ALT8V's Blog

3rd Apr, 2013

ALT8V are committed to sustainability and improving the materials, methods and the locality in which products are made.
For many years the Infinity coffee table has been manufactured in Leicestershire in conventional GRP Fibreglass using principles and technology dating back to 1950's.

Recently working with Composites Evolution, based in Chesterfield, we have been exploring the possibilities of manufacturing the table using a bio-derived cotton based Flax material.

Using the Composite Evolution's Bio-Flax fibre not only presents a unique opportunity to dramatically improve the sustainability of piece but by combining further vacuum bag molding techniques further
improve the capture of VOC fumes from escaping into immediate and wider environment.

ALT8V are proud to be pioneering the use of this material as part of its commitment to sustainable practices and to supporting British technology & manufacturing.

25th Sep, 2012

After nearly two weeks of Indian summer sunshine, Alternative ventured out on to the Thames for one last trek around the Isle of Dogs from Limehouse to West India Dock.
As you can see, the cloud was particularly low-hiding the tip of Canary Wharf.

24th Sep, 2012

After around 180 miles of cruising aboard Alternative, the London Design Festival marked the final leg of the trip and a chance in which to catch up with family, friends, clients and customers.

The trip up the Thames took in the following:
Poplar / Limehouse / Teddington / Hampton Court Palace / Walton / Desborough Island / Return to Limehouse

The second leg up the Regents took in the following:
Limehouse / Mile End (Palm Tree) / Victoria Pk / Broadwalk Mkt / Dalston / Islington (Narrowboat Pub) / King cross / Camden / Regents Pk / Padington / Return

21st Sep, 2012

While moored at Teddington, I came across the Thames Boat Project preparing to return to their mooring at Kingston.
The Project is a registered charity that gives people of all ages the chance to access the Thames, to discover the river, and to learn more about its environment.
The specially adapted community barge, the 'Richmond Venturer', provides day and residential cruises for people of all ages and abilities from its berth in Kingston upon Thames, and is also used as a floating classroom by local schools.
I was delighted to meet the team and have a tour while they were busy getting ship shape after an afternoon of school projects.
Keep up the great work!

8th Sep, 2012

Now that the West India is returning to normality, and the super yachts of the Olympics have set sail, we get to witness the return of the Portwey to its mooring.
Portwey is the last remaining twin screw, coal fired steam tug still active in the United Kingdom and possibly the Northern Hemisphere.
Built on the Clyde in 1927, she was first owned by the Portland and Weymouth Coaling Company and worked along the south coast of England, being based at Portland.
Lovingly restored and maintained by volunteers and co-ordinated by the Portwey Trust, it was great to see the crew prepare for a short voyage up the Thames.
At nearly 100 years old, great care is taken to stoke the furnaces slowly. The crew allow her nearly 3 days to warm up and get to pressure, thus preventing any damage caused by excessive heat expansion.

3rd Sep, 2012

After a truly Golden summer of Olympic games I was privileged to go and watch the Para-Olympic Basketball.
After watching Brasil vs Portugal we set off to explore the park. Our reaction was that of amazement at the sheer quality of the park,
from the color co-ordinated wild flower meadows to the stunning architecture of every inch of the park (even the vast MacDonalds!).
For me, the most exciting area of the park was the regeneration of the surrounding waterways which even hosted the mooring of the Queens Jubilee barge.
The park is now closed until 2014 but I am really looking forward to navigating the system on narrowboat Alternative in years to come.

20th Aug, 2012

Moored on my favourite stretch of the Regent's Canal, (outside the Palm Tree pub) is the Floating Market.
A pop up event running during the Olympics and offering delights like vintage frocks from Frocks A Float and hats from Will on Chapeau Bateau, Bratwürste from Marilyn, and snacks from Lorraine on the Sandwich Barge (excellent Roast Beef sandwiches!)
The Market starts at Mile End and will move west to Little Venice for the Paralympics.
Great to see the canal full and buzzing with life.

27th Jul, 2012

Seven years in the making, London 2012 Olympics opens with a big bang!
Photo taken from New Providence Wharf.
Great party Ian!
Viva 2012!

14th Jul, 2012

Spotted outside the uber cool new waterside restaurant The Filling Station.
The latest Eco City Car from Renault looks as mad as a box of frogs!
It's the first 100% electric car and offers a rather clever battery hire scheme that covers drivers from any problems with battery life.
0 - 100% charged in 3.5 hours, which makes it the most usable and fastest charging in its class.
Prices start at around £7000! Is this this future of city travel?
Personally I would rather have a electric assisted bike and better cycling lanes.

