VILLAGE VOICE  September  11 09


Please forgive the two week silence from your Dittisham voice.  My only  excuse is having too much fun at the Regatta..  I realise there has been a lot of river and sailing news recently but before autumn sets in let’s finish the summer with a congratulatory shout to our locals who did so well in the regatta against stiff competition.  In the rowing Alison White again took the overall ladies Championship of the Dart, Sharon Windebank came second in the ladies pair oared and  Liam Hassard came second in  the gents pair oared.  In the mens over 45 years whaler race the Anchorstone came third.  The river at Dittisham  was a wonderful sight that week with coloured sails and spinnakers dancing and fluttering and  flitting  across the ‘lake’ Out at sea there were some tough conditions on some days. I spent Thursday semi submerged in water on an old gaffer trying to handle a difficult course for this rig .  With tides against us as well we had to go about three times to get across the finish line.  Well done to Peter Lucas who again won the Gaffer race in Ripple.  Rocket, moored in Dittisham, came second. An opportunity could be taken here to comment on the lovely new sailing club boathouse which looks so attractive from land and water. The club was started in 1950 by a retired Somerset farmer and Angus Primrose who owned and ran the boat yard in Galmpton.  He designed a wooden dinghy called a Scimitar and these were  built by our very own  Bill Quick and Ted Cox (decease) who were founder members pf the Sailing Club.  I remember the start guns being fired from the old sentry box on the Greenway side of the river.    Somehow a gunshot is so much more exciting than a horn, isn’t it?  Thanks should go to all the volunteers and particularly to Jonathan Weeks, the Commodore, who masterminded the whole building venture.

It is often said that Parish Councils have no power.  In a sense this is true but there are some situations, in this case building planning proposals, when a strong stand by the community can influence SHDC planning decisions.  Recently an application for putting a kitchen and bathroom into a boathouse was made by a property owner on Manor Street.  Our PC unanimously voted against this and on Wednesday, September 4th four residents bothered to go to Follaton House to object and the planning officer’s recommendation was overturned.  As a Manor Street resident politely commented ‘it was disingenuous of the owner to describe the building as a boathouse/garage.  No car or boat has ever been inside this building.  It could be said that the proposed plan was to develop it for more holiday accommodation’.  Hoorah for those that make these sort of efforts.  Our village really does not need any more holiday lets particularly on this narrow congested street.  The next Parish Council meeting is on Wednesday, September 23 at 7.30pm in the village hall.  Mr. John Wells asked me not to mention the next piece of news but as a good journalist I am ignoring his request and reporting that he won the novice cup at the Stoke Fleming Lawn Bowls Club last week.  Finally,  a very important notice  that the Ham car park will be closed from Monday, September 14 to Friday, September 18.  It will be opened at the weekend.  If the weather is bad it may take longer.