The big news this month is that our illustrious band of merry men is now numbering 40! Ta-daa. Our latest recruits quite literally spanning the whole length of the canal with Richard up in Odiham and Neal cycling to work from Mytchett to Woking. I am redoubling my drive to meet you all and now that the weather is improving I hope to be available at the Canal Centre in Mytchett and the Water Witch Pub in Odiham fairly regularly throughout the summer. I am also going to try and get to the Woking/West Byfleet area
Reporting. While it is good to see the total number of Lengthsmen up, sadly I seem to be loosing contact with a few of you. Please keep in touch, even if there is nothing to report. A quick email to say that you have just been out and walked the dog tells me that the canal is being checked. Please also never assume that a sighting may be insignificant. I would rather receive ten insignificant reports than miss one very important problem. Your sighting of a white van somewhere where it should not be on the towpath could well match up with other reports and lead to successfully stopping fly tipping. A noticeable trend is for new Lengthsmen to start keenly reporting and then fade away. Please keep the communication flowing. However, should your circumstances and situation change and you no longer wish to be in the Lengthsman Scheme, simply let me know. It is after all a voluntary scheme.
Milestones. April was a milestone month. Easter saw the canal once again fully (almost) open and a very successful flotilla of nearly 40 boats had a marvellous visit. A number of us answered the call to man the locks and assist the Rangers. Just a bit of a shame the weather was not better. Anyway, why settle for one milestone in a month when you can have two and on the very last day of April the Society became the proud owner of a brand new trip boat as it was gingerly craned in at Odiham Wharf. (In my role as crewman, I’m
terrified of being the first to scratch it. However, as one Lengthsman pointed out, boating can be considered a contact sport!)
Both events were only made possible by huge amounts of very hard work from dedicated volunteers, and both events will benefit the canal for years to come.
AGM. If you haver never attended an AGM may I suggest this a good year to try it. There is so much to be proud and optimistic about. It is at Deepcut Village Community Centre, GU16 6TB, on Saturday 18th May at 2pm. We will have the Lengthsmen recruitment table there, kindly manned by Kelvin in my absence, so please come and say “Hi”. He will be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Inspection walks. The fortnight program of Rangers inspection walks is almost at an end. Just the ‘top end’ to be done on 21st. This was not the easiest project to take part in, especially if you are working during the week. However, ten of you managed to get out and walk with your Ranger. I am delighted to report that all who participated not only enjoyed it but learnt a lot and found it hugely beneficial. Understanding the canal and towpath from the Rangers view point seems to have been the most valuable lesson learned.
Your next chance to take part in this project will be October/November. As I was one of those unable to get involved this month I’m keen to do the Autumn inspection. Don’t worry, I will be reminding you nearer the time.
Thank you all for your continuing interest.
All the very best and happy Gongoozling!