Archive for June, 2010

Bath valley parishes launch new group at Dundas

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Some boaters may have noticed a group of smartly dressed people having their picture taken at Dundas Aqueduct on Monday 21st June. Thanks to the Wiltshire Times, we now know who they were. Yes, they are the Valley Parishes Alliance, a group of nine parish councils who have joined forces to present a unified view on local issues across the B&NES/ Wiltshire boundary. The issues they are concerned about include “the canal”. When you put together the words “parish council”, “concerned” and “canal”, it doesn’t take much imagination to translate that into

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Report of Community Involvement in Managing Local Moorings meeting

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

The meeting on June 1st about Community Involvement in Managing Local Moorings was organised by Wiltshire Council to discuss BW’s proposals for a local mooring strategy between Bath and Devizes. About 150 people attended. Damian Kemp was the only BW representative there. The meeting was chaired by Councillor Fleur de Rhé Phillippe.

Damian announced that BW would be going ahead with its plan for a local mooring strategy for the western Kennet and Avon between Bath and Devizes. He explained how the local mooring strategy steering group would work.

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Monday, June 21st, 2010

We received a message from Colin Hobbs who is looking for photos of Tipton, the coal and diesel boat featured in our article here

Colin says “My Mother’s family worked and I guess lived on Tipton in the 1930s and 1940s, and I was wondering if there may be some old photos of the family about somewhere. The family name was Holt, my grandfather the skipper was Arthur Holt. They may have worked other boats but this is the only boat name I remember”.

If anyone can help, please contact Colin at

“The politest climb down I’ve ever seen” – BW promises to release minutes of meetings with K&A Trust

Friday, June 18th, 2010

A boater recently appealed against BW’s refusal to provide information and minutes of meetings which had taken place with the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust (see previous article on this web site “I don’t believe it” ). This is the apology she received from Caroline Killeavy, BW’s Head of Customer Relations:

“Thank you for your email of 7th June requesting a formal review of the information we previously supplied to you. Your second email has been very helpful to us in that it now specifically identifies the meetings which you are interested in. 

 Chris Grey and I have reviewed the initial response we sent to you and we both agree that in the light of your most recent detailed request the original information supplied to you was insufficient.  Please accept my apologies for this. I can reassure you that this was not intentional.

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Remember, boaters’ meeting Wednesday 16th June

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

A reminder – there will be a boaters’ meeting on Wednesday 16th June at 8pm upstairs at the Georgian Lodge Hotel, Bradford on Avon. See the post further down this page for all the details.

Wiltshire Fire Service offer to help the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

By now you may have met Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service cycling along the towpath giving out fire safety advice and free smoke detectors. They may look a bit like BW staff as they will be wearing the Fire Service uniform of blue shirt, black trousers and also a life jacket, so make sure you don’t mistake them for the boat checkers or enforcement officers, because a smoke detector could save your life, whereas a patrol notice is only useful for starting fires.

On second thoughts, keep the patrol notices and threatening letters, as you may wish to refer to them when making a complaint to BW about unlawful enforcement.

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Good Public Relations?

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

A BW employee doing a survey of visitors to the canal approached a member of the public in Bradford on Avon recently. After asking some questions, the BW worker asked for comments. The passer-by, who is a friend of one of the boaters, said that BW didn’t appear to look after boaters at all well. Another own goal for BW PR!

Change of venue for 16 June boaters’ meeting

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Important – We have had to change the venue for the 16 June Boaters’ Meeting. The meeting on 16 June 2010, 8pm, will be upstairs at Georgian Lodge Hotel, Bradford on Avon (opposite the library).

Our future, our canal! Moorings consultations, local mooring strategies, meetings with Wiltshire and B&NES Councils, BW aiming to become a charitable trust… a lot has been happening recently. We have been doing our best to resist BW’s attempts to get rid of liveaboard boaters from the western Kennet and Avon. Come to this meeting to find out what’s been happening and how you can be involved in fighting for the rights of liveaboard boaters on the Kennet and Avon.We had to change the venue, as the Canal Tavern was double-booked (by the pub’s boat club). Please pass this message on, especially to boaters without internet access.

“I Never Give In To Bullies” – A Letter To BW

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Two years ago, BW proposed in a previous consultation to increase the licence fee for boats without a home mooring by £150. This plan provoked enormous opposition from boaters. One of the responses to that 2008 consultation summed up how many of us feel. We decided it was time to share this inspiring and angry letter with other boaters. Here is an edited version.


Dear Mr Salem

I have read British Waterways’ response to the BWAF report on boat licence fees and this is my response to that. I live on a boat and have done so for 18 years, I am an individual and speak for myself and do not subvert that right to user groups, whoever they might be.

The points I take exception to, which I believe are the main purpose of the exercise, are those relating to the so-called ‘continuous cruiser’ which is the absurd name and concept applied to people who live on boats who neither need nor want a permanent mooring.

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I don’t believe it!

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

A boater made this Freedom of Information request to BW recently:
“Further to the attached Press Release from British Waterways dated 25 May 2010, please could you send me the minutes of the discussions regarding setting up a Waterways Partnership Board for the Kennet and Avon canal, referred to in the press release as:
 ‘discussions, which also included representatives from the Inland Waterways Association (IWA), the KACT and BW will work together in setting up a Waterways Partnership Board for the canal. ‘
Please could you also send me a copy of the Waterways Partnership agreement between British Waterways, the Kennet and Avon canal trust, and any other parties which are formal partners in this agreement.”

This is what BW’s 25 May 2010 Press Release said:

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