Victor: Shame on the National Bargee Travellers Association

Published: Sunday, 12 April 2020

WHEN dear Thomas decided to ignore CaRT's advice and instead plumb for closing the towpaths instead thus keeping the moorers safe, it certainly generated plenty of backing from those at risk.

I reckon it was the right decision to protect the thousands of towpath moorers.

Unlike the others who toed the party line and make right idiots of themselves wavering between conflicting advice.  But those at the the self acclaimed National Bargee Travellers Association, should be really ashamed as they tell its members it is to: 'assist Canal & River Trust to decide whether to close or restrict access to towpaths'.

This is the association whose members are continuous cruisers, so surely it should be looking after their welfare, as they are most at risk from the hoards now allowed to throng the towpaths and spread coronavirus, not pandering to CaRT's vacillating

What on earth is it thinking?  Has this supposed champion of the continuous cruiser now. as the IWA, deflected and scrapped its much applauded fight for its members?  Shame on them.

Easily done

We are told that the big problem of closing towpaths is making it easy for towpath moorers to be able to use the towpaths to obtain their provisions, should they be patrolled.  The thinking being that there is no way of telling a boater from a non-boater. 

Haven't any of those great minds at CaRT the gumption to realise that by simply removing the off towpath side licence from the boat and carrying it, would show the person to be a boater—the actual name of the boat being shown, that can be checked.

Makes you want to weep.

Breaks the habit of a lifetime

Well, well, and well.  Our dear esteemed has broken the habit of a lifetime—in asking boaters to let him know if  CaRT's attempt at cutting down towpath visitors is working and to send in photographs.

Tut, tut and tut.  This from someone who fervently believes that no self respecting publication lowers itself by having to ask for information.  He telling it shows they should not be in the business!

Must be the coronavirus effect!

It was a boater who was arrested

Let's get it straight about the fella who was arrested at Swarkestone Lock.  It wasn't a towpath visitor who brandished the length of wood at a boater and was arrested—it was the other way round.

It was overstayer boater Christopher McKendrick who has moored his boat by the water tap just above the lock for many months, with the towpath wide enough for social distancing if it were not for his pile of wood taking up half the width, a two feet length of which he used to threaten an emergency worker.

When the police arrived he coughed in their direction yelling that he was a 'super spreader' upon which he was immediately arrested.

He received a 16 weeks prison sentence and ordered to pay a £122 victim surcharge when he appeared in court.  So now you know.

Victor Swift