Although great progress was made on the new berth holder clubroom, unfortunalely injury put Jan Ferber out of action, then glass purchased for the window was damaged by strong winds. Jan is optimistic that work will resume shortly and completion is near.
Clive Evans attended a talk by John Watson on Lots Ait. Apparently it had been a boatyard in the days when there was a lot of commercial traffic on the river and on the canals, and it was was a flourishing repair shop. It seems that when the traffic dropped off with the advent of road transport, the owners just put down their tools locked the door and left. Inevitably, vandals and villains of all sorts began to strip out the steelwork, and nature took over in the usual way.
The Ait was to be part of a housing development scheme, however this failed to get off the ground and the island was handed to the current owners - Hither Green Development. After much wrangling with LB Hounslow they managed to show that since it had always been a boatyard, it was still a boatyard, and they were entitled to restore it to its former glory. As part of the deal, they have fenced off one end of the Ait as a nature reserve.
They found John Watson through a selection process, to run the yard. He came up with the idea of dividing up the main shed into smaller units, which he rents out to other craftsmen of all sorts: woodworkers, boat builders, artists, et al.
There was then a long process of removing all the rubbish, reclaiming the land from the trees, putting in the bridge etc so that boats and materials could reach the into the yard. Considerable progress has been made however, and John Watson now offers all the yard services needed, on our doorstep.
Environment Agency launches Licence Crackdown
A two-day operation on the lower reaches of the non-tidal Thames has seen waterways officers serve 49 boaters with registration enforcement notices. And the Environment Agency has warned the crackdown will continue through the boating season.
Regulations require all boats kept on the Upper Thames, above Teddington, whether they are used or not, to display a valid annual boat registration licence.
Environment Agency officers were joined for the operation by officers from the London Boroughs of Richmond and Kingston Upon Thames. The councils were serving notice to quit upon illegally moored boats near Teddington, several of which appeared to being used as houseboats.
The councils served notices to quit on vessels along the stretch upstream of Teddington with the Met's MPU officers in attendance to prevent a breach of the peace.