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Musing 2016


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Thought I would remember one of my many visits to Reedham this year. Nothing remarkable, just a normal day at Reedham.





Reedham sweltered under the midday sun, the tide was running swiftly through the rickety rackety bridge. An enormous diesel engine, like something out of an American film ventured in trepidation onto the bridge. Slowly, nervously, like a frightened monolith. Behind was a single carriage, old and shabby. Behind that was another engine, the others twin, just as noisy, just as dirty. They looked as if they could pull a train a mile long. As it was only a single carriage in the middle it all looked somewhat incongruous. It made the journey several times a day from Norwich to Lowestoft and nobody could ever remember seeing a passenger on the little carriage, but it persevered. The engines, the carriage, the bridge rattled in unison as if to frighten a troll, fol-dee-rol, a troll, fol-dee-rol.

After a few minutes of the train passing the sign on the bridge informed all the intrepid boaters that in five minutes the bridge would open. It would swing. It never swung straight away. Nobody knows why, a piece of theatre for the tourists some would say.
At last with lots of creaking and groaning the mighty bridge began to swing. The whole thing defied any law of physics or probability and surprised us all once again of achieving what seemed an impossibility.

As if a metal curtain had been drawn, a magnificent motor cruiser appeared framed in the aperture vacated by the bridge as it commenced its voyage up the river Yare. On the flying bridge stood the owner, a captain of industry, resplendent in a multi coloured Hawaiian shirt and pink designer shorts.

Behind sat three blond ladies with golden tresses gently caressed by a cooling breeze. As if to compliment the picture a bottle of Veuve Cliquot with cut glass flutes was on the table before them, its distinctive yellow label chosen in part to impress. 

At the bow of the boat was a young, tanned Greek God, shirt suitably adjusted to display an impressive physique and of course the obligatory gold chain and medallion.

By this time it was apparent that the boat was going to moor, much to the delight of the holiday makers, who, having just received a trial run from Darren were trying to recover from the realisation that Darren had never moored at Reedham.

With its imposing aerials which festooned the bridge, disks which revolved, flags of many yacht clubs (none of which meant anything to anybody) Designer Shorts was starting his approach. It was not a radar approach, but he turned it on anyway. Another disk to twirl away.

From the bank it looked like an impresario playing a mighty Wurlitzer. With bow thrusters and stern thrusters competing with each other, together with the controls of the two engines being alternately put into forward and reverse there was a thrust thrust here, a thrust thrust there, here a thrust, there a thrust, every where a thrust thrust. The craft despite opposing forces gradually reached closer and closer to the quayside.

At BA Reedham Headquarters, a wooden hut on the bank, Ranger Paddy Lone observed the proceedings and decided that his presence was required. With the regulation blue Tilley hat at an authoritative angle he proceeded towards the visitor.

On board, the Greek God had selected the bow rope and nonchalantly threw it to the ranger who in turn placed the rope of his left shoulder and proceeded briskly to the last vacant post before the yellow Richardson's bath tub. The rope trailed behind him ready for the boat to be pulled close to avoid an unnecessary gap between boats.

 Before the ranger had turned round to check progress an old boy on the seat overlooking the river said

 " You int got narthen on that bit a rope that hev cum orf"

Ranger Loan looked round and indeed he was right. Mindfull of the fact that it had never been on in the first place. The boat was adrift. The three women at the back were in the brace position, Designer Shorts was in the crouch and the Greek God was at the stern holding a different rope, disorientated, as well he might with the stern pointing across the other side of the river.
The Ranger gathered his composure and directed the young man.
"Get up the front end and I'll throw the rope, tie it off on the cleat"
God's gift to boating scampered along the deck like a puppy easy to please, Designer Shorts started to shout instructions something about the stern. An old boy on the seat provided on the bank shouted back.

"Stop yer holler, we hev gotta do the front fust”

The bow was made fast albeit the length of the mooring rope was far too long but could be adjusted later. The stern by this time was further out than ever.
"Give it a nudge with your stern thrusters”                                                                                                                                                   “no not that one the other one"
A semblance of order had been restored. The boat was successfully moored.

The penal colony of ducks originally from Rockland Broad contemplated their fate as to why they had been banished to Reedham. The holiday makers took solace in that it was not always them.

Reedham returned to normality………………………for a brief time.



Old Wussername


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