Pond upgrade ready to set sail
By SVEN HERSELMAN The model sailing boat pond on the Picton foreshore will get a much-needed facelift, as upgrade work is due to begin on Monday next week.
The pond is a popular attraction for young and old alike, and forms part of the weekend activities of the Picton Society of Model Engineers. Society secretary Russell Mathews says leaks in the pond have meant it is time to take action.
‘‘In about August last year we decided that we had better get something done about the leaks. The pool was built around 40 years ago and is basically made with chicken wire and plaster – it has served us incredibly well considering how old it is,’’ he says.
The work is set to cost about $59,000 and will have the pond drained, relined with concrete and raised above the ground slightly. The depth will stay the same, Russell says, and it is hoped that by raising it there will be less chance of children falling in.
‘‘We have had a few kids lean too far over and end up going for a bit of a swim, but it is very shallow. It’s hoped raising the pond a bit will prevent that, and the depth will stay about the same.’’
The society raised $10,000 of the cost itself, with the rest coming from a variety of trusts, the Rotary Club of Picton and Port Marlborough. The community has been very supportive in helping raise the funds, Russell says.
Work is expected to take six to eight weeks, and will mean the popular miniature train will have to be closed. The society is hoping for good weather so that work can be completed on schedule, and it can have the model boats and train running again.
The train will run for the last time before the work begins on Sunday, but the model boats were taken out for the last time during Queen’s Birthday Weekend. ‘‘It’s served us for 40 years and we want to make sure it can serve for another 40,’’ Russell says.