Darlington Paddler Day 2010

IAN ARCHIBALD reports



The morning of Sunday 19th September dawned to the sound of steady rain which kept up until early afternoon. Inevitably this had some effect on attendance and entries at this fourth annual event held by Darlington & District MBC at The Waterpark, Middleton-St-George, Near Darlington, England. Nevertheless, twenty one models were counted in and most of these sailed during the more pleasant afternoon session. Our usual three visitors from Switzerland were sadly absent, but were replaced by a couple from even further afield! Stuart and Ros Badger who live on the Greek island of Naxos had come to pass on his magnificent paddle steamer
Connaught to its new owner. A four funnelled Irish Sea ferry, she was quite the biggest working model paddle steamer model I have ever seen at just under ten feet long and matched only by the size of its purpose built transport case which seemed to completely fill our clubroom. It was without doubt the finest model I have seen outside of a museum and realistically crewed and with passengers it looked so realistic. Needless to say, Stuart was presented with a certificate and Waverley mementoes for having the best model on the water.
 
For the first time we had a trader present who could hardly have been more appropriate, namely Kim Maclean of Clyde Model Boats. His range of beautifully moulded paddle steamer hulls (some with sponsons moulded into the design) plus photo etched brass and laser cut plastic paddle wheels really hit the spot. These brass wheels had to be seen to be believed, more like works of art than fully practical propelling mechanisms. His website is: www.clydemodelboats.co.uk. Kim also very kindly donated a Marchioness of Lorne GRP hull as a raffle prize, tickets having been issued to each sailing entrant. This hull was won by Pete Ritchie.
 

As always, the Bring and Buy Sale held in the Community Centre went down well, as did the catering in the competent hands of Rita Barrass plus Sue and Nicola Fish. Where would we be without our ladies providing this essential service on the day? The website: www.paddleducks.co.uk has information of interest to those who enjoy building and operating model paddle steamers.