surviving floods threats and beers, extract from my book

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by peter radclyffe, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. peter radclyffe
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    A museum had a competition every year to see if anyone could cover their boats with a tarpaulin and paint them with wood preserver, but no one had ever managed it, so all their boats were rotten, a lot of museums employ people who are terrified of change, so they think they are keeping everything as it is, but they are too dumb to realise the things are rotting, and they deny it, because change for them is major trauma, do you think I am being cynical, these are deep observations from decades studying peoples behaviour that I try to present to you as comedy because that is what you want. Ferdi D was not bright enough to realise you can use trolleys on workshop floors, he insisted everybody gave him a hand in a human chain moving coal for the forge, as he had done over a boats gunnel where its hard to use a trolley, he thought he was still at sea, on land, I left him to it, the work is hard enough without idiots making it harder. Kathleen and May had run around with the Irene, fifty years before, but it never happened; we didn’t get the work. There were a few untrained clowns in that yard and none of them appear to have trained as shipwrights. Even though they claimed to be, none of them had ever built a big boat in wood. Mostly bluff and bluster. Some of them knew their stuff but the boss was a chancer. I worked out that he was a rigger. That was his thing. He wasn’t a boatbuilder. We put a new hardwood deck on the Garlandstone, a west country trading ketch, similar to the Millbay I had grown up on. The boss had let the stern of the boat drop away and it looked terrible but he didn’t care; he didn’t know how to keep a boat in shape. We stayed, my girl and I, in a B & B up the road, and I stayed for a while in the little cottages that made up the Morwellham Quay. The idea was the place and the boat were presented like a hundred years ago with busty serving wenches and whinging handymen. I worked with a great guy, Johnny Mills, one of the few people who knew what he was doing who now runs the Falmouth Marine School Boatbuilding, who kindly lent us his car, and my mate Jamie Green, who’d grown up in Brightlingsea next to Wivenhoe. One night we joined a pub quiz as a team. We couldn’t win. The team who won included the wife of the person who set the questions. We weren’t welcome anyway; they only want your money in Cornwall. A lot of them hate the English because years ago Cornwall was not part of England, but you don’t hear the English complaining about the Romans. The overall impression I got from the yard in Gloucester was a bunch of drug addicts who didn’t really care about the work. None of them were trained shipwrights, only the Danish guys who worked there on and off. One night I said to the boss I was glad to work there. He told me to eff off. He said he didn’t care if I was employed or not. What a surprise. So I went to fit out a lighter barge on the Thames for a mate of mine. We left Gloucester and headed for Kerry in Ireland.
     
  2. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Fly on the Wall - Miss ddt yet?

    Interesting post. Interesting vignette.
    Keep them coming.
    Like.
     
  3. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    There are more negative critiques of different people in that passage, than you could poke a stick at. I think maybe one or two got a favourable mention. So Peter, as you thought, you have become too cynical !
     
  4. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Fly on the Wall - Miss ddt yet?

    We live in a time when cynicism can be very apropos.
     
  5. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    What do they say, "trust, but verify". :)
     

  6. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: Quam prospectum!

    hoytedow Fly on the Wall - Miss ddt yet?

    Always cut the deck. ;)
     
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