Victor can't understand the exagerations

Published: Saturday, 21 October 2023

THERE is one thing that I have never understood—why the exaggerations?

It is done so much these days that any sensible person can see straight through them, they simply making the offenders look foolish.

Towpath visitors

There's the completely out of this world exaggeration of the number of towpath visitors that has rocketed from 460 millions in 2017 to nearly double at 888 millions now!

Yes an increase of 428,000,000 in just six years. Do you believe it?  Any boater who cruises the waterways and uses his or her eyes certainly will not.

Largest inland marina?

Then we have Sawley Marina that claims: The UK's largest inland marina—with, it tells, 23 acres of water space and aroundif I remember correctly27 acres in total.

Anyway Mercia has 24 acres of water space and 74 acres in total. So I reckon someone is exaggerating—and telling fibs

Foxton Locks

Then it's back to CaRT again, that claims that Foxton Locks are the longest and highest in the country with its 10 locks rising 75ft..  Well, I reckon that Audlem beats Foxton with 15 locks and rising 93ft.

As in fact do many more with such as Tardebigge having 30 locks and rising 220ft!

The exaggerations may impress the uninitiated, but very few boaters!

Surely a clear waste of money

The notice shown is surely a clear waste of money, especially as it shows that the 'blue signs' are getting larger and larger, now needing a much thicker pole for support, and at what cost?

Just why is such a notice required? The last time a horse appeared on the towpath was many years ago, so why such a notice now?  And the horse-drawn pleasure boats have been decimated over the past few years.

But what is so worrying is, are these notices to become a regular feature along all the waterways? From such a cash-stapped organisation?

A bit of catching-up

Time I think for a bit of catching-up with our guide Mary, of the exploration of our marina, Mercia.. One thing so far discovered is that it has the hell of a lot going for it.

I missed out the beehive section where two hives of bees were installed just beyond the park, with the marina investing in training 12 volunteers who are the marina's beekeepers. But with bees buzzing around we did not stay too long!

A space had been prepared to site the beehives and the community is 'rightly buzzing enthusiastically to bee involved'. (The marina claims!) And ready as time goes by to welcome swarms, thus needing more hives.

Floating Café

During another of the explorations Mary pointed out the Boat Street Floating Café that is moored at the boats' entrance to the mariana with easy access both from the canal over the Trent & Mersey Bridge or round the rear of Midland Chandlers.

Mary telling that it moored on the canal during the time of Covid but was invited to moor inside the marina itself by Robert Neff, with the owners gladly accepting the offer.

One owner Christopher Dean told our Thomas that they were very good to him, clearing and surfacing a space for tables and chairs and making everything just right some three years ago.

BarbequeThe result was obviously a good business, and there to stay.

We tried the fare one lunchtime last week and found it quite good, and obviously fresh, its food based on morning and lunch service.

This is the third eatery tried so far at the marina, and so far not a bad one amongst them.


For the boaters there are barbecues dotted about complete with seating, that seem to be well used. And should you look at the right hand of the pictures you will notice that the pier has jetties at both side of the boat—if required.

DragonAnd the jetties throughout the marina are different lengths to suit the boats, that we find very handy allowing access to both ends of the boats.

What is it?

Coming back towards the office we noticed the 'thing' in the picture, and wondered what is was or why it was there.

It was obviously fairly new.

So asked the two ladies in the office. To be told by one she did not know what it was but the other though it was a piranha! A fish?  Never!

TwoBountyTo which I suggested it was some new kind of debt collectoryou know, if you don't pay...

That is about it

Anyway it seems Mary and Jan have had enough of traipsing around the place and have decided no more, so not sure if I will be let loose againbut you never know...

Here they are showing they clearly have had enough to mutinyand definitely on the right boat, considering its name...

Victor Swifttelling tales for 23 years