Around the coast and rivers of Essex : Bridgemarsh Marina
Welcome to a series of interviews we are pleased to be presenting, from a range of people working, managing and enjoying the coastline, rivers and inland waters of the beautiful county of Essex. To start off with we are pleased to hear from Mick Thurlow, the new Manager at Bridgemarsh Marina, on the River Crouch.
Bridgemarsh Marina can be found in Althorne, opposite Bridgemarsh Island, which although no longer used, has a history of farming and brickworks, still with the old brickwork chimney visible. Produce from the Island used to be taken by tramway to waiting Thames Barges in Althorne Creek and then onwards to their final destinations. Since 1736 access to the Island has been by causeway only and regular occupation ended following the flood in 1953. The Island is now a haven for wildlife and saltmarsh flowers and although it can be enjoyed from a distance, should not be landed on.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I love the river and in a way it flows in my blood. My grandfather was Blacksmith for Priors Boatyard in Burnham, making mooring chains etc. and my father was a shipwright with them too. I started my career delivering boats by road and spent many years as a retained Firefighter. I'm probably better known, though, for my 27 happy years working at Rice and Coles, who I was sad to leave, but look forward to maintaining a working partnership with. Rice and Cole were a great company to work for and I'm really proud of the reputation we all built during my time there. I'm now looking to pastures new and other challenges and am delighted to be working with the team here at Bridgemarsh Marina.
Do you own a boat?
I am the very happy owner of a Mitchell 31, which I have refitted and use for fishing and leisure.
What brought you to Bridgemarsh Marina?
I was asked to Manage the Marina as it moves into a new phase of development and so came over and had a look. After my visit, I had a strong feeling about the marina and its ongoing potential for growth and development and so decided to take-on a new challenge.
What are the future plans for the marina?
We want Bridgemarsh to continue to have all the strengths it does, but also develop some more as a family friendly and laid back location, where people can come and enjoy their boats, the water and the landscape in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. In my first couple of months we've made a great start and people are already commenting on the new look and feel around the marina. The new plans include a new office and reception area and most importantly new pontoons throughout. We will have more space and capacity for a whole range of services and look forward to welcoming other businesses and organisations to partner with us.
Anyone reading this is welcome to get in touch or come along sometime and take a look at the Marina.