Photo 01 - Our new multi coloured boat!
The last straw!
It has happened year after year that our agents are severely inconvenienced by anglers phoning to book boats at a specific time and then they do not turn up! In some cases the anglers appear three or four hours later and expect to be given the boat they booked earlier. In some instances this means our agent has to hover around the boathouse in case the said anglers turn up wasting their own time.
Photo 02 - up until this year we could have held our AGMs in there!
What we are now implementing is the following. You phone and book your boat, that booking will remain live for 30 minutes. After that 30 minutes has passed your boat will be given to any other angler seeking to book a boat. Now this will not apply if you phone and let us know when you will arrive if you expect you are going to be late.
What anglers need to know is that our agents are part time and they cannot hang around indefinitely.
It is the height of disrespect to saunter in a couple of hours late as if nothing has happened. It is simply common courtesy to let us know if you are going to be late. So if you are intending booking a boat please follow the above guidelines!
Photo 03 - Looking down at the new boat!
Well today we acquired a new boat that was given to us free of charge thanks to our good friend Mike Christie. Yes Les and Alec delivered here right up to the boathouse on a trailer kindly supplied by ex Bowerhope tenant Ronnie Hook. She is a lump at over 15ft and much wider than our Lomond boats. Les, Stevie, Jenny, Alec, Les R and me were on hand to manhandle her down the banking and along the front of the boathouse where she now rests.
She is an unwieldy brute no doubt about it but we got there in the end. So she sits looking rather forlorn in front of the boathouse looking on to the loch she might one day sit upon, the question we now need to address is what to do with her! She is an elderly creature but could soon be rejuvenated and put on the water.
Overall she looks to be in reasonable condition with a couple of previous repairs evident. There is a small hole along the centre rib which could be sorted easily. She would need an extensive rubdown and repaint with hardwood strapping being replaced along the sides. Mike has suggested thick walled gas pipe the plastic type for the underwater central rib and along the top sides of the boat held in by stainless screws. If we could get this to work it would be a very durable solution! We would also need to make some seating.
It looks as though at some point conversion to a wet keel had been considered as a false floor is fitted across three quarters of the bottom of the boat. If we chose to complete this work we would need to ensure that the fibre glassing was at least 4 ply and we would need to carry this out all along the false floor joins (since we do not know the status of this work) to make sure it was of a robust construction.
The beauty of such a conversion would improve the handling by filling the under floor areas with water giving increased stability the same system employed on our Lomond boats This of course would require significant outlay in fibre glass materials not to mention time. It’s a usable boat and I think there are 3 options.
(1) Carry out safety work making the boat sea worthy with minimal cosmetic work and use her as an unpowered freight barge for carting materials.
(2) Carry out safety work with more cosmetic work and construct oar pillars possibly mooring her as a backup boat.
(3) As above but proceed to constructing oar pillars, wet keel better seating work on the rim and moor her as an everyday spacious boat.
Now of course there are endless combinations of what we could do so if you are near the boathouse nip down and have a look at her and let us know your thoughts.
The wider world in my view!
Not as bad as some might think!
I was a member for nearly twenty years, I hoped for a better fairer society where the greed culture bestowed by Butcher Thatcher would be brushed aside! That day has not yet come! The Labour party beloved of socialists has degenerated firstly into a centrist Lib/Dem amalgam with Tony Blair then into the tired dinosaur that now confronts us on a daily basis!
The vile Tory party with their ill thought out policies should be on its knees instead because of non existent opposition they are miles ahead in the opinion polls. Bungling on a scale never seen hitherto should have seen the Tories confined to eternal opposition yet they are supreme! It’s an odd state of affairs wholly caused by Jeremy Corbyn and his band of minions bathed in 1970s extremism who now have a stranglehold on the Labour movement!
Poll after poll places Corbyn on a new low with new records being set on a daily basis for the most mistrusted leader of a political party! The party seems very reluctant to pay any heed to what the country is saying and for this they will again pay a heavy price! In fact this morning Corbyn has already blew it for Labour when he did not seem to know what his party's stance on nuclear missiles was, so it's all over already! I read with complete frustration the party denials that polls do not present the true picture and that a miraculous turnaround will take place come election time! The Milliband episode is still ringing in my ears!
The Labour party as we have known it will cease to exist after what will have been an electoral disaster for the Labour movement. The party will split with the larger faction being a Lib/Dem type party and the smaller a communist orientated extremist and unelectable party! On a national basis the election is lost to all but the Tories
This of course is a tragedy for any that seeks fairness and equity in a society but as I have said often there is a get out clause for us Scots and that is abandon the sinking ship that is the United Kingdom! It is almost certain that the SNP will be again elected as the biggest party by far! Oh they may lose a couple of seats in the Borders and Dumfries to the Tories but the mandate for a referendum is still there and there will still be a majority in Holyrood for independence. Because the SNP will be the biggest party in Holyrood they will have a mandate and if they get more than 50% in the election that mandate will be written in stone!
It’s an opportunity to break free from the Westminster chaos and lay the foundations of a new way forward! In addition we would be back with our European neighbours working with them as opposed to being a little Britain struggling for a trade deal with whoever we could get and on their terms! this could take place in mid 2020 by which time the rest of the UK will be languishing out on their tod! The election at first might seem like a disaster for people who care about others but for us forward looking Scots it’s a tremendous opportunity to ditch the vile incompetent Tories and move towards a fair and caring society! The election will be a disaster for the English, Irish and Welsh but for us Scots it might not be as bad as we think!