No place for yachtsmen
I came across a peculiar case of landlubberist harbour councillorship on Easter Sunday when overnighting in the ancient port of King’s Lynn, Norfolk. While chatting with a harbourside official about the facilities available for the visiting yachtsman in the sleepy port which once witnessed King John scoffing toasted peacock sandwiches, I was subjected to a tirade of abuse.
‘The effing councillors here haven’t got an effing clue about the water,’ my advisor proffered. ‘There’s a lock here which has gates that only an effing crane can lift out. So it means it’s empty all the time – the only thing in it are effing shopping trollies and take-away food boxes.’
I later went and checked and it’s true to say the ‘lock’ gate at Purfleet Dock is a single barrier which drops down through slots and could not be ‘opened’ except with heavy plant lifting it from above.
‘The daft thing is we’ve got the widest channel in the effing Wash here – you could actually sail up or down it, but because there’s nowhere to effing go all the yachts gather instead at Fosdyke – which is no more than an effing ditch,’ my guide continued.
‘Every year I get Dutch yachts wanting to visit but I have to send them away to effing Wisbech,’ my oathsome friend continued. ‘As for the public slipway, they effing well blocked it off after a Jet-ski was launched there and complaints were made about the noise.’ My guide suggested this had nothing to do with a judge whose dwelling is apparently within range of the now closed public slipway.