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veryoldbear

MSM Friday 17 Sept

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Came back from Ouistreham last night. Signs of the times:

Quite a number of illegal chappies lurking on the outskirts of town, presumably hoping to get onto HGVs etc .... Three heavily armed sea marshalls (is that the right word?) wandering round on board the MSM. I do feel it would be better if they wore blue and white striped woolies instead of the dreary black.

On the plus side, I don't think I've ever seen the restaurant as full as it was last night!

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Hi,

I was on the same crossing I think, Friday pm from Ouistreham?

Spotted the same group of chaps that you did. Was put off by the number of school groups on the crossing, don't think I've ever seen so many!  

As to the armed police, certainly didn't make me feel any safer.. 

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I too noticed the presence of people hoping to hitch a ride in the Ouistreham town area on the drive in yesterday (Saturday 18), and also what I'm also guessing were people with similar intentions on the rocks between the port and the beach.

I did see a news article (can't remember where) suggesting that Bilbao was now a target due to it not attracted the security attention like Calais or the Tunnel does. 

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Came back Staurday evening 23rd. Ouistreham/Portsmouth.  Beautiful day in France.  On arriving in Ouistreham early we went to the bar and then to go and get dinner.  We were interested to see up to 12 odd looking chaps hanging around and every now and then they were chased off by the Gendarmes.  Later that evening they were all congregated by the Car park in a bus shelter and the gendarmes seemed to have gone home.  The ferry terminal security has been tightened up since we last went through in June.  So much so that without the security man letting anyone through we would not have got into the terminal. Our boarding passes did not work. A helpful lady on the BF desk issued us with a spare, which also did not work.  Despite all this extra security we saw lorries, camper wagons and trailers pass straight through for boarding. So it does seem a little inconsistent.  We did not see any sea marshals on board but did not wander about too much as we were tired.  

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I came back through Ouistreham last night and it's evidently becoming a real problem for both freight drivers and local traders/restaurants. Last week I filled up with diesel at the Esso garage and had a chat with the guy who now runs it ( I had to tell him I was competition!), almost every night they cause trouble either trying to pilfer stuff or just being a nuisance to cars using the pumps. I spotted around 50 in town last night with 2 police vans watching them, I've heard of Brits using the eating houses feeling intimidated. 

A lorry driver friend of mine was in the bar on Normandie, he's found stowaways in his trailer 5 times in the last 6 weeks and if they're not found before embarcation it's his fault. Poor little Ouistreham doesn't deserve this.

Chris

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You have to wonder where this is going to end , I can’t see it getting any better and is it going to mean no short breaks in Ouistreham and in time StMalo/Roscoff?

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Watch out, there will be lots of Catalans trying to get onto the ferries illegally in Bilbao and Santander soon, claiming asylum from persecution in their home land. O.o. Ed.  

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