Pete’s Adventure

No, not ‘Five Go Mad In Dorset’, but we have received the following communication…

It’s official: Bath Narrow Boats in collusion with BWB!

BWB seized Indian Pete’s lovely boat Ayuppa. He was taking it to the river to be removed on the river slipway as BWB had requested. He left it overnight before the Deep Lock. Next morning it had gone. There was no notification from BWB what had had happened. He found it moored in Bath Narrow Boats. When he asked for it back an employee (who claimed to own the company) said that BWB had seized the boat. The employee threatened to ‘punch his lights out and call the police if he didn’t leave the premises’.

Later that night Indian Pete recovered his boat without touching Narrow Boats property in any way. Again there was no notification on the boat from BWB.

On Monday 16 Aug a community patrol officer was snooping around Ayuppa and later a BWB canoeist was spotted followed by BWB patrol officers taking numbers. So now they’ve stolen it back.

Pete has now informed a solicitor so watch this space and…….

Naughty Bath Narrow Boats! We don’t need them but they need us!

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10 Responses to “Pete’s Adventure”

  1. Claire Francis MonsterID Icon Claire Francis says:

    I would like to reply to the allegations made by Pete about me and Bath Narrowboats.
    1. BW asked if they could moor a boat they had seized while they made arrangements to have it lifted out of the canal. As they are OUR landlords I could not see a problem with this.

    2. At around 6.45pm while working alone in the office and with all of the gates to the business LOCKED AND SHUT imagine my surprise when I am confronted with someone demanding their boat back .

    3. I politely informed the individual ( Pete) that BW had seized it and he should talk to them as I was NOT in a position to release it.

    4. I then asked him to leave our business which he was reluctant to do. I do not take kindly myself to being intimidated by someone who has illegally entered private property and has caused a nuisance of himself. How would the boaters on the K and A feel if I just wandered into their locked boat and made myself at home, I think I would not be made welcome !!!!!

    5. I escorted ( Pete ) off the premises and as he squared up to me I did advise him it would not be in his best interests.

    6. I have made a statement to the Police and as several criminal offences have been committed against me and Bath Narrowboats we will reserve the right to press charges

    7. Pete again illegally entered the business after I had left for home and took the boat. As far as I am aware this has only caused him more trouble .

    I hope this redresses the balance

    • Paul Biddy MonsterID Icon Paul Biddy says:

      Claire. It’s simply unacceptable that BW put local businesses into situations of potential conflict with local boaters. It’s bad for local relations, and bad for business. The actions of BW in this matter are highly questionable, unlawful and breach human rights. Just say no to the BW.

  2. Paul Biddy MonsterID Icon Paul Biddy says:

    Letter to BWsw who refused to accept my complaint concerning their treatment of local boaters.

    Dear Sarina.

    Thank you for your e-mail in which you refuse to accept my complaint, state I lack authority, and advise me to raise concerns at trial on the 23rd and 24th of September in Bristol.

    I am of the opinion that BW are a public authority as stated in section 1 of the 1962 transport act and bound by ECHR with a duty of care to respond to reasonable complaints through BW’s complaints procedure.

    I do not accept your refusal to act in accordance with mandate and assure you that I have the full support of Peter Wells in this matter.

    At no time in the past have I made a complaint concerning these issues, and at no time have BWsw addressed these issues through the complaints procedure with me.

    These issues are not part of our current litigation and I fail to see how BW’s unlawful treatment of Pete Wells, his home and private property bears any relevance whatsoever to my Defence.

    I therefore hope you will amend your position and revert to addressing my complaint by following the BW internal complaints procedure as you should.


  3. Half Cut MonsterID Icon Half Cut says:

    Gentlemen. I rather think that you are being overly harsh with Bath Narrowboats. As a canalside business, the Company is not in an easy position to pick and choose the work given by BW; effectively their landlord.

