Marston Marsh – Marshland Management

Friday 22nd April 2016

You know, life is full of symbolism and special events that must be recorded. After the events of the last few days and being in a philosophical mood, I was thinking about the ‘Happy band of volunteers’ that Matt has gathered around him to pull (or push) him out of the quagmire his work sometimes gets him into.  With friends around you, you know that if you back yourself into a corner (or a marsh), they will always be there to pull (or push) you out of the rut that you find yourself in.  When you are up to your axles in it, usually friends are that diff-lock that can make all the difference, to dig (literally) you out of the hole you are in.

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Enough of symbolism, what was that special event?

Well Keith (one of the ‘happy band….’) and his wife Anne were celebrating their silver wedding anniversary and to mark the occasion they had invited family, friends and the ‘happy band…’ to join them on a river boat trip.

As Keith was heard to have said, they didn’t want to mark this auspicious occasion with just another holiday in the sun in some tropical paradise (if it’s not your thing, it’s just not your thing). Also they didn’t want to have to wait for a gathering like this, when people were all gathered around a wooden box looking into a hole in the ground. (I thought that was very morbid of him).  What better way therefore, to celebrate your 25th wedding anniversary than to invite family, friends (and the ‘happy band…) on a river boat trip on a cold and windy day, with the occasional hail shower thrown in for good measure?

Well Keith & Anne, we all had a great afternoon on the river, the band played on, some people danced (to keep warm?), the scenery was spectacular and the cake wasn’t bad either. Thanks for the invite.

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There was another event of note. Anybody reading this who was not amongst the ‘Happy band….’ on Friday last will not understand all the euphemisms above.

Well on that day, always thinking of his ‘happy band….’, Matt wanted to get all the equipment, on his truck and trailer, needed for the day’s tasks ahead, as close as possible to the working area.  We all said, ‘’No Matt, don’t do it, the ground is too soft’’, but he insisted and we spent the first part of the morning getting the truck and trailer back onto hard ground again. We all worked hard at this, except Liz who stood around and took pictures with her camera.

Our thanks to Liz for the photos.

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The rest of the day was fairly straight forward, we mended some fences, repaired parts of the river bank that were being eroded (with faggots that we made from thin willow branches), cut some grass & sedge and had a pleasant lunch break sitting in the sun down by the river. In other words, just a normal Friday working with ‘The Norwich Fringe Project’, except that Matt got his truck bogged down on the marsh.

A day that will be remembered for only one thing.

Written by Alan Rae, Norwich Fringe Project Volunteer