Where are all the boats?

Published: Friday, 01 September 2017

AUGUST Bank Holiday week and Kevin McNiff has to ask the question—where are all the boats?

Kevin Where are boatsThis is the Boot pound mooring between locks 14 and 15 at Lapworth taken on Tuesday afternoon. In earlier years, this would have been crammed and especially during the high holiday season.

Like boating in the late 70’s and early 80’s   

Having had our annual Russell Newbery Rally at Stourbridge in mid-July, we have since boated around the less popular parts of the BCN as well as going down the Birmingham & Fazeley to Alvecote with no queue at Glascote, then a week later retraced the B&F to Salford Junction, then via the Grand Union to Kingswood and down to Stratford upon Avon. Yes, there were boats about but it was like boating in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

I believe here is a sea change in boating patterns, as this is not the first year we’ve witnessed a decline in boating numbers. This morning, we cleared the Lapworth flight and only had two other boats with us, One down and another following. A CaRT 'real lengthsman' of 33 years was saying just how he’d noticed the lack of queuing boats at all locks on the Lapworth.

No 'chuff-chasing'

We much prefer this volume of boats and glad no-one is 'chuff-chasing' our stern like a certain idiot two or the years ago on the Branston pound! Real boaters are ageing and there seems to be no interest from the younger generations. I hope to be proved wrong.