    Regarding the outburst from the BN manager, it must be said that it was most regrettable. Those of you familiar with the Company may appreciate the emotional pressure that the individual concerned may be experiencing at this time. It is very likely that the process of gender change may, by its very nature, occasionally cause people to behave in a manner that is completely out of character.Just a thought, for what it’s worth.

    Looking now at the actions of BW, I can only agree the observations already made. Indeed, perhaps BW should remember that without the effort expended in the past by Pete and others like him, BW wouldn’t have a working Kennet and Avon Canal.

  4. Nick Brown MonsterID Icon Nick Brown says:

    Response from BW: so “lets see what happens…”

    Dear Mr Nick Brown, National Bargee Travellers Association

    RE: complaint regarding BW Conduct

    Thank you for your e-mail dated the 17th August 2010 regarding the above.
    This matter is now being dealt with by the British Waterways Enforcement Team under the British Waterways’ Internal Complaints Procedure. We take complaints very seriously and are committed to undertaking a full investigation and will respond to you within 15 working days of this acknowledgement.

    Yours sincerely
    Linzi O’neill
    Boating Support Team Supervisor
    British Waterways
    Tel: 0113 281 6861
    Email: linzi.o’

    • Nick Brown MonsterID Icon Nick Brown says:

      From: Denise Yelland []
      Sent: 02 September 2010 13:55
      Subject: RE: BW Conduct – Formal Complaint ENF 038/10

      Dear Mr Brown

      I am writing to you in response to your email of 17th August 2010 sent to Lisa Jarvis, Enforcement Officer, which was put into our complaints system. This response constitutes level 1 of our complaints procedure.

      I note that you are not making any specific complaint against any one specific officer. I also note that you do not have all the facts of the case that appears on the Kanda website and, no doubt you will appreciate, that we cannot comment on individual cases as this is a matter between the person(s) concerned and British Waterways (BW).

      Since your complaint relates to BW’s general conduct, I would like to refer you to our powers contained in Section 13 of the British Waterways Act 1971 and Section 8 of the British Waterways Act 1983.

      Section 8 of the 1983 Act permits us, after giving at least 28 days notice, to remove a craft which is sunk, stranded, abandoned or unlawfully moored on our waterways. Section 13 of the 1971 Act states that it is unlawful to moor or keep any houseboat on a BW waterway without a valid licence. It further gives BW the power to remove or (ultimately) demolish a houseboat if, following proper notice, the owner does not first remove it.

      The procedure that is followed in each case will depend on whether the boat is occupied (“liveaboard”) or not:

      Liveaboard Procedure – Where there is evidence that the boat is occupied BW’s policy is to serve a series of letters on the owner/occupier warning them of the consequences of failure to remove the boat. This correspondence takes several months and gives the owner/occupier ample opportunity to remedy matters and discuss any queries with BW. If, despite the opportunities afforded, the boat remains on BW waters without lawful authority, BW will serve statutory notices under Sections 8 and 13 (see above).

      Upon expiry of the minimum 28 day notice period BW will notify the owner/occupier that the file is being transferred to solicitors to issue Court proceedings. Court proceedings are then issued for declaratory and injunctive relief and are served on the owner/occupier. The owner/occupier has then an opportunity to defend the case and have a fair trial on the merits. The Court can then review the procedure followed and determine the scope (if any) of the relief granted to BW.

      In many cases, once the enforcement procedure commences the owner/occupier of the boat removes them from BW waters prior to issuing legal proceedings. This means that BW does not need to proceed to Court for an injunction/declaration. In other cases, matters proceed to trial.

      Non-liveaboard Procedure – Where a boat is sunk, abandoned or otherwise not occupied, BW will serve a notice under Section 8 requiring removal from its waters within 28 days. If the notice is not complied with BW can remove the boat from its waters without issuing Court proceedings.

      Both sets of procedures are human rights compliant. Please also note that BW is well aware of its legal rights and duties and does not act in a manner that is unlawful.

