On Sunday the 14th May 2018, Purley Canoe Club joined other Canoe Clubs in the area to take part in the BC South Eastern Region Publicity Event known as “The 2018 River Medway Silly Hats Tour”.
The event was arranged in conjunction with Maidstone, Tonbridge and WAM Canoe Clubs.
PCC were represented by Robin, Sam K, Brian and Noel with his two young lads , Aaron and Joshua aged 7 and 6. Noel was nicely turned out in his yellow, chef-style hat, whilst Aaron sported a Flamingo and Joshua , a small golf green with flag and golf ball.
Brian, Sam and Robin met at the PCC store at 8.00 and trundled down to Tonbridge with one open and one kayak. Plenty of room in the car park, Robin sought out Tonbridge Canoe Club to register . He was greeted by Noel and Russell, the SE Region Development Officer who logged us in.
The crowd sported all sorts of craft, kayaks and opens, plus at least one K1 and one C1. All ages were represented too, a very jovial crowd.
We started off in small groups from about 10.00am onwards. The weather started cloudy but later the sun popped out and the 5 or 6 canoe shoots were all negotiated fairly easily. There was a slight flow. The final drop before Yalding at Sluice Gate, proved a very damp experience in an Open.
Everyone disembarked at Yalding, changed and sorted kit then headed off to the Marlin Scout Site where a burger B-B-Q with tea , coffee and soft drinks were on offer for a nominal fee. There we watched the antics of the Kent Canoe Paddlers, demonstrating their skills as well as their boats.
Altogether an excellent day. In the end, there were around 30 paddlers – the occasion could have supported a good number more.
Article and photos by Robin