Pond up­grade ready to set sail

Marlborough Midweek - - Front Page -

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.

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