I am sad to have to report that my father Geoffrey Hall died peacefully in his sleep on Boxing day, he was ninety years old. He had been suffering from a bad infection, and was not really recovering.
Geoffrey was a Scout in the 14th Richmond Sea Scouts during the war years, his three other brothers were in the services ( Gordon, Peter and Kenneth). My father was always a strong supporter of the 14th , and eventually became Group Chairman for a number of years. He continued to support the Group as it transitioned from a Scout Group to the Boating Centre, and attended almost all the Christmas breakfast reunions right up to a few years ago when he became too frail, but he still was always asking about how things were going in the group.
Trevor Hall – Manager of the 14th Richmond Scout Boating Centre
On Tuesday the 22nd, Someone reported one of our boats in trouble on the moorings, Mark Edwards and one of his boys popped over the river in Robin Arundel, and found Hercules (our Home Counties Gig) awash, and seriously straining the mooring chains. The river was running at over 200cumecs … pretty fast. Mark part bailed the boat and patched a leak in the centreboard casing
I went down Wednesday morning before high water, and between us, finished bailing the boat, properly fixed the cover and returned to the moorings.
We were Socially distanced by taking two boats, Robin Arundel and Robin Rescue.
All a bit exciting given the river conditions, but all safe and sound again.
This shows the great spirit of cooperation and help on our bit of the river. – Thanks Mark and team.
all the best
P.S. I made a toddler’s day on the river front by sitting in the boat arch still in all my (red) waterproofs and black boating boots. With my new beard, the little boy mistook me for Santa…as he walked by ……I dutifully said “Merry Christmas Ho Ho Ho!” …. Mark played the part of the Christmas elf 😉
As mentioned in my last post, I intended to keep the tradition going albeit with a smaller guest list…. in this case only my household ….So we packed everything up and got down to the HQ early(ish) today, the Sunday before Christmas… And followed all the HQ Covid rules 🙂
Our Special guest this year was Prancer, with Santa’s kind permission. Breakfast went off well, not many speeches, and a small matter of five and a half dozen eggs in the raffle.
During the morning I received a number of photos from 14th Richmond members and supporters, showing their own personal Christmas Breakfast.
Although my last rather depressing post indicated that I could not run the Christmas Breakfast this year, which would have destroyed an almost 90 year continuous run, the Group even met during the second world war, and also while still building the old HQ.
But… my wife had a brilliant idea, everyone could have a 14th style breakfast fry-up at home, photo the results and send them to me. I could the create an on-line collage/gallery to show the Breakfast still took place.
I plan to go down to the HQ and raise the flag on the day (photo will be provided) and you will be glad that my annual report would have been strangely empty this year… so nothing missed there! So please join in and have your own 14th Richmond Christmas Breakfast at home on the Sunday before Christmas. 9:30-10am start and don’t forget your irons.
Send me a picture on BoatingCentre@RichmondScouts.org.uk
And for reference the menu is below (with translation)… though feel free to add your own twist or interpretation.
All the best Trevor
Leaky coracle with port light – Grapefruit or melon with red cherry
Sadly there is no way we can run the Christmas Breakfast reunion this year – first time in almost 90 years 🙁 This would have been the 89th Breakfast, and the beginning of the 14th Richmond Centenary year. Hopefully we can make up for this in 2021.
I wish all our supporters a Wonderful Christmas and All the best for 2021 Trevor
Sad news, one of the great characters on our stretch of the river (Horse Reach) has passed.
Francis Spencer owned and ran Hammertons Ferry which crosses the river at Marble Hill Park.
Francis was a great friend of the 14th Richmond Boating Centre and would always give us a cheery wave as we navigated Jubilant or other boats past the ferry, perfectly understanding that we had novice crews and therefore with limited manoeuvrability. Francis also was game to offer his experience when moving or towing boats down river.
I was worried that we could not inspect the moorings again this year, in 2019 the river flow did not drop much below 150cumecs, and the level even during the draw off remained high, this year we had similar conditions, however on the last weekend of the draw off, the flow rate finally dropped marginally below 100cumecs. The river level dropped significantly, but still about a foot of water over our moorings.
I thought… Good enough!… and with Colin’s help checked out the chains and put four new ground anchors into the river bed and laid about 30m of new chain, and untangled one of the pendulum risers.
Was very pleased to have done this, although it was pretty chilly wading in the river in November and the riverbed is very tough (old concretions of mussel shells) to screw the ground anchors in.
Colin and I rechecked the moorings the following weekend, at high tide, and everything seems to be in the right place, and solid. So good for another few years. We still have a couple of new mooring buoy risers to put into place, and have ropes looping the ground chains ready to fit when I get a new supply of chain.
Overall a satisfying job, and thank you to Colin for the support and the photos.
While doing my weekly HQ and moorings check, I decided to have a mini Remembrance Day event on my own.
Remembering …. my Uncle, Gordon Hall, who was an aircraft navigator and died in Italy aged 19. He was one of four boys, with Peter (spitfire pilot) Kenneth (Army logistics) and Geoff (my father) . Gordon was also a Leader in the 14th Richmond Sea Scouts, the training centre I am now proud to run, his name is on the wooden plaque in the HQ.. We have a Thames Watermans Cutter named after him.
We had another visit from a great team from the Good Gym who completed sanding (flatting) the Boat Arch doors, and applying a second coat of teak oil. So now looking as good as new and ready for the winter. I cannot thank them enough, I have been wanting to get this done for over 6 months now 🙂
On another note, the rules for activities under government advice for COVID-19 are continually being adjusted. Our latest Risk Assesments (registered wit he Scouts) are on our Important Documents page.
Finally the annual Richmond Lock “Draw Off” will be
be Monday 9th November to Friday 27th November (see PLA notice)
I will need some help inspecting and maybe re-laying the Scout mooring chains assuming the river does not flood again.