Boaters and local residents clear a ton of rubbish from Warleigh Weir

June 27th, 2017

On the hottest day of the year, a bunch of liveboard boaters and local residents decided to do something about the growing mound of rubbish left at a popular swimming spot on the River Avon. Our correspondent Michelle writes:

At the bottom of Ferry Lane is a beautiful little spot called Warleigh Weir, which has always been a popular spot for swimming in the summer when it gets too hot. But in recent years this little spot has grown in popularity drawing more and more people from further afield.

Tony, a local resident, told me that it has always been busy in the summer, but he has never seen it as bad as in the last two years. As we spoke somebody cranked up a sound system and there were whoops and cheers from the 100 plus crowd gathered there. I asked him how he puts up with it and he shrugged. There isn’t much he can do. A few weeks ago people had trespassed into his back garden and stole a tender in broad daylight and he feels he has little hope of seeing that again. Tony’s 82 next week…

As has been seen by the aftermaths of many a festival (the village of Pilton after the Glasto is a perfect example of this), a thing which attracts crowds, also attracts rubbish. After a particularly busy week this month a large pile of rubbish had built up just on the other side of the railway tracks. Apparently it had started as a hippo bag placed by an unknown, but in the way of many piles of rubbish it out grew its container and sprawled out in the most hideous fashion.

A local walker known as Luna Bella shared a post about the sprawling heap and the rubbish strewn about the fields on Facebook; it was picked up by the Bath Chronicle who ran an article, which got shared enough times that it came to the attention of a few people willing to do something about it.

So on the longest day of the year a group of local residents and boaters (17 in total) turned up armed to the teeth with bin liners, gloves and litter pickers and rolled up their sleeves to tackle a heap that embodied a great wrong in our society.

Michelle’s photo of the Warleigh clear-up

It took over two hundred bin liners and over an hour to bag and shift the heap from one side of the track to the other and in spite of the grossness of the task there was lots of laughter about who could find the best stuff.

We found raw and cooked meats, unopened packets of sandwiches, towels, shoes, cool boxes, disposable bbqs, beer cans, wine and cider bottles (many smashed), lilos, picnic blankets, socks and even a test for Chlamydia. The smell was atrocious and there were many squeals of disgust as unexpected bin juice spattered on feet hands and legs, but the band were determined and the heap was conquered.

A few of the swimmers were roped into the task as Tony thrust bins at them on the way past politely saying, “you’ve enjoyed our patch, can you help tidy it?”

Just a slight scar but the heap was vanquished.

I think that there was probably a bit of rubbish left at the weir last night as when I left, the party was still in full swing. I’ve been a boater for over twenty years now and during that time I’ve been called a number of things, but the worst to be levelled at me and I think the wider boating community is that we are somehow an environmental nuisance.

All of the boaters I know wouldn’t dream of dumping their rubbish in this fashion. Even if it does mean humping it a couple of kilometers down the towpath in all weathers to dispose of it responsibly, that is what they will do. To see this level of carelessness makes our hearts sink, but thankfully we have a will to tackle it and that restores my faith in humanity somewhat.

You can read the full story and much more on Michelle’s blog
https://boatspregnancyanduniversity.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/warleigh-waste/

See also
http://kanda.boatingcommunity.org.uk/towpath-tidy-wilcot-4th-september/
http://kanda.boatingcommunity.org.uk/boaters-towpath-tidy-22nd-march-devizes-to-horton-join-us/

Government consultation on red diesel, ends 30th June

June 17th, 2017

The Government has been running a consultation on the use of red diesel, which opened in March 2017 and closes on 30th June 2017.

The consultation document gives a list of uses of red diesel which includes ships and private pleasure craft, but makes no mention of boat dwellers. If you think it is important that the Government fully recognises the use made of red diesel by liveaboard boaters, please respond.

Read more…

“A Travelling Life” art exhibition June 12th to 16th, Bath

June 8th, 2017

Julian House Travelling Communities Support Service is holding an art exhibition as part of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month this June 2017. The exhibition includes paintings, photography and crafts by members of the local Gypsy, Roma, Traveller and Boater communities.

