Regents Canal situation getting desperate

Published: Thursday, 24 March 2011

REGULAR readers may remember the many reports of knife attacks on the Regents Canal towpath at Islington, but it is getting closer to home with attacks on boats, and now the possibility of violence, as a boater at the scene explains.

Islington is a popular area with continuous cruisers due to the vibrant local scene and proximity to transport and the centre of London, writes boater James Rose.

However whilst 99% of folk go about their private business, 1% choose to upset everyone they come across including boaters. I call them the 'hyenas' because at the very least you can hear them coming!

The untying of moorings is a nearly daily occurrence and towpath muggings are not unusual. Sadly things took a more sinister turn last night after a boat was 'gemmied' open and robbed near the Narrowboat Pub. (Pictured.)

Prepared for confrontation

When the owner returned in the morning he found a kitchen knife in the bedroom showing the intruders were prepared for a confrontation. The boater has since been allowed to return to Paddington by British Waterways—having only been there recently.

Subsequently the number of boats near the pub has reduced from  eight to one hardy soul.


In these situations I would recommend groups of boaters are not only vigilant but have available (in an emergency) an 'Aerosol' horn. They are so incredibly loud in the quiet of the night as to scare the wits out of anybody and give boaters real peace of mind as they go to sleep.

James Rose, Skipper—Simeon James