Dittisham Village Voice Feb 12 2010


I make no pretence of being an ornithologist, in fact, I would welcome some feed back on this odd tale about wagtails.  A couple, who live much of the year on their yacht which is usually moored conveniently close to  the Ferry Boat Inn, have reported a hatching just ten days ago of three baby wagtails in a nest made under the spray hood of their boat Cutting Edge.  Mr and Mrs Wagtail took up residence last April and have been honoured guests on board.  Checking out nesting and gestation periods of wagtails I discover that breeding normally starts in May and incubation is 12 to 14 days.  My question is what magic goes on under spray hoods that causes such premature conception?  Actually, April to January is nine months…  hmmm.  Something else happened on the river at about the same time as the miracle births.  In a strong nor easterly wind and a fast ebbing tide the Greenway ferry (Norman’s second home)  broke its mooring and charged down stream ending up on the rocks near the Anchor stone on the Dittisham side. Well spotted by the Landlord (who was suffering from a black eye received from a cardboard box earlier) he told  the barman on duty, Paul Knight, who  raced down the beach to fend off the ferry.  Meanwhile, Peter Coxon, a resident of the Quay espied the owner of the ferry paddling with one oar in a tiny fibre glass dinghy so he  rescued him and helped  return the ferry to its rightful place.  On the evening of Wednesday, February 3rd a goodly bunch came up to the village hall for the leaving party for the  Revd Simon Wright and Sue.  It was a wonderful supper  and the desserts were worthy of master chef.  The village had gathered enough funds to buy Simon a shed for his new property in Yorkshire and he was presented with a replica of that shed (see photo).    The church warden, Penny Mathews, and the chairman of the Parish Council, John Walker  thanked Simon for all he had done for our community.  Our resident poet, Brian Patten, turned 64 last Sunday, his lovely edition of ‘collected love poems’,could be a  good Valentines Day present perhaps? Don’t forget those pancakes for Shrove Tuesday and to think what are you going to give up for Lent?