Mark Bell clears hard arch with a little loose change

It’s another of those volunteer jobs that goes largely unnoticed – river clearing .. John Appleby and Derek Gordon in a safety launch last year, most of the daylight hours, providing safety cover, in freezing conditions, whilst the Council, cleared a massive tree from the river and the landslip in Pelaw Woods.

Elvet bridge blocked by flood debris

 January 2014 – hard arch is blocked, as usual. It’s Durham Small Boats Head on Saturday. “Somebody needs to clear the bridge”.

Another “somebody” sends an email to the Rowing and Coaching sub-committee, “John Appleby will do it. “

John Appleby, in the bar, about to enjoy a pint … “I saw an email, it said, John Appleby will clear the bridge … humphhh .. looks like we’re clearing the bridge, Derek! We’ll have a look, in the launch on Monday, size it up for Tuesday”, “OK, John.”

On the river, it’s mostly loose stuff, I think we could do it now, just get a rope round those large trunks. What we really need is some purchase from the bank.

Mark Bell is passing, he’s been to the bank, a large quantity of £1 coins in his back pocket .. for change at the week-ends’ Head. and he’s enjoying a bag of chips.

 £700 of pulling power

“Get hold of this rope, Mark, and pull … with all that loose change adjacent to your glutes, you should have no problem”.

“Does that mean, I’ll have to put my chips down?”

“Yeeesss ..”

 Now that’s pulling power – Mark Bell and 900 £1 coins.

..  Job done.