Archive for October, 2009 email addresses

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Want your own boatie email address? for £20 per year, including webmail and forwarding.

If you’re interested send us an email at or leave a comment on this post with your phone number

We can provide hosting,  domain registration,  website design and Google optimisation services too.

Kev The Pipe – foremost boatie plumber!

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

I have lived and worked on boats for nearly 7 years. Recently started to re-establish my towpath roots having worked for 3 years with Will Trickett Boats.

Have gained lots of experience with gravity/convection loops. There’s been a couple of mistakes along the way but I’m fine tuning all the time.

Always willing to give advise and consultations are free. All parts supplied at trade discount plus ‘a bit’ to cover my time and diesel. Can over a basic chandlery service so ask me first about anything you might need.

Also ask me about plumbing fittings; I’ve worked on lots of boats and know shortcuts and cheats to get stuff fitted in tight spaces.

In addition to plumbing, I know a thing or two about;

  • Welding
  • Basic carpentry
  • 12v electrics
  • Solar heat recovery
  • Fibreglass

Boats that I’ve worked on;
Stanley (obviously!), Kestrel, Almighty , Betty Blue, Free Spirit , Flint, Ashby,   Harlequin, Elegant Zigeuner , Nelly Fly, Gilly Bean, Violet Sarah, Sally Girl, Mrs T, Holt, Captain Jack, Sulis, KarenJane, PathFinder,  Annie Dolly, Bird On A Wire, Das Boot, Bellatrix, Aston

If you’re thinking of doing some work to your boat, give me a call; if I can’t do it, I probably know a man who can!
Basic rate; £15ph…. very negotiable!
07796 560476

Waste of Space

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Ever thought you were represented by an MP?

Think again.

We received this recent exchange;

Letter to Don Foster – Member of Parliament for Bath (though not, i believe Bathampton)

Hello Don something odd is going on in Bathampton.

Apart from a boat being torched and boat people’s tyres slashed it seems the parish council don’t feel the boaters children worthy of attending Bathampton Primary school .

here are the minutes of one Bathampton parish council meeting obtained under the FOI act. The question was asked by one of the members.

and this is the ‘reply’ he received

haven’t had anyone from a non-continuously cruising boat contact me about this issue. If you know anyone with a problem, please ask them to contact me directly and I will certainly take up the issue. ;

So the so-called representative of the people has decided he knows what a ‘continuously cruising boat’ is, and by implication that they don’t get representation.

If you are one of the boaters that, by implication, Don Foster has spoken to and decided he cannot help we would be interested to hear your experiences.

Demanding money with menaces

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Thought demanding money with menaces was a criminal offence? Well, not if perpetrated by British Waterways apparently.

It is not so long since the recent reception of 200 threatening letters to boaters from British Waterways and now the winter mooring shop is open.

How much you ask?

£218 per month …why £218? £200? 210?.. anyway… £218 per month for a 58 foot boat so the total for 6 months of not being hassled by the Enforcement Team (we need a theme tune) £1300.

That is nearly twice as much as the cost of a licence – a licence which includes the right to moor anywhere for 14 days including the now ‘pay for’ Dundas and Darlington Wharf, now imaginatively called ‘Walcot’ by BW.

Self defence is no offence

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

Spotted along the towpath;
Self defence is no offence

Letter to Martin Skinner

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Dear Martin,
As a customer who pays BW in excess of a thousand pounds a year, some of which, I dare say finds its way into your wage packet, I found the tone of your initial letter totally unacceptable. Very poor customer relations, in my opinion.

Best wishes,

Ian hits the news

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

An interesting discussion has followed the news story about Ian Gill’s public protest at BW’s removal of his license and attempt to interprete the law.

We are asking long and loud – and we will not desist until we get an answer – what is the problem with the boats that prompts these attempts at ethnic cleansing?


Ian's response to the latest threatening letter from British Waterways

“I float accused of breaking the conditions of my license. The license has been revoked. Now my home, myself are illegally afloat of your waterways.
The guidelines by which canal craft are governed are open to interpretation and it is many people’s concern that the waterways managment can manipulate and control us bargees by their misuse.
I have broken no law.
This is art.
Ian Gill”

Letters to BW

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

We will keep this post updated with copies of any letters or complaints to BW, both as a reflection of boater’s feelings and a resource from which you can gather ways of expressing yourself should you want to write too.