Read more…

K&A Boaters Action Group next meet 12th June, Horton

June 5th, 2017

The next meeting of the K&A Boaters Action Group will be on Monday 12th June, 7.30pm – 9pm at the Bridge Inn, Horton Rd, Devizes SN10 2JS. The meeting is mainly to discuss the CRT boat licensing review/ consultation.

Read more…

K&A Users Forum, 8th June, Great Bedwyn

June 2nd, 2017

The next CRT K&A Users’ Forum will take place on Thursday 8th June at 5pm-7pm at the Village Hall, Frog Lane, Great Bedwyn SN8 3PB.

Read more…

This week is Boat Fire Safety Week

May 30th, 2017

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service will be doing some fire safety advice drop-in sessions during Boat Fire Safety Week between 29th May and 3rd June 2017. Firefighters will also be visiting boaters along the Kennet & Avon Canal to offer free safety advice. FREE smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors will be available to people who live or work on the water.

Read more…

Boaters invited to K&A Canal East meeting, 1st June, Wootton Rivers

May 30th, 2017

Liveaboard boaters are invited to the Kennet & Avon Canal East Meeting on 1st June 2017 at 6pm for 6.30pm at Wootton Rivers Village Hall. These twice-yearly meetings were set up by Pewsey Community Area Partnership in 2014 to discuss and resolve issues regarding the K&A Canal that affected boaters and local residents in the villages along the canal.

Read more…

Register to vote – last day

May 21st, 2017

Tomorrow is the last day to register to vote. Here’s how

Make a difference.

CRT seize another boat from K&A

May 17th, 2017

Yesterday (16th May 2017) CRT seized a boat from Bishops Cannings and craned it out at the Black Horse in Devizes. The fibreglass cruiser, appeared to be unoccupied when six bailiffs started push-towing it with a dark green dory at around 10am to the Black Horse, where an A. B. Tuckey’s crane and flatbed truck were waiting.

Read more…

Six days left to make a difference

May 16th, 2017

A lot can happen in a week, hopefully one of those is that you will register to have your say. Here boater Sally tells you how and why;

For anyone that’s missed it, there’s a General Election coming up on 8th June.
Why bother? You may think your vote won’t make any difference, believe me this time it will.

Why should you vote?

Apart from this being the most important election of our generation, why aren’t you voting? You may want to consider how lucky you are to have the opportunity.

  • It took until 1928 for women to be given the right to vote in the UK after a long and bitter Suffragette battle.
  • In the US it took until 1965 to remove racial discrimination from voting rights allowing all US citizens the right to vote.
  • In Saudi Arabia women still do NOT have the right to vote.

If you think your vote won’t make a difference check out these statistics.

Just look around at what’s happening in this country. The Tories are bleeding public services dry. This Conservative government has borrowed more in the last 7 years than ALL Labour governments combined yet we’re still under the yoke of austerity. Under a Conservative led government homelessness has doubled. Over 2000 deaths have been linked to welfare sanctions. We’ve seen cuts to the NHS, welfare, education, housing, the police, the military, the justice system, everywhere you look. The rise of food banks and children in poverty are a direct result of the Tory Austerity programme.

This election there is an alternative to all of this. It’s time for everyone to have their chance to say ‘no more’. Whoever you chose to vote for make sure you make June the end of May.

But I’m a continuous cruiser, can I still vote?

Yes. It’s pretty easy. We once voted as ‘the boat in the harbour’ in Sheffield! Go to https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/501398/Register_to_vote__no_fixed_or_permanent_address__living_in_England_and_Wales.pdf … print the form, fill it out and send it to your local electoral services office. Your ‘local connection’ address can be the election office if you’ve no other address.

Can’t print it? Pop in to the electoral services office and ask for a local connection form. Your local library can help too.

Need a national insurance number – phone here 0300 200 3500

If you need any support to do this let us know and we’ll find someone to help.

You have only got until Monday 22nd May to get the form in. That’s six days!

Do not delay, get free beer NOW!

If you’re happy with the status quo do nothing. If not, your country and your community need your help. Oh and you can get free beer… votethisyeargetfreebeer.co.uk

Local Electoral Services offices

Bristol – B Bond, Smeaton Road, Bristol BS1 6XN

Keynsham & Bath – Guildhall, High Street, Bath BA1 5AW

BOA, Trowbridge, Melksham, Devizes and the Long Pound – County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge BA14 8JN