In the eighties a group of enthusiasts moved to some land behind Carnaby Industrial Estate and started digging. As they have always ignored the old saying ‘when in a hole stop’ they enlarged the hole, made it watertight, and filled it with water. That hole is still full of water on which can be seen an array of model boats ranging from barges to battleships.
Those first enthusiasts were motivated mainly by a desire to watch very fast model boats, designed for maximum speed, whizz around their lake in breath-taking arcs, and they would not take kindly to hear their home water described as a ‘pond where grown-up kids play boats’. That is my wife’s view based on the female presumption that men’s hobbies are basically feral, childish, or both. Needlework and knitting etc. – those activities I label ‘stitcheroo’ – are essentially adult while building a model of an aircraft carrier complete with Tornados is mere boys’ stuff.
I note however, and with approval, that this sexism is now becoming blurred as more ladies realise sailing a model yacht or steering an articulated truck requires as much skill, if not more, than stabbing a hole in a scrap of cloth and pushing through a strand of coloured wool. There might even come a day when the ladies outnumber the men trekking to Carnaby with their model boats, lorries, cars, drones and even space-rockets. But then beware. The ladies might decide to dispense with us entirely. After all if they need a hole digging these days they can always hire a machine.