A foul-tempered Mermaid holds a TNT detonator and states “Welcome to Sheerness! You’ll have a blast!” in front of three rusting ship’s masts which poke through the water between the two main shipping channels.
Here The Montgomery lies paralized, broken-backed since the war, due to an ill-placed command. Its cargo of white phosphorus and unexploded bombs, bleeds gently beneath the sign which hangs around its neck: ‘Dangerous Wreck. Do not approach.”
Causewayed, decaying ‘No.1, The Thames’ rears into sight. Marrooned at low-tide within miles of silty sand, and beseiged at high-tide by the restless waves, it is girdled by The Medway Chain, which once stretched. too late, across the river to trip up enemy ships.
Behind it, the ghost-chimneys of Tilbury’s coal-fired Power Station flicker, standing so tall for 40 years, they were blasted to smithereens in seconds in September 2017.