      I hope that the above addresses the issues that you have raised. Should you feel that I have not properly considered your concerns or you remain dissatisfied with us over this matter, you can ask for your complaint to be considered at the second level of our Complaints Procedure. In this case you should write to Kelly Radley, Internal Communications and Customer Services Manager at 64 Clarendon Road, Watford, WD17 1DA. Further details on our complaints procedure can be found at

      Denise Yelland (Mrs)
      National Enforcement Manager

  5. Nick Brown MonsterID Icon Nick Brown says:

    Open letter to BW and SoS EFRA

    FAO: Chairman, British Waterways Board
    Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

    Dear Sir

    I am writing to you in my capacity as officer of the National Bargee Travellers Association. I wish to raise a formal complaint directed at the Board of British Waterways Board (“BWB”). I therefore expect this complaint to be managed properly and addressed appropriately.

    For the avoidance of doubt this letter is not a Letter Before Claim composed in accordance with the PD of CPR Part 54. However if this complaint is not addressed appropriately I shall support the aggrieved party in issuing such a letter.

    I wish to state that in the work that I do in supporting boaters, that it is extremely common for me to come across anecdotal evidence of the maladministration of officers of BWB and, depending upon the nature of what is alleged, unlawful acts perpetrated in certain situations. This appears to be systemic and not confined to individual officers. The level of complaints that come to my attention and the nature of those complaints is regular, shocking and oppressive.

    I make no specific complaint against any one specific officer in this complaint today of my own origination. However it appears to me that the person identified in the link below has already instructed his lawyers with this in mind.

    My specific complaint today relates to the conduct of BWB as identified in this post on the Kanda website as follows: [link to this page]

    I have connection with members of the Kanda community although I am not fully au fait with this specific case. However the same systemic issues come across in this matter.

    I must add that in this instance the aggrieved party has grounds for complaint by means of judicial review including (but not confined to) violation of Arts 8 and 6 ECHR; accusation of theft (A1P1) and accusation of prejudice against a member of an ethnic minority (Art 14), accusation of violation of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 (a criminal offence), accusation of threat of unlawful violence and, last but not least, abuse of powers whilst in public office.

    It is particularly distressing to see these same issues coming up again and again. I remind BWB that its mandate is to provide public service and specifically not to engage in oppression of the public let alone minority groups. I have no confidence that the Board is managing BWB in a manner that can be described as anything other than oppressive in relation to live aboard boaters.

    I do observe that in extremis the end product would be the removal of the Board of BWB and/or the dismantling of BWB so that its responsibilities are operated through alternative mechanisms. As an alternative I propose that the Board of BWB might consider my observations and how its modus operandi has leached confidence from this minority demographic group. In the mean time I am making formal complaint and I requisition response accordingly.

    Yours sincerely
    Nick Brown
    National Bargee Travellers Association

  6. Paul Biddy MonsterID Icon Paul Biddy says:

    Absolvely crazy that BW involve Bath Narrowboats in the seizure of a boat that is a) the private property of Pete and b) an essential part of his home without even a sniff of a court order. In no way whatsoever can boaters accept such unreasonable and unlawful behaviour

  7. Nick Brown MonsterID Icon Nick Brown says:

    Isnt this a time to get a restraining order??
    Or get someone arrested for theft?
    Or initiate a private prosecution?
    I take it he lives on his boat?
    Therefore his home..
    Therefore Art 8 applies
    Therefore court process manditory (Art 6)
    So as a minimum anyone touching the boat should be arrested for unlawful eviction (remembering that this is a criminal offence).

    BWB: incorrigible.

    As for Bath Narrowboats: what goes round comes round. Threat of assault = complaint to the police. And to BW (as in why are their agents threatening members of the public?)

    More to this than meets the eye: I should think so !! Another job for Chris Johnson / Community Law Partnership I think. And complaint by way of judicial review.

    Somehwere along the line the board of BW ar egoing to get themselves Impeached.