Victor: And another...

Published: Saturday, 02 January 2021

YES, my friends, yet another New Year—and I wish you all well, hoping it is somewhat better than the last one.

We may well conquer this damned coronavirus, but alas, I fear for the waterwayswe can but hope.

Restoration untenable

It is not looking too good, with even restoration trusts giving up the ghost, referring of course to the Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust that was formed way back in 1984 but has now closed down.

The failure of the Barnsley Local Plan to recognise the waterways, and therefore cutting off a source of support made the restoration untenable, as membership and thus support had dwindled with there being little actual activity.

As councils now look for more ways to make up the lost income from rates and rents caused by the closure of so many businesses there will be no money left for promoting waterways, and I can see the more of the inactive restoration schemes coming to a close.

Hard work and dedication

It is those very active restoration trusts and association that will continue to prosper having over the years been so active in the promotion of their restorations with a healthy 'pot' behind them and a continuing source of money through their sheer hard work and dedication.

Which is of course why the Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust gave its £22,000 to the Chesterfield Canal Trust, a restoration with 'fire in its belly' that is getting things done and will surely reach its object of a fully restored Chesterfield Canal.


Alas all restoration is at a standstill with virtually all the restorations in Tier 4 areas, so no work parties and the work of the Waterways Recovery Group too coming to a halt.

But worse for the restoration projects is that the many money-raising schemes are also in abeyance having a further effect, and the chance of any events in the near future to raise cash is slim indeed.


Congratulation indeed to the National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA) in supporting live-aboard Paul Buga in getting his seized boat back from Canal & River Trust, clearly showing it cannot illegally seize boats and get away with it.

The whole operation must have cost a small fortune, with the number of people involved then transporting it across the country from the Lee in London to store it in Chester on the opposite coast, and now back again, with four cranes obviously involved.

The association was formed in 2009 and represents continuous cruisers whose home is a boat and who do not have a permanent mooring for their boat with planning permission for residential use.


Had a look through the various waterways internet publications, and noticed there were two new ones, at least I had not seen them before, but both claiming to be the cat's whiskers—or words to that effect, but none having ner a word published since Christmas.  Unlike us, eh?

There's that one claiming to be 'the best for news' that only managed six items on its news section for the month!  With CaRT and the EA to the fore of course!  Poor thing!

The future

The future for the boater looks bleak indeed, as the Canal & River *Trust claim of £800,000,000 spend is sheer pie-in-the-sky, very much reminiscent of its annual 440,000,000 visitors.

It tells us of—and here I quote—'the excellent condition of the waterways'.  That need £800 millions spending on them?

Sort that one out!

*Trustfirm belief in the reliability, truth or ability of someone or something... (Oxford Dictionary.)

Victor Swift