The Bramble Bank, otherwise known simply as "The Brambles" is an arrowhead-shaped sandbar in the central Solent which is uncovered at low water spring tides. At other times it presents either a significant navigational hazard or a useful escape from the strong Solent tides. The bank is moving very slowly westward. It is marked at its southeastern limit by the Brambles post sea mark and on its western limit by the West Knoll buoy.
The Bramble Bank is renowned for the annual cricket match held there, when the Royal Southern Yacht Club play the Island Sailing Club. The match takes place when the bank is exposed but never lasts very long before the tide returns. The undulating surface with large puddles ensures it is more a social occasion than a serious cricket match, and the scoring reflects this - the victor of the game is pre-determined, and the two clubs simply take it in turns to "win" the match, regardless of play. Last match was 31.8.2015 when RSYC won. The Brambles cricket match has been described as "quintessentially English" and has even drawn the attention of a House of Commons Standing Committee, when it was mentioned as a light-hearted example of an event which falls geographically between the boundaries of two different licensing authorities.
On Tuesday 11 November 2008, on approaching Southampton Docks for her last visit prior to retirement, the Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth 2 ran aground on the Bramble Bank at approximately 0530 hrs. She required 4 tugs to pull her clear on the rising tide and arrived in Southampton approximately 90 minutes late.
On 3 January 2015 the car transporter MV Höegh Osaka was beached on the bank after developing a list. A 200 metre maritime exclusion zone was put into in place around the ship until the salvage operation has taken place, and airspace below 2,000 ft was also closed to aircraft within 1 mile (1.6 km). She was refloated on the rising tide on the 7th of January 2015, and was towed 2 miles east of the bank and moored between East Cowes and Lee on the Solent to await further salvage operations.
In popular culture
- "Weather Reports from Bramble Bank". Bramblemet. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- Majendie, Matt (10 January 2014). "Cricketers at sea: The world's most pointless sporting contest?". CNN. Retrieved 2015-01-04.
It is quintessentially English, a land to have spawned more than its fair share of sporting eccentricities. On the surface of it, this match is supremely pointless -- and actually, that remains the same even if you dig below the surface.
- Mr. Turner (8 May 2003). "Licensing Bill". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). United Kingdom: Lords.
My point about Bramble bank is that it is covered by water most of the year. It is not in the city of Southampton or in any of the adjoining councils of New Forest, Eastleigh or Fareham. Neither is it in the area that is covered by Isle of Wight council. Can the Minister tell me which licensing authority would be responsible for Bramble bank or for any similar partof the country that is exposed only at low tide two or three times a year?
- Travel. "QE2 runs aground near Southampton before final voyage". Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- "Crew rescued from listing Solent car transporter". BBC news. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- "Hoegh Osaka cargo ship 'grounded deliberately' in Solent". BBC News. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- "Investigation into listing Hoegh Osaka cargo ship begins". BBC News Online. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
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