I’M DELIGHTED to record that Eve Gould from Weybridge Ladies’ Rowing Club celebrated her 86th birthday earlier this month by heading out on the river as the number three in a quad – just as she has done so many times before over the years.
Fellow club member April Harper tells me that next year Eve will have been an active member of Weybridge Ladies for an incredible 60 years – and long may that continue. It’s that kind of continuity and dedication that makes many of the river-based clubs in our area such special groups.
Belated happy birthday Eve, from all at the Herald.
In our photo, the crew is made up from Jessica Nolan in the bow seat, Carole Scobling at two, Eve herself at three and stroke Elaine Green.
I’VE been taken to task by reader Trevor Tarring who responded to my comments about vacuum-powered windscreen wipers on old Ford motor cars in last week’s column.
Trevor says: “Mort Smith’s description of the behaviour of so-called vacuum windscreen wipers is painfully accurate.
“However, I hope no physics student accepts his explanation for the mechanics of the phenomenon. Inlet manifold depression (“vacuum”) is affected by the speed of the engine and the amount the accelerator is open, but more by the latter.
HARD to believe that we’re more than halfway through the year already but that means we’re only a couple of weeks away from the return of one cherished historical tradition – the voyage upriver of the Swan Uppers.
Last year, this ancient practice had to be cancelled for the first time in several centuries because of the appalling river conditions, but it comes back on Monday, July 15 with the traditional swan uppers skiffs pushing off from Sunbury and heading for Abingdon where they expect to arrive five days later on Friday, July 19.
The annual swan census was originally a way of marking ownership of swans at a time when they were considered a delicacy and many ended up gracing the feasting tables of the Royal Family.
Today the primary purpose of the event is conservation. The Swan Uppers work with the Oxford University Zoology Department to monitor the welfare of the birds.
The Queen’s Swan Marker, David Barber, will be aided in his task, as is traditional, by members of the Vintner’s Company and the Worshipful Company of Dyers.
If you want to watch this colourful waterborne procession, here are the approximate times when they will pass through our area. Depart from Sunbury at 9am; Shepperton Lock at 10.45am; Penton Hook Lock 12.30pm and Romney Lock 5.30pm.
DO you have a river-related story you’d like to share? Drop Mort a line at mort.smith [at] trinitymirror.com or call him on 07760 361106.