Here is an invitation from the Society’s Senior Lengthsman, Mike Gordon, to anybody who would be interested in crewing the BCA patrol boat on trips at weekends and during the week. The boat (right) was completed restored by the Society engineering team in 2015, so it could be returned to job for which it was originally acquired many years ago, that is, to patrol the Canal. Ed.
The Patrol Boat presented by the Society to the BCA is a step closer to being put into service. The hope is to have it out on the water regularly from the beginning of June.
As a start point, it could go out from the canal centre on three trips every Saturday and Sunday at say 10.00, 14.00 and 18.00 with mid-week evening trips as well. Each trip will be a leisurely affair with plenty of stopping to observe, communicate and interact with other canal users and residents.
It requires a skipper and a minimum of one volunteer crew. Both will be able to bid for trips via an email published rota although it is not absolutely essential to stick to a timetable and trips could easily be tailored to suite the availability of volunteers and could be mixed up somewhat for a bit of fun to suit yourselves.
The patrol boat presence is hoped to be an effective deterrent in the fight against vandalism and anti-social behaviour as well as a comforting sign that the canal is being actively ‘policed’. It is therefore vital that it patrols as much of the canal as possible. We will need to do quite a few transit trips to get it to various far flung outpost in the hinterland of Hampshire and darkest Surrey. Transport logistics will be a consideration.
It is essential that all skippers and crew speak with one voice and approach the public in a unified and consistent agreed manner. We will be representing both the Authority and Society so it must be done correctly. To this end you are being invited to a short induction evening to clarify things and also give your input and views on this exciting new development on Wednesday May 25th at 18.00 at the canal centre, for no longer than two hours, probably under one hour with a Q & A session to end.
There will also be a limited chance to take a short trip on the patrol boat before hand from 16.00. The very limited spaces must be pre-booked.
Kindly R.S.V.P. if you are interested and can come along. If you would like a trip please indicate 1600, 1630, 1700, 1730.
Hope to hear from you soon,