Bradford Wharf – the plot thickens

Have you wondered why Oxfordshire Narrowboats are conspicuous by their absence at Bradford Wharf? Particularly with Easter only 9 weeks away.

The latest news on Bradford Wharf was that Oxfordshire Narrowboats are intending to run a fleet of 14 day boats immediately adjacent to the busiest lock on the Western K and A.

There is a major hold up in the signing of the lease, a source within British Waterways revealed yesterday, Oxfordshire Narrowboats are said to be unhappy about the repairing lease which could land them with a £250,000 repair bill to the lock wall, the main reason that sensible businesses looked askance at the deal offered by BW. They also are said to be unhappy with Mark Stephen’s insistence that the dry dock is used as a dry dock, even though concessions were made to allow the company to restrict access to DIY boat repairs and local surveyors.

One Response to “Bradford Wharf – the plot thickens”

  1. SimonR MonsterID Icon SimonR says:

    Some of us are familiar with this way of working in BW – they put up all sorts of unworkable conditions to frustrate busineses from taking on a working boatyard site and creating a sustainable waterside business. Having created the obstacles, BW then turn around and claim no-one is interested in using the site for boatyard purposes and use this to justify handing it over to the property developers.

    Another boatyard lost and another piece of working heritage destroyed at BW’s hands in their desperate pursuit of money.

    The most famous previous example was Castle Mill in Oxford. Fortunately a variety of factors frustrated this and ironically selling the site to a property developer (who subsequently went bust) improved the situation. Thanks to the fact that by the time they sold the developer the site, BW had so enraged the local community, there is consequently now much more hope than ever before that the site will retain some direct connection with the boating community than existed whan BW were in charge!

    The poor old property developer got stitched up a kipper by BW (sob!)- A salutory warning to others about working ‘in partnership’ with BW.

    The most recent update I have seen on Castle Mill, see:

    Adelaide Dock in Southall was also going this way ’til some of us created a stink – BW London under public pressure eventually re-worked the proposal and the dock is now used as their depot.

    Usual story folks – keep on to councillors and the whole local community, because when properly informed of the issues this leaves BW less room to manouvere and spin their way!

    See also the recent events at Marmsworth – again because the local community cotton-ed on to what was happenning and acted, BW are having to think again.

    I’m not opposed to all BW developement – I just wish they would go about it with a bit more consideration and make some genuine attempts to work with the communities concerned, rather than trying to bully people into submission.