April 2020

What Can We Say?

Normally at this time of year we have lots to report, lots of events, sessions and activities going on, but Sadly April 2020 is probably a month that will stay with us for a long time, for all the wrong reasons.

Be Safe, Keep well

Before we go any further, we would like to wish all our paddlers, parents, families, staff, volunteers, partners, competitors and everyone else well at this difficult time. We hope it is not too long before we see you, but the most important things is to stay safe and stay well.


We must also thank the key workers, who are doing an amazing job working under very difficult circumstances, putting themselves at personal risk to ensure that life functions, these are people across a whole range of occupations, looking after our health, delivering our food, taking our rubbish away and countless other jobs that are so important just for us to survive.


So what has happened in April 2020?

The Sharks became the first Canoe Club to sign up to the United Nations Climate Change Action Framework. We will be putting Climate Change at the heart of all decisions we make.


We have introduced a competition to get people motivated, here is a challenge for you from Gail King (née) Allen, please don’t do this without supervision, clearly this month’s winner, a surprise gift awaits you!

Rick has contributed some ideas to warm up and stretch during this time (and any other time come to that)

We continue to work in the background to deliver on projects at Southall, NW10 and Harefield, obviously work on the ground for this is on hold, but we are trying to get everything lined up for when Britain opens for business. The Havelock area of Southall is being regenerated and this is the key to us getting our premises there, this is a map of the area just over a 100 years ago, before it needed regenerating.


Now a few things too amuse, or to make you think.


An unusual view of one of the venues we have used in the past and hope to return to soon, we think this sad picture dates from the 1990s, but has been transformed and restored since and in its heyday below.



Have you ever thought about how many rivers there are in London? Many of them are now in culverts, although (not on this map) the River Colne runs through Harefield and Uxbridge, the Brent flows into the Canal on its way to Brentford and of course the River Lee or Lea, flows past the Olympic Site in East London.


For those of you who paddle at Southall and up to Bulls Bridge, this is what it looked like before Tesco’s was built, these boats are on what is now the carpark and whilst most of you won’t remember this, you may remember the gas holder in the background, which has only recently gone.


Another view of Bulls Bridge, with the Nestlés building in the background, which again is fast disappearing. The first factory on the site was opened in 1914 by Eugen Sandow, the former World’s Strongest Man 1889, where he produced his ‘Health and Strength Cocoa’, an enlightened man for his time providing gardens and facilities for the workers to relax.


For those of you familiar with Northolt, have you ever wondered why the hosing opposite the pool is called The Racecourse? This is what it looked like up until the 1950s. Apparently the main stand was dismantled and used at Brands Hatch, they knew how to reuse in those days.



There are no humans on the canal at the moment so these two went for a walk into human territory to find out what is going on, just walking up the not so busy road for their daily exercises. There have been reports from all over the World of wildlife venturing into Towns and Cities, Goats in Llandudno was recently in the news, but …



This is not in London, but what is it and what is its connection to London?

And lastly …..


Best wishes to you all, please stay safe.