Sponsors of the Farningham Lifeboat Crew

Report on the recent rescue operation.

It was with great excitement that we at the Eynesford & Farningham Dangerous Sports Society watched the unfolding drama as the Farningham Lifeboat Crew were involved in the recent rescue of a group of unfortunate immigrants from Dartford who had attempted the dangerous crossing from Franks Hall to the heart of the village at the Lion Hotel.

Those poor wretches could no longer stomach the appalling conditions foisted upon them by the situation in their home town and decided to up sticks and, despite all vicissitudes on the journey up the Darenth Valley, attempt to find a new life in the golden pastures of our environs.

Eschewing the 415 bus route due to the irregularity of the service and not wishing to run the gauntlet offered by the extremely arduous route via Swanley (having to cross the windswept wastes of the Top Dartford Road and somehow avoiding the stronghold of the bandits at the Lullingstone Castle) the small group of desperate refugees employed the services of a people trafficker in Dartford (named locally as one Bob Occasionally-Ill) who drove them to the Lakes at Horton Kirby packed in an airless white van and deposited them there with an out of date fishing permit. A handful of lilos had been provided by a contact from Farningham (gossip suggests that this might be Sir Arthur Street-Greebling who was hoping to employ the wretches on his flint farm) and the poor unfortunates were then crammed onto the flimsy vessels and cast off with only the barest of directions "Just head upstream."

It was late at night when they passed the Fighting Cocks, hugging the south bank to avoid the lights from the revellers in the garden of the pub, then they pushed on westwards. Dawn found them at Frank's Hall and they hid under the bridge until darkness fell once more. Then it was time for the final effort, a desperate sprint under the cover of darkness, to cover the final stretch under the M20, past the cattle gate and into the sunlit uplands of Farningham Village itself, and maybe, who knows, a chance to cross into the golden pastures of Eynesford.

But the Darenth is a fickle stretch of water, with currents, shallows and rocks that only the most skilfull of pilots can hope to navigate. One of the vessels was punctured and it's occupants found themselves ankle deep in the very midstream of the raging torrent, and, in a desperate attempt by the other members of the party to rescue them, the other floating mattresses overturned depositing all and sundry into the foaming waves.

Then Lady Luck intervened, the witch operator of the Farningham Lifeboat Crew happened to be out counting sheep ticks and he saw the desperate plight of the refugees. As he'd forgotten to carry his emergency hailing device it was some time before he burst into the Lifeboat office at the Chequers in Farningham to deliver the news but as soon as he had the assembled crew, and many of their supporters from the EFDSS, raced out to effect a rescue.

Their efforts were somewhat hampered by the arrival on the scene of officers from DDAPS (supported by private security men from DVTF who had been bussed in from up river) who were demanding to see all licenses and permits and who seemed incapable of differentiating between rescuers and those being rescued. After calm had been restored, the DDAPS transport (suspiciously similar to that which had delivered the refugees to the Lakes) retrieved from the river and the DVTF security men released from their waterwings, it was noticed that the refugees had vanished into the night, nonetheless the operation was considered to be a great success.

It is regrettable that the legal advisors of DDAPS have decided to prosecute the Mechanic of the FLC for illegal fishing, we are sure that his perfectly reasonable excuse that the fish must have swum into his pockets whilst he was attempting the rescue of immigrants, whose very existence has been called into question by the suspicions of small minded individuals, will eventually be upheld in court.

The Cox

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