Living the Dream

It’s been a busy week one way and another and not an entirely happy one as Friday found  me in Derbyshire attending the funeral of an old colleague. I don’t talk about my paid employment on here but suffice to say that I have spent 36 years (so far) doing a job that is useful, stressful, frustrating and sometimes fun all rolled in to one. It is in public service and I have always worked in a team environment where the loss of someone even after some years apart is keenly felt. The man in question had been retired a paltry 5 years. It was however a chance to catch up with some old and now mostly retired colleagues most of whom look remarkably well on it.

I’ve been busy recently on Navigation matters too. There was a meeting with the Coltishall Commons Trust to discuss the embryonic plans for the celebrations in August 2012. This is when we hope that the Wherry Albion and possibly another historic old vessel will come to Coltishall and we will carry a token cargo from Aylsham by canoe. That will meet with the Albion which in turn will have brought a cargo upstream. The first cargoes in 100 years to be carried on the Navigation. I needed the Commons Trust agreement as it would be great if this could be something more than just a Wherry. We can bolt-on other events to draw people and thereby enable a fund raising effort to be launched. Funds would be raised for the new Bure Navigation Conservation Trust, the Albion itself and the Commons Trust to help maintain that lovely space for people to enjoy. There’s still a long way to go but at least we’re on the road. It would be really lovely if some people could come out of the communities of Coltishall and Horstead to help take on the responsability for organising and running this event. If you might be that person don’t hesitate – drop me a line on .

Coltishall - Horstead Bridge after the flood

Those communities actually have something else to mark on the same day, August 26th 2012, as the flood exactly 100 years earlier not only closed the Navigation it also washed out the bridges including the main road one between Horstead and Coltishall. I can only begin to imagine the disruption that caused. This picture graphically illustrates the point; we can see what I think is an inspection party both in the boat and on the opposite bank. This must have been no more than a few days after the flood had subsided – the river still looks high.

I have also been out and about talking to people about the Navigation and our Project. The latest was a wonderful group of children at the marvellous Erpingham Primary School. The thirst for knowledge by children who are keen and taught well is un-ending. This group asked some really good, and rather direct, questions. Having spoken to the WI, a local Rotary and Primary School children I now feel ready for almost anything. The children kindly sent me some pictures and I’m afraid there’s only room to share two with you (below) although they are all lovely and I thank them very much.

For those who are interested in such things this has not been an entirely kitty free blog as somehow she has got on to the table whilst writing this and overturned a pot plant – charming.

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