Victor: Here to stay

Published: Sunday, 16 April 2017

LIKE it or lump it, my friends, the new look narrowboatworld is here to stay.

Causing a bit of a squabble in camp though, I really liking the 'Popular' category at the top of the right hand column but the forces of our Thomas, Alan Tilbury and a few others preferring the 'Latest' at the top.  Why do I like it, obviously because yours truly remained at the very top—of course—right through until yesterday, Saturday, with nothing else coming near!

Oh to be so popular! It should stay like that. Anyway it is left to Jason our software fella who is definitely in charge of such things, and it seems this time I have lost, with 'Latest' now at the top.

It's too long lad

There was one fella who thought he would be able to wind anywhere in Guildford on the Wey, but alas, as David Wickham's photograph shows, it just could not be done.

But try as the pair on the narrowboat might, there simply was not enough space to turn, with the wall a rather solid barrier.

So the poor fella had to keep going until eventually the waterway changed and it widened just that little extra to allow him to return.

The reason is obvious

So the first stoppage of the season was on the Oxford Canal, and it doesn't portend very well for the rest of the season, as the closure of the waterway was caused by the failure of a paddle.

As all who have cruised the Oxford Canal very well know there are two paddles for the gates on the locks, which can only mean one thing—that the season started with one not working, so when the remaining one gave up the ghost, the lock was kaput!

As I mentioned, it doesn't portend to good for the rest of the season if it is starting with paddles out of action already.

Needs updating

Which leaves me to remind Thomas that the 'Hire' section needs drastic updating.

It was in February 2011 that it was last updated, some six years ago, and that was only superficial, it being originally produced a couple of years beforehand before British Waterways started throwing away maintenance money on developments that had to be scrapped and going into pubs that also had to be scrapped, wasting tens of millions of pounds.

What I am getting at of course is that the 'Hire' guide assumes all the waterways are without problems, that we all know is far from fact, as they are subject to stoppages literally every week, and prospective hirers ought to be made aware. Get at it lad.

The cost of boating

I was pleased to see that feature concerning the cost of boating being regurgitated, as there are many giving very bad advice to would-be purchasers of narrowboats, glossing over their actual cost.

All too often I have seen boats for sale at various locations that would no way pass the BSC test, most obviously needing a considerable amount of cash being spent on them first.

No doubt at the current Crick Show many would-be purchasers will be given the 'patter', not realising exactly what they are letting themselves in for in the search for their 'dream'.  Some dream!

Victor Swift