One of the things that had long been an issue for our slipway users was the lack of somewhere convenient to get into and out of smaller vessels.
Well, we’re delighted to announce that it’s no longer a problem! Now that the slipway area has been properly cleared, we have been able to put in a 9m x 1.5m floating pontoon, which will make things much easier for people launching or recovering their small boats, canoes, kayaks, etc.
For those of you interested in the technical side, the pontoon system is RotoDock, an extremely robust, stable, non-slip platform. And we’d like to thank Wardle Marine Services for their very efficient service in supplying and installing the pontoon for us – great job.
It’s been a year since we hosted the Steam Boat Association rally here at Lechlade, when eleven beautiful steamboats of different ages, shapes and sizes were launched on the slipway and moored with us.
We were asked to choose the winner of the Thames Cup and decided that the best way to avoid showing favouritism was to delegate that responsibility to our five year-old son. He was delighted and picked ‘Zara Finn’ as the boat that he most wanted to go on…a boat that actually belongs to the SBA Chair and his wife! They very kindly gave Hugo (and Ian) a ride down the river to Ye Old Swan pub at Radcot, with Hugo steering the boat some of the way.
Ian finally had the opportunity to present the award to Kevin and Gillie Slater at the SBA AGM this March, a review of which appears in the latest issue of The Funnel magazine (Summer 2020).
Slip into the river at Lechlade…
While all our moorings are currently taken, anyone is very welcome to use our slipway to access the Thames. And our secure, on-site parking means you can leave your vehicle here and cruise the river for however long you want. We charge just £20 for the use of the slipway and one day’s parking; £5 a day for parking thereafter.
So, as the Coronavirus lockdown restrictions lift and river use returns, we look forward to welcoming more of you to the marina.
Although booking is not absolutely necessary, it is helpful if you can give us notice. Call us on 07889 070 623, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the online contact form.
At the end of January, the 13th annual Fairford & Lechlade Business Club Awards were held at Sudbury House Hotel in Faringdon. Although we weren’t able to be there on the night, we were thrilled that Ian won the Howard Dowler Award, which is a special award made by the Chair to the person or business that has made an outstanding contribution to the local community.
Helen Webb, the FLBC Chair, presented the award to Ian at an ordinary meeting of the Club and had some very nice words to say:
“When Ian and Jules joined the Business Club two years ago, they were still in the process of buying Lechlade Marina and drove from Northampton to regularly attend meetings to get to know the local community. Since purchasing the Marina, Ian has transformed it from the previously unloved state to a going concern which offers a great place to moor a boat. I am sure he will say there is still a lot to do, but he has made a significant difference to those that moor their boats, many of whom live there.
He has not only brought a much-needed breath of fresh air to the Marina, but also to the community, joining the Steering Group for the Business Club, the River User Group for the Upper Thames and is current Secretary of that group as well as sitting on the Lechlade Town Council. In a short space of time, he has made a positive contribution to the local area and community. From a personal perspective, he offers valuable insights at our meetings and is also a thoroughly nice chap!”
It’s lovely to have this recognition of all Ian’s hard work and of the commitment he’s made to the area since we moved here, and we very much appreciate the FLBC’s support.
On 31st January, we finally completed the mammoth task of replacing the entire electricity and water supply around the marina, which we’d begun in September last year. The services hadn’t been upgraded since the marina opened in the early ‘80s and were really no longer adequate for the needs of our moorers. (And Ian was getting very bored of multiple daily visits to the main fuse board every time the circuit breaker tripped!)
This was a huge undertaking, as trenches had to be dug across the whole site – many by hand because of the location. That presented a challenge in itself: finding contractors who are prepared to hand-dig is not easy. Once we’d got a new electricity supply for the site, 800m of cables and water pipes were laid in the trenches and smart new bollards were installed by the moorings. We have to say, Stuart Baines from RMCS did a superb job of project-managing the installation of the bollards and we’d highly recommend his services.
At the same time as this work was going on, we put in new SOS stations and replaced many of the wooden landing stages, as well as doing a lot of general tidying up. So, although there are still a few jobs on the list that we made when we arrived at the marina, we’re getting there!
One of the most important jobs on the very long list we made when we took over the marina was refurbishing the bridge to the island. A general lack of maintenance over the years since it was first built in the early ‘90s had been further compounded by mild damage suffered when a boat underneath it caught fire!
So, as well as giving it a much-needed aesthetic facelift, we wanted to make sure the whole bridge structure was fully compliant with current Health & Safety standards and providing proper services to the island moorings.
Over a period of two weeks, we reinforced the structure, painted it, replaced all the stair treads and walkway deck with an anti-slip surface and put up safety guards. We also had a cable tray fitted to support the new insulated water pipe and mains electricity cable.
And we’re very pleased with it. The only downside, as our son pointed out, is that he can no longer play ‘Pooh sticks’ from the top. More outings to Halfpenny Bridge have been promised!