Victor: Not so much 'wellbeing'

Published: Sunday, 14 June 2020

THERE is certainly not so much of the often acclaimed 'wellbeing' on the towpaths these days.

For many they are becoming downright dangerous as yet another waterway sees a spate of  towpath attacks, this time the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in Birmingham, where a gang of cyclists delight in pushing women into the waterway.

This follows on a host of other towpath attacks over the past months on various waterways with attacks by youths on scooters earlier this month on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, and previously the police warning of the dangers of that particular canal towpath.

In Birmingham at least two women have been pushed into a canal by a gang of young men on bikes, with Sophie Watson pushed into the canal near the University of Birmingham as she cycled past the group on Friday evening, left bruised, shaken and very wet and dirty.

Then as she struggled home she met another woman in tears who had also been pushed into the canal by the gang, with the police now involved.  In both instances no attempt was made by the gang to see if the victims had managed to get out of the water, but rode on laughing.  It is on this stretch that Canal & River Trust put in a cycle track through the canal tunnel, making escape all that easier.  There have been notices on Twitter of similar attacks but no confirmation.

It is doubtful if either of the two woman will be using the towpath again.

This is getting silly

In an attempt to pacify those organising the recent events of unrest in aid of coloured people, Canal & River Trust have dropped the word 'black' from a bridge name.

Pandering to the organisation, it removed the statue of Robert Millingan from outside the Museam of London Docklands.  And now it is even altering bridge names that include the word 'black'!

In its stoppage notice of navigation restriction between Bakers Lane Bridge and Black Boy Bridge on the Grand Union, so afraid is it that it changed the name to Block Boy Bridge!

So it is giving way to what really—as the photographs and television reports clearly showare little more than thugs and vandals with 100 arrests yesterday, who are in fact putting people's backs up, and not in the least helping the cause they are supposed to represent.  

A bit late

We had a notice from CaRT on Friday to still avoid the Soar around Radcliffe Lock for fear of grounding, yet the river is well up to capacity with all the rain and in fact the light is on red.

In telling of sand banks, it is somewhat late as a boat was grounded in the vicinity a couple of weeks ago, and has since been removed.

Should have been the end of narrowboatworld

Early this year our esteemed Editor, dear Thomas, decided he was going to retire and call it a day on his next birthday and stop spending most mornings working on narrowboatworld, after 20 years.

And that birthday was yesterday, Saturday. And I'm still here, so what has occurred to prevent it?

The knowledge of course of what is happening to our neglected waterways and the fact that no one in any authority is showing any concern to their plight with it seems only narrowboatworld willing to take CaRT to task for its neglect and to stand up for the boaters.  So he carries on...

Should he be retiring?  Well the official retiring age as you most likely know is 65.  Well in Thomas' case add another 25—and he's still going strong!

Victor Swift