I was brought up a good Catholic boy, and taught to pray to the patron Saint of lost and hopeless causes. As things turned out, perhaps I should have prayed harder, but that’s another story. The storm with the same name that hit last month turned out to be far from a hopeless case. A magnificent 22 of you answered the call to arm on the Monday morning. Your response was truly fantastic. Not only were you reporting by 07.30 you rolled up your sleeves and cleared a huge amount of debris. The fact that we were out and about lifted a huge workload from the Rangers who could concentrate on the very serious stuff. Thankfully, despite trees down every 50 metres in some areas, there were very few complete blockages, and no breaches.
This is what the Lengthsman Scheme is all about. Your unique, first-hand knowledge of your length combined with your enthusiasm and willingness to help, moulds us into a reliable and formidable force. Fiona the BCA Manager has already expressed her thanks, as have I. I am however going to pat you on the back one more time. You did good! I am proud to be Lengthsman Organiser.
Thought you might appreciate a shot of the troubles other canals had (right).
Just one final mention of the trip on JP2, because it was such an enjoyable outing. I am certain we will do it again next year and explore in the opposite direction. I’ll think up some different on board entertainments and naturally would love any input on this and any other ideas for social outings.
The Locks Project
For my sins, I allowed myself to be talked into this huge task. Seven of us turned up at Bridge Barn, Woking on Monday 4th Nov. and Lock 7 was our first target. The brief was basically to manoeuvre the work boat in, de-weed the walls as the chamber fills and finally fit two cill markers on the walls of the upper gates. These markers are intended to be an aid in keeping the bow of a boat away from the lock gates when going up and the stern from grounding on the cill when going down.
On the sunny autumnal days it was a real treat to be messing around on the water but sadly we got caught a couple of times and arrived home soaked to the skin. With practice, we became more of an efficient team and on a good day we managed to complete four locks reaching Lock 28 at the top of Deepcut flight by Friday 15th. With the weather closing in and exhaustion taking its toll, we are now having a break and hopefully will finish the remaining locks in the spring.
These are coming up for their second birthday and may require some tlc. Could you please take a look and report any that require a new sticker. We have replacements.
Bye for now,