Monday, 20 May 2019

It was on a Monday Tuesday and Wednesday the White Van Came to Call

Its getting very close to Thames Raid time again. 

Organising this year's adventure has been seriously hampered by the demise of the Beale Park Boat Show. Regular readers will know that it has been our custom to leave our vehicles and trailers in the Beal Park Car Park where they waited patiently for our arrival heralded by wandering Jazz Bands and the deafening cheers of the crowd. 


We asked Beale Park politely if they would let us use their car park, and maybe even the slipway so that we could enjoy our tenth anniversary cruise in the usual way, but they needed all their space for the hoards who would be descending during the Bank Holiday and School Half Term and politely said no.

 We have also previously left a vehicle or two at The Trout, our embarkation point, either because the minibus had let us down or some other minor catastrophe had befallen us.
This year The Trout said sorry but no, as they need all the space they can get for their world famous Tractor and Steam Engine Fair at the end of the week. 

Well Bugger.

It finally dawned on us that as our trip is no longer tied to Beale Park Boat Show there is no need to have it starting on a Bank Holiday weekend preceding a half term holiday. But leave had been booked, arrangements made, words cut in tablets of stone etc.
We have finally settled on a cunning plan which I'll only divulge once it has been successful,
I don't want to tempt fate, but I can tell you that more catastrophes have befallen our members resulting in one cancellation and one very close near miss.


The purchase of Van Rouge has meant a change of strategy for transporting Katie Beardie. Previously she travelled on the roof of the Volvo, but she is a big hefty girl and there is no way she's going on the pop-top. 
I figured out that I could modify the Heron's trailer to take her. 

The first issue was tyres. I knew they were a bit bald and probably not legal when I bought it and the prospect of a fairly long motorway drive, and the risk of punctures, prosecution or both meant I needed to get some new ones.  

Now it's a fact of life that it is cheaper to buy tyres on the wheel than it is to have them fitted. Go figure, but anyroad I now have two shiny new wheels, and two more old ones to add to my collection. 

I then dropped the Heron's launch trolley  off the road base to start the conversion and discovered that one of its wheels had a puncture.
 I've had problems with these things before and remember one summer at Cobnor when a couple of people had blowouts due to the heat so I decided to bite the bullet and get myself some foam-filled puncture-proof wheels which I managed to track down on e-bay at a reasonable price.

Right, now that was sorted I needed to pull Katie out from her lair down the side of the house and do some measuring. 
She seemed a bit reluctant to move, and when I got her out I noticed she was listing to starboard.
Have we guessed yet children? 

One of the tyres on her little trolley was totally flat. 
I wasn't speechless, in fact I found several good Anglo-Saxon words to express my frustration. 
 I actually had a go at mending the puncture.I got the tyre off the rim OK and found the hole in the inner tube which was rapidly patched with the bicycle repair kit but getting the tyre back on the rim was another matter altogether, and when I eventually succeeded and pumped it up...………………….I could hear the gentle hiss of the air escaping back where it had come from. 

I now know exactly how far a half inflated trolley wheel will bounce when you throw it against a brick wall. Quite far, you need to step out of the way on the rebound. 

So, back on e-bay again to find two foam-filled puncture-proof wheels for the canoe trolley.

Now, what was it I was wanting to do? 

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