Harlow Women's Institute

Member of the Federation of Essex Women's Institutes
Charity Registration Number 228992

Monday 16 April 2018

April - and Spring at last?

After a long and dreary winter, it is delightful to feel the temperature rising and a little less rain.  The Spring flowers are fully into their stride after a hesitant start, and the birds are busy nest-building.

Since the last posting in January, Harlow WI has enjoyed an excellent talk on "Nature through the Seasons" by Roger Hance in February, and a very pleasant social afternoon in March under the banner of "Members Day".

Richard Thomas

The talk at the April meeting was entitled "A Day in the Life of a Tug" and was given by Richard Thomas, who spent twenty years on Thames tugboats.  Days on the tug were long - 6 o'clock in the morning until 10 at night, with exact timings depending on the tide.  It was a surprise to learn that the barges being towed downriver were full of rubbish!  This was collected from various points serving the busiest areas of London (Canary Wharf, the city, Westminster, etc) and towed downriver to the rubbish disposal plant at Mucking in Essex.  When empty, the barges were returned for refilling. 
Today's fleet of barges is smaller and sleeker and infinitely more powerful than the ones Richard worked on, and the disposal of rubbish at Mucking is now dealt with by state-of-the-art technology.  At the end of his very informative and well-illustrated talk, Richard was thanked by Jean Finch.

The competition, which was for "a boat memento", attracted many entries varying from a model yacht to an Airfix kit of the Titanic, via several nautical photographs and painted plates.  The winner was Linda Mitchell.