Victor finds it rather worrying

Published: Sunday, 11 October 2020

I FIND the response to the £1.6m that Canal & River Trust has received from the Heritage Stimulus Fund rather worrying.

Its response is that it  'will help the charity’s vital work to safeguard the nation’s historic canals and rivers, so the public can enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of being by water'.  With its Chief Executive Officer telling:

NewGatesSign400“Today we recognise the wellbeing benefits of being on or by the water, with our waterways right on the doorstep of millions of people; as a charity, the Canal & River Trust looks after them, promotes their benefits for the nation’s physical and mental health, and safeguards them for generations to come."

It would seem us boaters are well down the pecking order, which makes me even more worried after receiving an email from a regular contributor Robert J Spurr stating—let's hope this is extra monies for repairs and £1.6 million isn't shifted from the regular budget to sign production! 

But as some goes towards the Sawley Lock replacement, and this has a one-off sign it obviously is going towards signs.  As the text is rather small I'll tell you it shows the cost at 'approximately(!) £162.715'!

Be careful...

The Trust was rather quick in supporting the Black Lives Matter crusade Concede to BLM campaign but should be rather careful as Oliver Dowden the Culture Secretary has warned that those intent upon removing statues or objects because of public pressure could loose their taxpayer support.

In its response to the BLM campaign, the Trust published that it would look into such matter as a 'starting point', intimating it could remove artefacts associated with slavery.

Oliver Dowden pointed out that 'as publicly funded bodies you should not be taking actions motivated by activism or politics'.

A number of prominent statues have been defaced, toppled, or hurriedly removed, including a statue of Robert Milligan, a Scottish slave-owner in Jamaica whose wealth built the West India Docks, on Canal & River Trust land.

Should be SixMore than six

The rules on the maximum number of people who can gather these days, either inside or outside and from the same family are clear—six.

That makes the party on the towpath of 12—one has gone up over the bridge—all adults of a similar age, so obviously not of the same family, breaking the rules and liable for a hefty fine. Certainly not accepting it is vital people follow the rules to control the spread of coronavirus and save lives...

Now it's 'stream decreasing'

We are all aware that 'stream increasing' means too much water and so dangerous, but as far as the Oxford Canal is concerned, 'stream decreasing' is a problem according to CaRT.

So the stoppage notice would have us believe—and I had better quote:

Caution strong stream.  We advise users of all boats not to navigate because the strong flows make it difficult and dangerous (Locks may be closed).

Caution stream decreasing. We advise users of all unpowered boats not to navigate and users of powered boats to navigate with caution.

So what do you make of that, eh?

I reckon I'll quote our Keith Gudgin: What are they on about now?  Why can't they either close it if it's unsafe or open it if it's safe.  Ambiguous advice is just as dangerous as bad advice!  Prattling on like this just confuses people!

Prattling on, indeed.  Obviously by someone who alas knows no better.

But would really like to know why 'stream decreasing' needs us to navigate with caution.

No way José

One thing is for sure, there will be no trip to Sawley Marina tomorrow.  Not with coronavirus in the offing and many residents on our jetty.

I can well understand the marina playing it down as just one person, but with boats jambed in as they are and the facilities used by one and all, I can only see it getting worse.  Otherwise why all the cleaning for the pump-out and six hours given every day for its use for those self-isolating...? Six hours?

There must be the hell of a lot self-isolating.  Anyway we shall play it safe and keep well away.

Victor Swift