Friday, 8 January 2010

Meet on the Sledge.

Not since Noah sailed off in his big boat and decided to take two of every creature including horrible things like Tics have we seen weather like this! Ark Tic Conditions!

Thankfully whilst we are all huddled around our Plasma Screens reading the Daily Mailygraph and sick with worry, some poor souls are out there keeping the economy and the wheels of social cohesion going!

I'm thinking particularly of Peter Cornwell, RoSPA’s head of leisure safety who has gone to a great deal of trouble to produce this press release. Thank goodness there are dedicated people like him!

His Sledging Guidelines are a byword in Best Practice, extensively workshopped and without, dare I say, slip shod narrative ! Here are some of the interesting and original conclusions he comes to (I've added a few comments in brackets):

•Take time to consider your choice of sledging location – somewhere with deep snow and no obstructions such as trees, fences or rocks is the best. (A hill is quite useful apparently)

•Make sure you have plenty of room at the end of the run to slow down and stop (A brick wall is not a good landing spot)

•Walk up the slope first – it will help you spot hazards, realise how steep the slope really is, and check whether there is enough stopping distance at the bottom (I normally drive up first - I never thought of walking. Thanks Mr C!)

•Only go sledging in the daylight (unless you have BS7832 Lighting fitted to your sled - watch the POI Film "The Sledge of Darkness")

•Wrap up warm, wear gloves and remember that skateboard, cycle and ski helmets and skateboard pads double up well for sledging. (Swimming trunks anyone?)

•If you’re making your own sledge, think about the “what-ifs” if you were to crash – are there sharp edges which you could cut yourself on etc.? (Is it biodegradable? Have you fitted a double-barreleld shotgun to the front? What about those skid-marks?)

Thank goodness there are people like Mr C. literally beavering away on our behalf! In fact only yesterday, RoSPA advised people not to walk out on to the ice of deep frozen waterways, to prevent the type of drowning deaths seen during previous cold spells. Whoever would have thought of that?!

I'm off to do a thorough risk-assessment in the light of these helpful new guidelines. When I get back I'm going to search the Jobs Pages for any vacances in Overpaid Quangos for jobs sitting at a desk writing down the bleeding obvious.


Dave said...


Christopher said...

Yes, Noah must have had tics on his ark, when you come to think about it. One of the species to start from scratch.

Vicus Scurra said...

He's cheered you, though, hasn't he?

Geoff said...

It's political correctness gone mad!

Sir Bruin said...

A risk assessment will have no value unless you act upon the findings and introduce appropriate control measures. You could well be on thin ice.

Scarlet Blue said...

Okay the wearing of a bikini is out... but how about a chiffon evening gown and a feather boa?

Scarlet Blue said...

Ha ha, WV was grecoat.

Lionel said...

It's a great satellite photo, though (even if our part of the world is obscured)

llewtrah said...

Whatever happened to the days when we just used dustbin lids? Wheelie bin lids are een better than the old round lids that used to spin while you were sledging. R0SPA would have had a fit.

Some folks here are using estate agent signboards as sledges and as snow shovels!

Dave said...

That photo cunningly hides the fact that we in East Angular are sitting around in deckchairs, basking in the glorious sunshine, on our semi-tropical beaches.

Richard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard said...

"Right, let's see how many of us can fit on this" said the horny handed son of toil as he produced a large sheet of corrugated iron from his Transit. He bent the front round, tied a bit of string through two nail holes and about ten of us squeezed on and set off down the field somewhere off Ash Hill in Ruckinge about 40 years ago. As sledging runs went, this was bordering on a black run, despite its relatively short length. At the bottom was a ditch in a hawthorn hedge with very little flat area preceding it. What it lacked in length was more than made up for by its gradient: the hill is about 1 in 4.

The sledge lacked several basic control functions, notably methods of steering and braking. Several children and a responsible adult created quite a bit of momentum and as we approached the hedge at a stupendous rate of knots we realised the limitations of our craft. Luckily, the award winning design allowed us to bounce over the ditch and careen straight through the hedge in spectacular fashion and totally without injury; and all that was missing, a little fat man watching, chewing a cigar going "Gng gng ngng ngngn those Dookes" (which would have been impressive as they didn't turn up for another 8 years. If memory serves, we did all walk back up the hill, and did it again. Pah, health and safety.

Z said...

The slope on which I sledge is downhill from my house. Therefore, I can't walk up it before sliding down. Please advise.

Rog said...

Dave: :->

Christopher: Noah was always one for boxing all the tics.

Vicus: I can never not kick an open door!

Geoff: How would "You've Been Framed" look if they get their way?

Sir B: The threat of frozen assets should be enough!

Scarlet: OK a Greycoat is OK. The Boa may be constricting.

Lionel: Yes, it was taken by Nasa's Terra satellite on 7 January. May be on Google Earth next Summer.

Llewtrah: And we were cold because we'd taken off our jumpers for goalposts! I think using Estate Agents as Sledges would be a nice metaphor for housing prices.

Dave: You've given the game away now. I spent hours Potatoshopping that snow on Lily's legs.

Richard: These days the "horny handed son of toil" wouldn't have got past the vetting procedure. That's not so much a comment as an entire "Last of the Summer Wine" script from series 37.

Z: Get a grown-up to go down it first using ropes. I happen to know some idiot has built a giant brick wall near your house.


We've just got back from afternoon walk and saw the local chicken farmer driving his pick-up fast round the frozen field with his small son (or a midget) towed behind on sledge attached to rope. The sleighee seemed to enjoy rolling off at the 20mph handbrake turns.

When I was about 11 I used to go cycling with Tolley on a frozen water pit near the Napoleonic Fort on Cliff Marshes, and we had to speed fast to get over the melting edges. I used to get into trouble for getting my school shorts dirty.

Richard said...

Rog, if it had been LotSwine we would have done it in an old bath.

KAZ said...

Much too risky.
What about the safety belt, air bag and warning triangle?

Roger said...

Richard: We've all been there!

Kaz: A triangle would be loud enough to warn approaching pedestrians.

Billy said...

There's even snow in London. The horror, the horror etc.

zIggI said...

did he mention trays at all? I always found launching a child on a tray went down well, and what's more they seem to have survived thus far.

Rog said...

Billy: Surely not? Is it a code word for drugs?

Ziggi: Ah, Trays Bonne as we say in France. If they crash it will serve them right.

Rosie said...

Not sensible advice at all. My old sledging grounds consisted of a golf course in the Ochils, if you escaped the barbed wire fence at the bottom you were catapaulted into a freezing burn on the other side. Or, like my brother, you opened up your scalp on a sledge runner and the local doctors couldn't decide to use either herring bone stitch or ordinary stitches to close the wound.

Elizabeth said...

some poor souls are out there keeping the economy and the wheels of social cohesion going

The main difference between you Brits and the Yankees. ;)

Rog said...

Elizabeth: Ha!!!!