To kick off, a couple of letters, one to BW and one to a local doctor, regarding the proposed ‘Outer Zone’ – the name we hear BW want to call their intended policy of severely restricting mooring in the Bath- Dundas area.

Letter 1 to Doctor Smith
Letter 2 – questions to Simon ‘Satan’ Salem, thought by many to be the instigator of this attempted purge

Bradford Wharf let

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

We received this this morning from one of our correspondents;

Just wanted to pass on the news that the Bradford on Avon Wharf has been sold/leased to another hire boat company “Oxford Boats”, at least that the latest update that BW gave Granny Mo. It certainly demonstrates BW’s bias towards marketing the canal as a tourist industry, and goes some way to undermine their argument in evicting local liveaboards that this end of the K&A is congested and overcrowded. Although it also explains why they’re evicting us.

Which gives a lie to Sally Ash’s statement that BW wanted to keep it as a boatyard, pisses all over B-o-A town’s council desire to keep a working presence, ‘working town’ – yeh? In your dreams.

And the last publicly available dry dock bites the dust.

I, for one, would like to say a big Thank You to Ben and Granny Mo and Richard before them for their wonderful efforts to keep this going for the community and a big Boo Hiss to BW for putting them out of business.

And if Oxfordshire Boats think they can make a profit with BW’s current policies…..

Or can we smell the sweet smell of corruption, backhanders and sweeteners?

What’s happened to the £250,000 estimate for repairs to the wharf walls, reputed to be in any lease offered to Ben?

Latest reports reveal that Oxfordshire Boats have no interest in keeping the dry dock open and are intending to moor 14 mostly day boats at the wharf, preventing winding and generally causing chaos and visually detracting from this much loved traditional location. They are also intending to open a chandlery. Though why anyone would buy anything other than emergency supplies from a canalside chandlery when the internet provides many alternative sources at much better prices.

O well, at the moment i find it difficult to find much sympathy for this company, likely to be the latest business driven out of business by British Waterways mis-management.

£152,500 – The cost of Enforcement

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Recently one of our correspondents, Dave Thomas, sent the following FOI Act request to BW;

I would like please, figures for the yearly cost of the BW enforcement team for the south west region, to include;

the cost of executive management of the team
salaries of permanent staff (as a total),
the number of such permanent enforcement officers in the south west region
salaries or wages of people employed to cycle taking boat numbers (as a total),
the cost of administration and back office support and
expenses directly attributable to the team, such as tyvek envelopes, cost of cycles, lifejackets, hand held computers and maintenance of the database.

I would like the figures for the most recent year available and I would also like, please, the budgetary allowances for the year 2009-2010.

and received the following reply from Sarina Young, who deals with all FOI requests;

I am writing further to my acknowledgement to you below and your request for information on 23 September 2009.
I am now able to answer your request for information and will do so in the order you have requested the information for clarity:
Cost of the Executive management of the team
I am not clear on what you consider to be ‘executive management’. However, in order to answer this request we have made calculations based on the percentage of time spent by the direct line managers of the South West enforcement team. This equates to £14,000 for 2008/09.
the total combined salary of permanent staff
The total combined salary of permanent staff in the South West enforcement team was £132,000 for 2008/09.
the number of permanent Enforcement Officers in the South West
There are four permanent staff in the South West enforcement team who are employed as ‘Enforcement Officers’.
the total combined salary of people employed to cycle and take boat numbers
The total combined salary of people employed to cycle and take boat numbers is £30,000 (these salaries are also included in the figure given to point 2 above)
the cost of administration and back office support
The answer to this request is based on an approximate calculation of time currently spent on enforcement administration support by the waterway office administration staff. There are no staff directly dedicated to the enforcement team and the time that is spent by these staff varies from day to day and week to week. However, we have calculated an approximate figure would have been in the region of £5,000 for 2008/09.
cost of expenses directly attributable to the team, such as tyvek envelopes, cost of cycles, lifejackets, hand held computers and maintenance of the database
We are unable to give exact figures for this request as certain items such as the hand held computers and cycles we are unable to obtain exact value of for the year. However, we have calculated that the cost of directly attributable expenses would have been in the region of £1,500 for 2008/09. The database you refer to is a centrally maintained business database and is not specific to enforcement procedures; I am unable to include this figure in my response as the cost of maintaining the enforcement processes within the database is minimal but not separate.

Thus the cost of the enforcement team to the boaters for the year 2009-9 is a whopping £152,500. Or, to put it another way, with the average boat license costing £600 the same as 255 boat licences.