Saturday, 19 October 2013

Hales Pail

You may have seen information about the design project for the CaRT begging bowl. A group of design students were asked to produce a new collecting bucket that symbolised the canal and River Trust. Along the same lines as the Life Boat for the RNLI or the dog for the RSPCA. The design had to carry the idea of the inland waterways and its heritage. 

So as the weather has turned a bit chilly I decided to have a day aboard Rosie and come up with a suitable design of my own. My remit is broadly the same one as the design students. This is what I came up with.

The Hales Pail

My first thought was to work around the heritage aspect. Elaborate ceremonial or ritual buckets in bronze, copper or other materials such as pigs bladders and old goat skin are found in several ancient or medieval cultures.

My second thought was that the bucket has been used in many phrases and idioms in the English language. A 'drop in the bucket' for instance means a small, inadequate amount when given in terms of how much is requested or asked. This seemed to be quite an appropriate reason. 'Kick the bucket', is often used as a euphemism for someone's death. Not forgetting the 'Bucket List' being a list of the things you want to do before you die.

My third thought was carrying the message of water, when used to transport water the bucket often gets renamed to pail.  The pail is also used to bail out a sinking vessel hence the phrase 'grab the pail and start to bail' and this for me had the same sort of connotations as the collecting box. 

My fourth thought was that the leaks and holes in the pail were to represent the condition of the banks and locks around the system. Plus it needs a catchy name and I though that 'Hales Pail' was a good one. So that we would always have a reminder of the way that the canals have flourished under Chairman Hales.

My last thought was to appeal to children. 'There's a Hole in My Bucket' is a children's song. The song is based on a dialogue about a leaky bucket between two characters, called Henry and Liza. It could also in its own way describe the way that maintenance is carried out on the inland waterways.

The song describes a deadlock situation where Henry the CaRT worker has got a leaky bucket, and Liza the boater tells him to repair it. But to fix the leaky bucket, Henry thinks he needs straw. To cut the straw, he needs a knife. To sharpen the knife, he needs to wet the sharpening stone. To wet the stone, he needs water. However, when Henry asks Liza how to get the water, Liza's answer is "in a bucket". The only bucket available is the leaky one, which, if it could carry water, would not need repairing in the first place.

So there you go, heritage, water, maintenance and a children's song all encompassed in a single item that represents the inland waterways. The only other thing missing is the poetry carved into the handle. So I thought I should give it a go.

We need your money, so now dig deep;
with lots of expensive, directors to keep;
as if by magic, coins vanish in the slot;
you're going to like it, but not a lot.

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