Photo 01 - Not very well visited these days, top of the Lowes!
Where not to park!
We shouldn’t have to broadcast this but following a couple of incidents this weekend we have been left with no option! I have in the past assumed all anglers were countrymen but as I have found out, that was a wrong assumption! To set out our table all anglers should be aware of the following – On no account may you take a vehicle into a field!
Now that means that under no circumstances barring life threatening emergencies can you take a vehicle into a field. This includes carrying your gear in a vehicle so you don’t have to carry it.
You must not park on the thin grass verges from Summerhope to the top of the loch of the Lowes!
The exceptions to this are where the verge is wide enough to take your vehicle two to three feet of the edge of the road! There have been accidents involving vehicles situated on the very edge of the road and the police have advised us that this type of parking is unacceptable!
You must not take any vehicle down the tarred road at the graveyard!
Because of past irresponsible actions this road was closed off with the consent of the landowner to try and limit the amount of garbage and human waste scattered all over the place. Now there are three obvious clues here pointing to the fact that vehicles are not permitted! There are four posts across the start of the tarred road, there were four cross members until a group of Muppets broke them off to have a bonfire!
There is an orange locked post set into concrete to allow our loch keeper access in case a boat needs to be recovered by road. There is a steel sign which was concreted into the ground but was pulled out with the aid of a rope and a vehicle! All of these things should state that vehicles are not welcome! How difficult is it to phone our loch keeper Mr Xxxxx and ask his advice to avoid making mistakes!
A vehicle in Tommy Hepburn’s field and two vehicles down the tarred road at the graveyard caused us a deal of grief this weekend. It not only inconveniences us it allows our relations with the relevant riparian owners to be strained which is exactly what we do not want! Anglers should familiarise themselves with the countryside code which states any vehicle more than 15 metres off a classified road onto private property is committing an offence and is liable to prosecution! Most people I know will research an unfamiliar area for rules and regulations before they carry out any of the above acts. If you are unsure just ask! We are asking all anglers to adhere to the above rules any angler not so doing will be asked to leave immediately!
A phone call from Mr Xxxxx this morning passed on some depressing news in that the gear shifter lever on our Mariner engine has yet again been broken. This plastic lever is moulded on to a knurled shaft meaning that there is no easy way to just replacing the handle.
Last time we ordered a new handle moulded to a shaft and it took our engineer Elliot Fraser most of the day to replace it as it involved dismantling the whole engine! At this point I’m not sure if inappropriate force was used to shift the gears but what I do know is that the lever and the effort required to replace it is nothing short of outrageous!
Car manufacturers have done it for years. They complicate the replacement of failed components giving their service agents ongoing increased revenue when a simpler design would drastically reduce this cost! There is no way we will allow any of our mechanically orientated members to give up as day to go through the tortuous process Elliot Fraser went through a couple of years ago.
We must find a way to replace the lever once and for all with a solid metal design which should withstand heavy hands! Whether this is by welding or mechanical fixing it must be done! Quite frankly the alternative is we sell our engines and be rid of the incessant repair work than put people through the above torment and drain club funds. Thumbs down to Mariner on a thoroughly crap component on a pretty decent engine!
The wider world in my view!
Further decline in the High Street!
It was reported this week in the local rag the Border Telegraph that footfall in the town is continuing to fall! This of course is not really news. Our way of living has changed dramatically with the surge in out of town supermarket buying and a huge increase in internet buying! Supermarkets now offer a huge selection of goods making one stop shopping a feasible option. The internet offers a massive range of goods the like of which you would not find in any High Street!
The internet continues to grow at a very fast pace and next day delivery is now commonplace! Returns if required can be completed in a few days with pre paid labels and minimum hassle. So what is the solution to the rapid decline in the High Street? The simple answer is that there is no solution to the decline!
The High street will continue to decline at a rapid pace particularly in smaller towns where the range of goods is minimal. This is the situation in Galashiels where the High Street is on its knees with only the Polish shop showing vibrancy! Even this shop is under threat as the supermarkets increasingly offer the products they sell at significantly cheaper prices!
Many mourn the decline but it must be remembered that it was us the general public that chose the path of decline by moving our custom to the supermarkets and the internet! Eventually most of the shops will close and be boarded up! Already Galashiels looks like a ghost town it will only get worse! The change in our shopping habits has done for the local shops but the shift to our new way of shopping was of our own making. It’s a little hypocritical to now bleat about the change it is irreversible and we did it!
On the smith commission!
As expected the proposals put forward by David Mundell (who?) has fallen far short of what was expected. Independence looms ever closer!
On the next Labour leader!
The competition is between 4 duds following in the footsteps of Tony Blair and Jeremy Corbyn one of the few Labour MPs who still holds traditional socialist values! If Corbyn is not selected then Labour faces oblivion and England is destined for a Tory government in perpetuity!