Saturday, 23 August 2008

Happy to help

A couple of weeks back this blog got an email:
Hi Chris,
My name is Neville Murray, I am from the Burnham on Crouch lifeboat crew (RNLI).
We have a Montagu Whaler which we are rowing from Poole to Burnham next year, and this year we are just doing some small races including the Great River Race.
The question I have for you is do you know where I can get some oars for it, as the ones for this boat have gone missing.
Hope to hear from you soon.
That seemed like a jolly good cause, so I forwarded the message to all the owners of Montagu Whalers I know (both of them). Dick Wynne of London Whalers came up trumps:
Hi Chris & Neville,
A worthy cause, and the 2nd new MW project on the EC I have heard of this week! The other being Adrian's on Sheppey. Unfortunately I dare not part with my long spares as we are out once or twice weekly on the East End canals, the breakage risk is a lot higher there than on more open water, and the repair cost and lead-time are very high. I do have 10 virtually new 12ft Admiralty oars (for double-banked whaling which we no longer do in the MW) but can't afford to give them away, intend to sell them for around £400 or £50 each as yacht sweeps, for which they are ideal. This is a fraction of their original cost I hardly need add.
Neville, I would try the Sea Cadets - I recently bought a bunch of oars from the Victoria Dock SC station, they had somehow lost their whaler. There could be other stashes around the country. If you & your crew would like a London workout sometime, a weekday evening on the canal, or on the river at a weekend, get in touch. My Montagu Whaler can be seen at
My boat was fastest MW in last years GRR, and I am sure the fact she was the only MW does not detract. Looks like she will have competition this year then!
Probably time someone formed a whaler association, the whaler in all its forms is the ideal communal sail/oar boat, as I like to bang on. We seem to have a quorum on the Thames from Henley via Limehouse to Burnham & Sheppey ... we should all gather somewhere sometime.
Neville bought the Admiralty oars and got a result!
Hi to one and all
I would like to say a big thanks to Chris and Dick for all the help getting the oars for the race Sunday (we did win) it was a real team effort - let's not leave it too long before we all meet up for a row BBQ and beer.
Many thanks from all at Burnham lifeboat station

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