Category Archives: News

High water on the Presidents paddle

The President’s Annual Trip down the Mole on the 17th March 2019, from Brockham to Leatherhead attracted 5 Kayaks (Noel, Kevin, Adrian, Tony and Robin)  and 7 Open Canoes (Marion, Alan, Tom, Ali, Fiona, Sam K and Julia).

We had a young guest kayaker-  Aaron Humphrey who paddled the first third to the garden centre, with occasional guidance from his dad and Alan.

Mole was high, brown and fast flowing.  The day was bright, sunny but with a chill wind. 

It was a challenging paddle as on several occasions we had to negotiate fallen trees in the river. Sam and Tom cleared the first problem within a 100 yards of our start. Fiona found going broadside was not a good idea and Robin found out a gap big enough for a kayak was inadequate for the kayaker. 

We all had to concentrate. We seemed to settle into a routine of Noel leading, with Adrian and Sam behind, as the clearance team and Kev on standby for rescues.  Marion & Alan offered advice and support when appropriate. Tom, Ali, Julia and Tony paddled steadily and successfully , with Tom and Ali competing for the number of footballs rescued from the river.

The towback at Dorking Weir was  3 to 4 meters – clearly not negotiable. We lunched there and portaged around it. The Stepping Stones were invisible, except for a photographer ( who turned out to be Marion’s father) using the access to record the passage of Purley Canoe Club.

Noel monitored us to the end, in Leatherhead.

Great Day, Noel.  Thanks to everyone. It was a true team effort to accomplish that 9 miles.  

Kevin addedd:-

“Had a great day on our Club’s annual paddle down the River Mole. The levels were very high and there were lots of trees to avoid which made it hard work. The Stepping Stones were under water so we were able to paddle over them! Dorking Weir was too big though and had an 8ft tow back which made it too dangerous to run!”

Photos by Kevin, Adrian & Robin

Article by Robin & Kevin

Sun in Wales in February 2019

There were 10 of us assembling during the Friday, for the Wales Weekend  :  22 – 24 February 2019. Sam, Lauren, Marion and Alan arriving early enough to paddle from Llanwrthwl to Newbridge (6 miles), which they enjoyed in the sunshine.

Sam K, Paul, Adrian, Julia, Robin and “D”, all turned up in time for supper in The Clarence.

We filled Colin’s B&B Plas Y Fynon. After hearty breakfast (personal service) we headed for Newbridge intending to paddle down to Builth Wells (9 miles). Small delay as Robin needed to replace a punctured tyre, so Robin & Adrian met the shuttle at the Builth Wells car park, and were ferried back to the start where the boats were ready for launching.

Lovely sunny morning. Rather low water meant continuous concentration to select your line. Water levels at Bwlth where 1.163 meters and falling and at Ddol Farm (near Rhayader) where 0.494 meters and falling.

We took turns in being leader – a humiliating responsibility since everyone hit rocks – though some more than others. The chief pirouettist will remain anonymous.

Kathy’s Corner was the highlight. Low water made the first set of rapids negotiable so long as you lined up correctly and kept straight. All the boats made it, one open being paddled tandem, steered by Adrian and thrilling the passenger.

The second drop was blocked by a tree to the right hand side. The water was flowing through the tree with every chance of a capsize trapping the paddler under the tree. Alan and Sam K decided to risk their Opens through it and steered confidently through. Marion then demonstrated how professional she was, steering round the tree but just caught the end under the water and had to brace firmly to stay up.

The remaining boats were “walked” (Lined) around the tree and relaunched in the pool. Thereafter, the rest of Kathy’s Corner proved no problem, ‘cept Adrian’s Carabiner got left behind.

Sunday we all repeated the Friday foray from Llanwrthwl  to Newbridge. A technical challenge as the water was even lower.  Water levels at Bwlth where 1.14 meters and falling and at Ddol Farm (near Rhayader) where 0.475 meters and falling

We lingered over lunch as it was too lovely not to. Everyone was keen to try polling the open boats in the rapids. “D” did well, but over-balanced and collided with 2 boats, soaking one of them – Julia’s, and thus her lunch (or was it Adrian’s) and her cag.

We pressed on, enjoying the paddle but conscious now of the time & the journey home.

Conclusion? A fantastic weekend. Weather, technical challenge, decent meals, friendly. Maybe just a couple of lessons :

  • Avoid the Clarence on a Saturday night in future, when Wales have beaten the Lions.
  • Don’t smoke in the bar when Marion is around

Article by Robin and Photos by Robin & Adrian

New Year paddle 2019

On the 6th January 2019 we had our first PCC trip of the new year. We paddled from Hartlake bridge down to Yalding on the  River Medway.