26th Jun, 2012

As part of on going improvements to Mr Micawber, a 72ft Narrowboat moored at Camley St Nature Park, King Cross,
ALT8V was delighted to be commissioned to design and install a unique roof platform to compliment the decking platform built a couple of years ago.
The roof platform covers half of the roof space and provides 15 sqm of decking space in which to enjoy to the waterside and utilize an otherwise unusable roof top.

1st Jun, 2012

The highlight of the Queen's Jubilee pageant was being invited aboard the magnificent HMS Medusa.
Medusa is one of the few remaining vessels of its type and is of particular historical significance due it's role during the WW2 Operation Neptune and the very first troop landings on Omaha beach during the D-Day landings.
Over the last 10 years Medusa has been loyally restored to preserve her for future generations and have been supported by The Heritage Lottery Fund and The Maritime Workshop of Gosport. Despite incidents such as workshop fires (sounds familiar to the Cutty Sark story!) years of dedication by volunteers and young apprentice shipwrights have created a stunning restoration. Medusa was re-launched on 1 March 2010 and was presented with the first of the new Historic Ships Red Ensign.
It was a true honour to be aboard such a piece of history.

1st Jun, 2012

Over the past couple of tides West lndia dock has begun to fill with every possible kind of boat imaginable. They are gathering in preparation to set off to Teddington ready for Sunday's Jubilee pageant. Many of the ships are of particular importance as they are known as the 'Little Ships': the name given as there were small enough to reach and save thousands of troops of the beaches at Dunkirk. Most of them were leisure craft, fishing boats and private yachts and launches and not remotely designed for war.

28th May, 2012

Living on the water has its benefits - not having a lawn to mow being one of them!
However one does miss the chance to grow flowers, herbs and vegetables,
so using some recycled timber left over from a local building project I built a veg trough.
Dwarf Sunflowers / Nasturtium / Purple Broccoli / Chives / Basil / Tarragon / Parsley
Watch this space for yield progress.

23rd May, 2012

The best bit of Clerkenwell Design Week was watching one of the Jaguar concept modellers moulding and carving the latest models.
Despite the age of CGI and Studio Max, there is nothing like seeing a full scale model. Amazing skills!
Still there is nothing to compare with the sleek lines of the original S-type!

19th May, 2012

The WWF floated an 11-metre replica whale down the River Thames in London today, to highlight the plight faced by one of the world’s most endangered whales.
I took this photo from its launch at West India dock.
Rather sad that the WWF stunt was not just for fun, but to highlight the critical state of the Western Gray Whale whose feeding ground is being destroyed by oil drilling off the coast of Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East.

15th May, 2012

A fine patriotic example of Leyland DAF in unofficial Olympic colours.
Its a shame BMW didn't go for this scheme!

3rd Apr, 2012

We recently met Peter Nicholls at his Braunstone-based boat yard. He was working hard on a commission to create a bespoke barge built to a very specific purpose and high quality. It was a great opportunity to draw upon Peter's 30 years of boat building experience.

Peter and his team were also responsible for the design & construction of the Princess Matilda - which is the boat that Timothy & Shane Spalls used in BBC 4 series 'Back at Sea' to cruise around the British Isles.

Coincidently, my neighbour moored at Poplar has a similar boat built by Steelboats; they are some of the most active boaters in the marina, as their boat enables them to go anywhere and do anything.

Keep up the good work Peter and put me on the waiting list!

5th Feb, 2012

Due to the compact nature of Alternative's loo and shower room, a bespoke shower tray is required. B&Q don't do L shape. I've checked!
While under the knowledgeable eye of the "Gaffer" aka George from the Docklands Scout Project I reinforced a plywood shell in fibre-glass and coat after coat of pure gel coat resin.
The task was obviously to ensure that the water would flow to the trap and not collect anywhere else, and also to make a water tight seal around the Thetford loo.
As you can see my lil' project was over shadowed by the restoration of Blue Ice launch Boat.

25th Jan, 2012

A private commission painting of a Bugati Type 35.
Painted in Acrylic and inspired by a painting seen in the RAC Club Pall Mall.
65cm x 130cm

24th Nov, 2011

At ALT8V we love all things alternative and creative. The Rook and Raven gallery in Soho showcases some of the finest dynamic, alternative contemporary artwork around. The Infinity table was positioned in the private lounge during David Walkers 'Brides on Fire' exhibition in November 2011. The table's sculptural form and minimalism nicely complimented the gallery space.