He is, in fact, the chairman and founder of the charity 'The Friends of Concord Beach', an organisation formed with the laudable aims of maintaining the salt-water pool there and promoting 'good citizenship, civic responsibility and good habits' in those visiting the area and using the facilities.
The group are also busy arranging for sponsored benches along the front and a pool-side shower, together with murals to cover unsightly graffiti and some very polite notices:
But it doesn't stop there; these valiant souls have a far more challenging objective in their sights:
To promote the education of those who visit the beach in sea water and beach safety as it applies to the tidal estuary of the River Thames.One has to admire their ambition; as a trawl through the Tavern archives makes abundantly clear, Britain's coastline is the destination of choice for an alarming number of Darwin Award hopefuls every year. In fact, an appropriately seasonal example was reported this week:
Two men who were in a toy inflatable boat and wearing penguin and Santa costumes have been taken to a Cornish harbour by the RNLI after they were seen drifting out to sea.
These intrepid mariners set out to paddle across Mount's Bay from Marazion to Penzance, a distance of about 4km, in voluminous fancy dress and without the benefit of life-jackets or a seaworthy craft; what a good thing we've been having such calm weather recently!
If the Friends of Concord Beach seriously intend to tackle the Augean stables of public ignorance of even the basics of beach safety, they certainly have their work cut out, which is why we are raising a glass to them and their endeavours.
Friends of Concord Beach, your very good health!