We had some new members on the trip as well as some of the regular members. It was a crisp and dry January day and thankfully it was not too cold.

Before Lunch we successfully paddled down the canoe shoots at East Lock and Oak Weir Lock. As usual we had lunch at Sluice weir lock.  After lunch some of us chose to shoot the canoe shoot at Sluice weir and others decided to portage round the shoot. One of our new members was looking for some excitement that day so she decided to go down the shoot. She went down the shoot ok but at the bottom the boily water made her capsize. We found her a change of clothes and we then paddled onto Yalding.

Tea Pot Island cafe was closed so we went into the pub for coffee and cakes sitting around the log fire. We all warmed up very quickly. At was a fun trip and it set us up for another year of paddling. Our new members said they enjoyed themselves and they are coming again.

Article and photos by Adrian



Annual Dart Trip November 2018

Hi all,
We had another great weekend paddling the River Dart, running the Lower Lower section on Saturday, then the Lower section on Sunday from the Country Park down to Buckfastleigh. The weather was really good, no rain and a nice sunny day on the Sunday. We stayed at the Furzeleigh Mill Hotel who fed and watered us very well with a Full Dartmoor Breakfast both days!
Here are a few photos of the Boulder Garden, Buckfast Weir (that we didnt run).
Thanks to everyone who came along and made it a fun weekend.

These videos were taken on the Sunday when we paddled the Lower section on Sunday from the Country Park down to Buckfastleigh.

British Canoeing FSRT

Date of PCC Event : 02/09/18

Perfect weather even though cyclists meant we started a little bit late and different location 🙂
Fiona, Sam, Joel, Tracey & Reiss worked really hard in Rescue Techniques by Noels teaching 🙂
Well done on you hard work… enjoy the pics and videos.

At the end of the day Fiona commented :-

Beautiful day at Ardingly doing rescue training with Noel, Sam, Joel, Tracey and Reece. !!!!

(Photos & Videos by Phil Newson)

DSCN5075_5364-19.JPG DSCN5074_5363-18.JPG DSCN5070_5359-17.JPG DSCN5069_5358-16.JPG DSCN5067_5356-15.JPG DSCN5065_5354-14.JPG DSCN5061_5350-13.JPG DSCN5058_5347-12.JPG DSCN5052_5342-11.JPG DSCN5051_5341-10.JPG DSCN5050_5340-9.JPG DSCN5047_5337-8.JPG DSCN5044_5334-7.JPG DSCN5043_5333-6.JPG DSCN5039_5329-5.JPG DSCN5036_5326-4.JPG DSCN5033_5323-3.JPG DSCN5030_5320-2.JPG DSCN5026_5316-1.JPG DSCN5025_5315-0.JPG

Lots of fun at the pool session

On the 15/9/18 we had lots of fun at the pool trying out the new Sit on Top Kayak, a Orange and Red Islander Hula. 

We proved how the sit on top could be used as a single kayak, a double kayak and a kayak for three people providing they are quite small. 

We also found out how we could even use it as a stand up paddle board

Great fun was had by everyone, so please come along to try it out yourself.

Article by Adrian & photos by Kevin

Silly Hats Tour 2018

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

River Mole Trip – 25th March 2018

We had a good river trip on Sunday paddling down the Mole, which was postponed from last Sunday due to the snow! We had a bit of a delay getting to the get-in because of a large rugby event in Brockham and then had to do the shuttle to Leatherhead whilst Adrian started to cut away a few branches from the fallen trees to give us a route through!

We headed off down the river weaving our way through the trees towards the first feature. The river levels were very good, not too high and not too shallow! We arrived at the Watermill Weir and all dropped over it without any issues but it was a bit too shallow to play in.

The next feature we arrived at was Dorking Weir which was at a good level to run. We all got down safely without any capsizes and then everyone had a go at side surfing in the stopper at the bottom without any swims.

Moving on towards the Stepping Stones, we came across a fallen tree right across the river without any way through, except for over the tree. As time was moving on, we decided to portage there and have lunch. After a brief lunch we walked round the tree and were back on the water heading down towards the ‘Stones’. By this time it was mid afternoon, so looking at how far we still had to travel, we made the decision to get out at the ‘Stones’ and finish the trip there. This was a great idea except that we had all the cars in Leatherhead and 1 car back in Brockham and none where we were! A quick call to the local taxi firm soon fixed this and Sam was whisked back to Brockham to pick up his car to start ferrying the drivers to Leatherhead.

We didnt finish the trip as expected but we had a fun dry trip and got to experience the Mole, the first time for some paddlers. Thanks to everyone who came along!      

Article by kevin; Photos by Robin & Adrian