number for our UK credit card, which we never use as we live in the South of France. We had an old cheque book but discovered that nobody accepts cheques any more in the UK. The small amount of cash we had had gone to the garage when we’d filled the tank before leaving Madehurst for Ramsgate. After touring the restaurants, getting desperate and very, very hungry, we finally found one prepared to take a cheque – phew!!.
Ramsgate Maritime Museum, situated at the Clock House, Pier Road. The Cervia is moored close by. ramsgatemaritimemuseim.org The slipway is next to the museum and it’s where The Gondia was chocked up for her refit and I had a great time. See Chapter 3, ‘Death and Sex’, ‘PAID TO LIVE THE DREAM’.
The Cervia was the last steam tug to operate in the UK waters and she now lies at Ramsgate Royal Harbour where she is being passionately restored by a dedicated team of volunteers led by Mike Houkham. Mike is an ex tugman, employed during the same period as myself and like me, he served on the Cervia. Whilst writing “Paid to live the Dream”, I flew to the UK to visit Mike and am grateful for the amount of time he spent with me, showing me around the Cervia. More information on the Cervia can be found on the website http://www.cervia-volunteer-crew.com, http://www.thesteammuseum.org/cervia.html and also at http://www.ramsgatemaritimemuseum.org
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