THE terrible flooding, which has followed days of heavy rain, has caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage to home and businesses in our area and there has much coverage elsewhere in this newspaper about the impact on the lives of local residents.
What concerns me is that the unprecedented heavy rain has shot full of holes the Environment Agency’s assertion that the Thames is a ‘slow-reacting’ river.
That, if you remember, was one of the main arguments used as a reason not to have resident lock-keepers at Chertsey and Sunbury locks.
And I do accept that even if there had been lock-keepers living on site, they may not have been able to prevent the flooding around Chertsey, Sunbury, and Shepperton. But at least they might have been able to reduce the impact by controlling the weir sluices more quickly.
I do have some sympathy for the EA but let’s face it, it is our homes that are at risk and if the EA needs more resources to prevent further flooding like this then they need to demand it of central government right now.
ONE side effect of the extreme river conditions has been the final demise of the old boat that I’ve written about before moored opposite Platts Eyot. Regular readers may remember that she was mysteriously moved across the river from Port Hampton after I mentioned her but the current conditions have proved too much for her.
Reader David Bentley sent me this photo of the poor old girl on her side and obviously beyond saving as the floodwaters overtook her. A very sad end for what must have been a lovely boat in her heyday.
LAST week, I published a poem written by the very talented Tim Carter, a member of Weybridge Sailing Club, singing the praises of his club and its members and mentioning in passing that there was another fine sailing club just down the river.
He was, of course, referring to my friends at Desborough Sailing Club and their vice-commodore, Ross Archer, not to be outdone on the poetry front, put pen to paper and sent me the resulting ditty, which goes as follows:
Upon a bend at Shepperton
There is a sailing club
Twixt Walton town and Ferry Lane
Right opposite the pub
It’s been there just as long I think
As I’ve been on this earth
This makes it sixty-five years old
Most of them filled with mirth
The members come the members go
Their overriding joy
To race their boats both up and down
And try to round that buoy
The social scene is vibrant too
With dinner, dance and drinking
The bar is open day and night
Too long for some I’m thinking
At present though the clubhouse sits
Surrounded by a lake
The water’s deep the place a mess
Enough for goodness sake
But as we start another year
And contemplate the season
Just think about the common thread
It’s sailing, that’s the reason
Let’s hope the crews will have fair wind
In Laser, Moth or “Tub”
Just raise your glass and drink a toast
To Desborough Sailing Club
Top man Ross – this is a great response to Tim’s poem – and it just shows that we’ve got a wealth of great clubs in our area who operate in an atmosphere of friendly rivalry.
Anyone else feeling poetic?
Contact me at mort.smith [at] trinitymirror.com