The Annual General Meeting of the Club was held on Friday 7th November at the Greenwood Centre in Hampton Hill. Starting promptly at 7:30pm under the chairmanship of Andrew Wallace and with other members of the committee and club numbering about thirty, the minutes of the previous meeting were accepted… read the full report from the link on the members page
Saturday 8th November 2014
5 kayakers and 2 canoeists took to the tranquil waters of the Grand Union canal, paddling under leaden skies from the Grand Junction arms near Bulls bridge and the start of the Paddington branch of the canal up to Uxbridge lock with a brief stop at the bistro at Cowley lock. The canoeists (Ivy and Bernard) did not feel that 13 miles was far enough so tacked on an extra 12 miles to paddle from their home to join the trip and back again! Full trip report now available from the trip reports page.
We parked the car not far from the Grand Junction Arms in Southall, put the canoe onto the water and paddled towards Brentford. October 31st Halloween and Richard and I find ourselves back on the Grand Union Canal.
It’s promising to be another lovely day as a pleasant but uneventful start to our journey brings us to the Norwood Top Lock, which is manned by a couple of likeable and chatty lock keepers, volunteers of course. After a quick chat we haul the canoe round the Lock and under the bridge and realise the water on the other side is so low that we are never going to be able to get back into the canoe at this point… read Peter’s full account here.
It would be unrealistic to expect fair weather for paddling at the fag end of October and any trip taken at that time could only be regarded as summer’s swansong. But since the club has a history of inspecting nature’s artwork at this time of year, and that the whole of the preceding week’s weather forecasts for Saturday had promised unrelenting sunshine with light, balmy breezes, it was really a trip not to be missed.
Seven of us, Jenny, Amanda, Stuart, Andy, Mark and Dave under the leadership of Phil packed our drybags and headed off from Bell Hill to Boulter’s lock on the Thames just upstream from Maidenhead, to paddle upstream to Marlow, taking in the Autumn sights and breezes. We were away for an early but punctual start at 9.00am and arrived at Boulter’s car park and were unloading 45 minutes later….. read Dave’s full report from the link on the Trip Reports page
Sunday 19 October 2014
On a beautiful day with a strong southerly breeze and a good flow, we launched kayaks to explore the Wey, heading south along the navigation through Walsham Gates and Newark Lock. Half a mile after Newark Lock and 35 minutes into the paddle we turned west, leaving the navigation (the Broadmead Cut, here) for the backwaters of the old river.
What did we know? That if we paddled for a couple of miles or so we’d get to an old factory straddling the river, where we could portage across a field and launch again, dodging a weir and in the blink of an eye, make the navigation once more to make a fine round trip.
What we didn’t know was that the river, rural, remote and fast-flowing, had other plans. After 45 minutes of great paddling and threading the boats through fallen branches we came up against a small wood that had upped itself and now lay like a sleeping dog across our path. With no chance of landing or portage we turned our noses to the flow and with a strengthening wind shot back the way we’d come… read Stephens full report from the link on the trip reports page.
The annual regatta was held on Saturday 27th September from the bank opposite the clubhouse at Hurst Park. We were blessed with August weather in September, warm sun and a very gentle breeze. Fourteen members arrived armed with spare clothes and lots of enthusiasm. Boats were paddled across to the Molesey bank and then the races began, you can see more photos here and a complete write up will appear in the Autumn Westward which will be published early next week.
Wednesday evenings paddles, are still going ahead, Make sure you have lights on your boat and you could enjoy sunsets like this! The club is buying 5 sets of lights (a white light needs to be displayed fore and aft after sunset) so these will be available for club members to use. (or bring your own) Strap them to your boat with some gaffer tape.
Life is like a bowl of chocolates you never know what ‘you’re gonna get‘.
The same could be said for The Grand Union Canal. Tuesday morning Peter and myself collected the canoe from Bell Hill and headed back to Southall Common to paddle the next stretch of canal. Travelling through the rush hour traffic made all the more easy knowing we were off to a far better place than our fellow drivers… read Richard’s full report here.