Herbie’s cants and handrails are painted in Blakes / Hempel Bordeaux Red. I like it, bright but not garish. I’ve been prepping the handrails for repainting and popped into Wharf House at Braunston for some pink undercoat. When I mentioned what the top coat was to be, the lady there remarked that the rotten people at Hempel had discontinued the colour. The rats. Luckily I still have a fair bit lefti n old tins but it won’t last forever so I cast my mind around for anyone who might still have stock of the stuff. Aah yes, High Line Yachting down the dear old Sluff Arm. They use to sell it and they don’t turn over too much paint stock so they might still have a tin or two.
Well on Saturday we happened to be in Windsor, so it was a short detour over to HLY at Iver, and sure enough they had two tins of Bordeaux Red which I snapped up. While we were chatting to John Bolsom, obergruppenfuhrer of HLY I enquired what the weed situation was down the arm. “Don’t get me started,” he started, and proceeded to explain that they were weed free down their bit and all the way on into Sluff ‘cos CRT had dredged the canal down that end. “ But that’s not the end that needed dredging” quoth I. “Exactly” quoth he, “I’ve been telling them that but they don’t listen.”
John is indeed right to be upset, and so am I. True the arm needed dredging all the way along, but as funds were only available to do half of it, why did they dredge the bit where no one goes, worse still, the bit that no-one can reach because they have to pass first through the undredged bit. I despair. According to John, the cost of the operation was nigh on a million smackers (I can’t verify that) partly because all the spoil (probably hazardous waste) had to be carted by lorry up to Peterborough for disposal. I fear the end of the arm which joins the Grand Onion is probably still heavily infested with floating pennywort. It was last time I looked.