Parish plug shortfall Solution to avoid drain on municipal resources
by Guest Blogger, Pauline Legge
The harbour at St Aubin's is full of boats once more, now that dredging operations have been completed. The sharp-eyed viewer may notice that the harbour, when full at high tide, now remains one yard below its previous high water mark. .
In a leaked report, I have learned that in the course of dredging the mud away, some historic damage to the harbour floor was uncovered. Older members of St Aubin's community may remember that here is a vast circular cast iron plug, about 3 yards in diameter, which was made to keep extra water in the harbour to enable larger boats to moor. This appears to have been damaged at some time in the past.
The first plug was made of solid oak in Elizabethan times, when Sir Walter Raleigh deemed "forsooth the waters should be retained, privy for the berth of larger vessels of trade". The money was raised by a levy on the rates. In Victorian times, the oak was badly rotting, and the Connétable stated that "des centaines de livres sont parties en fumée". A cast iron plug was made to replace it, by ironmongers, again financed by the rates.
Repairs to this plug are therefore needed, and a special early assembly of the Parish is planned for today,. April 1st, to levy an emergency increase on the Parish rates of 1p to pay for it. After the assembly, which will be held at 11 am, there will be a traditional fish breakfast of "poisson d'avril".
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