Saving on the Postage
Or, how the Wallbridge Webcam is serving people around the world…
A strange sight greeted Wallbridge Lock Visitor Centre staff at 10am on New Years Day.
Two gentlemen (of mature years) were seen jumping, giggling and waving from behind a twenty foot long banner on the pedestrian bridge.
The banner bore a Happy New Year Message…. "from Nifa and Mike".
Clive & Jill Field, the visitor centre managers, agreed that, as heartfelt and well meaning as the message seemed to be, neither a 'Nifa' nor a 'Mike' were known to them.
All was revealed though when Clive asked the men, "What is going on here then?"
One jumping and waving man explained
"We are saving on postage stamps… this is a New Year message to our friends around the world. We have to be in position here until at least half past ten"
After that time Clive invited the pair into the visitor centre for a cup of calming tea and full explanation.
The gentlemen turned out to be Rodborough residents Mike Putnam and Bill Hicks.
Mike explained that, like many good ideas this particular money saving solution was conceived whilst the pair enjoyed a pint of beer or two.
They had thus agreed that if they were to e-mail the members of their respective Christmas Card list, they could send a live – on line – seasonal message via the world wide web and the Wallbridge Webcam.
It was in this way that over sixty people variously domiciled in the UK, New Zealand, France, Australia and Denmark had the opportunity to view the pair and their banner at an internationally agreed time.
Mike Putnam explained that Nifa is his wife and that Bill had first suggested the plan.
Further conversation in the visitor centre revealed that Bill Hicks is a retired teacher, graphic artist and a one time Stroud District Councillor whilst Mike is an architect specialising in structural glass systems.
Bill qualified this by pointing to Mike and saying “The Dubai skyscrapers are all down to that chap!”
Suffice to say that some of the cash saved on foreign postage has been deposited with the Cotswold Canals Trust.