The annual task of lifting most of our fibreglass boats out of the water ahead of winter has now been successfully completed. This measure removes the chance of damage to the fibreglass if the water were to freeze, and storing the boats on land for a few months gives the owners the opportunity to re-apply anti-fouling paint to the hull – something most do every one or two years.
As a result of restrictions on activity due to Covid-19, a number of our moorers had taken the decision not to return their boats to the water this spring so we only had around half as big a job as last year. The heavy lifting was taken care of brilliantly by Barry Tuckey and his team from MJT Crane Hire Ltd, helped by the boat owners and volunteers from among our other moorers.
Over the winter we’ll be taking care of the various ongoing maintenance jobs around the marina. Then hopefully we’ll be in a position to get all 14 of our now-landbound boats back in the water around March 2021 and can return to our usual full-capacity business.
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.
As we celebrate two years since we bought the marina, we’ve been reflecting on what’s changed in that time. We knew we were embarking on a restoration project that would take several years to complete, but feel as though we’re now well on the way. We are grateful to all the contractors, neighbours, family, friends and of course the moorers who have helped us along the way.
Looking back at pictures of the site as it was when we acquired it, we're really encouraged to see how much difference the work we’ve done so far has made.
And with lockdown measures hopefully continuing to ease, we look forward to welcoming back our moorers and slipway users over the coming weeks, as they return to enjoy this beautiful part of the Thames.
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.
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.