Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Gay Grebe, River Nene 1974

Gay Grebe
River Nene

You would have to be a brave soul to call a business "Gay Enterprise" these days.

We hired Gay Grebe from Gay Enterprise of Oundle Marine in the days when gay meant nothing more than happy. It's amazing how words can change their meaning in such a short space of time.

 Gay Grebe 1974

This was our second successive Fenland trip, this time covering the length of the River Nene, but never venturing into the Middle Levels. To be honest, I can't remember many details of this trip but I am thankful for the few photos that survive, revealing a rapidly maturing Capt Ahab. I seem to have grown no end between 12 and 13, but by the age of 15 I was well over 6ft so I guess that it comes as little surprise. Gone are the short back and sides administered by my father in an come the longer locks which were so fashionable in the era of glam rock and all that. Whilst my hair looks long I distinctly remember it being far shorter than that worn by all my friends and feeling 'square'.

Still a heavy old job

It is apparent that I was again assigned the role of chief lock winder, and task which was as wearysome as the previous year, with all those manually operated guillotine gates.

 No weed hatches on this river boat

It is also apparent that even as such a young age I was becoming edept as a spot of prop clearing - good practice for the BCN in later life!

I remember those Oxford Bags!

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