Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Just leaving the boat this morning and spotted a beautiful rainbow arching over the pond in the marina. It was a rare occasion where I could see the whole of the rainbow as it swept up above the golden trees.
Just about to return to the boat to put my camera away when I couldn't resist a couple of 'grab shots' of the early morning sun rising over Khayamanzi.
This evening, the fire is going well again as temperatures plummet although it doesn't seem quite so cold tonight and the side hatch is open to allow a little fresh air in.

Monday, October 29, 2007


I will assume that you have one of these amazing little gadgets, if not then switch off now and go and buy one! The do work and circulate the hot air from the stove, (that traditionally rises and sits ont he ceiling,) and push the hot air down the length of the boat to the back. In my experience, those who say they don't work haven't read the instruction regarding siting the unit and have placed it in front of the chimney which does not produce the best efficiency.

Now, I can't be the only person who has left theres on the stove and knocked a lock gate just a little too hard and knocked the ecofan flying onto the floor! I have, several times and it finally gave up the will to live. I sent it off to Calfire in Wrexam and they sent me a very prompt, full and efficient pdf report informing me that it would cost around thirty five pounds to service including the fitting of a reconditioned blade FOC. I agreed and 2 days later they phoned me to inform me that it had been refurbished and how would I like to pay. I paid over the phone with a card and within a week of sending it off, it was back on my stove working as good as new. Fantastic service and I highly recommend them. Their address is:
Calfire Spareline Ltd.,
Gledrid. Chirk.
LL14 5DG.

Sent off the money today to pay for the cratch to A J Canopies. Another fantastic company and I am extremely impressed with the cratch they provided and recommend their service 100%

It's lovely to be able to recommend three canal based companies in the last week for their excellent service and helpful attitude and to that end, I have added a set of links to the right hand side of this blog to all those companies who have excelled themselves in the quality, helpfullness and efficiency of their service.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I love this time of year! Second only to Spring and summer, it's my favourate time of year!! This weekend has been extremely hectic with the open day and end of season barbecue yesterday. Both were a great success and the boaters barbecue saw over 30 people turn up for a fantastic evening. Innevitably, today was spent clearing up. My father helped and eventually left me this afternoon for his journey back down south. I cleared up the boat, did my ironing and took Simba for a walk along the towpath to enjoy the afternoon sun streaming through the autumnal colours only pausing to take a few pictures such as those above. The trees in All Oaks Wood are amazing right now and on more than one occasion I have almost crashed the car driving up Cathiron Lane as my eyes are drawn towards the trees.
I don't like these early dark nights now that the clocks have gone back and tomorrow will be the first day that I drive home from work in the dark. Talking of work, back to it tomorrow. Ah well, Christmas can't be too far away!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Aeroplane jump!

....no, not me - I'm not crazy! One of our teachers spent her honeymoon in Uganda during the summer and went to see a primary school there. She came back wanting to support the charity involved called Edirisa so as a school we have agreed. Another teacher, (who is scared stiff of heights!) is, tomorrow leaping out of an aeroplane to raise money. Weare urgently wanting people to sponsor him through this link to help raise funds. Please help if you can.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Final day and home again!

A good day today. Set off this morning at around 9.30 from Norton Junction and headed through Braunston Tunnel towards the locks. Paired up with NB Ryebank a shared ownership boat to transcend the locks. The couple on the boat were both deputy heads so much 'school talk' was the order of the flight!
One thing I noticed was the posters advertising the notorious Mr. Finch which were plastered to every lock gate.
Although Mr. Finch has a colourful and interesting history, he is a scourge on the canals and apparently has been released from prison and is now working the Braunston area of the canals yet again. For those not in the know or who don't have time to read the webiste on him, Finch, (an ex-millitary man,) breaks into narrowboats to steal booze, AA batteries, food and anything else that he can generally use to help him survive in the wild! He is a serious problem and his release from prison is always dreaded by the boating fraternity.
Another delightful stop at Clifton Cruisers on the way back. I never knew that pumping out the toilet and getting diesel could be such a pleasurable experience. Clifton Cruisers certainly make it such with nothing being too much trouble and the service being efficient, friendly and calm.
The final length of cut back to the marina saw every mooring space full and hire boats even forced to more at rediculous angles on bridge 'oles - a good job we weren't needing an urgent mooring space on-line!
Just as I was turning into the marina a Kingfisher appeared on a branch and sat there as I travelled past not even 3 feet away from us! It was th emost remarkable view of a KIngfisher I have ever seen and I hastilly grabbed my camera. Unfortunately I think he knew that the light was just too dark and the exposure too long to get any shots other than a blur. This one was the only shot in which a Kingfisher could actually be recognised!
This elusive bird remains to be un-photographed successfully still despite obliging fully with the photographer today - I just wish he would have sat there for that amount of time when the daylight was better!
Having moored in the marina I commented to my father that the week was lovely but in all the moorings we had - nowhere did we moor for the night with views anything like equivalent to those in front of my boat in this marina. It really was lovely to come back into and the facilities of the local Chinese shop just 4 minutes down the road added to the whole home-coming experience!!
Tomorrow, I plan to shop and prepare for the barbecue and open day on Saturday - reality returns too quickly!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Day five

20 miles and 6 locks today - Phew!!

Left this morning at around 10.00 after a lazy start and headed towards Husbands Bosworth Tunnel. Much more traffic around today but fortunately most of it was heading in the opposite direction to us! A clear run through the tunnel, only passing one CanalTimeboat and then the 15 miles or so of clear and beautiful countryside cruising towards the Watford Locks and past Crick Marina where the new marina was a hive of activity.
It's a amazing how small the boating world is! During the summer, we kept 'leapfrogging' NB Everso from the River Weaver, all the way down the T & M and along much of the Shroppie. Today, we passed them again, twice! This time, they managed to pop their heads out of the front doors and we had a passing few comments about our respective travels. I'm sure our paths will cross again one day and hopefully it will be at a queue somewhere so that we can meet properly and get to know them!
Arrived at the Watford Staircase Locks at around five to four and found ourselves queueing behind 2 hire boats. With last passage at 4.15pm and Watford being the noisiest place on the entire system, we were a tad concerned that we might have to end up mooring for the night alongside the Watford Gap Service Station on the M1! Fortunately traffic was all in our direction and we were the last boat down for the evening with the Lockie locking the locks behind us.
We cruised on towards the turn at Norton Junction with the clouds increasing and the temperature decreasing and made the turn finally mooring up for the night at a nice little spot towpath side opposite good views of fields. A little noisy with the distant hum of the M1 but a convenient stop with the Braunston tunnel and locks to be conquered tomorrow before, hopefully, returning back to Brinklow Marina tomorrow evening in time for me to go shopping and prepare for our open day and evening barbecue on Saturday.
BTW. Sent my Ecofan off to be refurbished as it had stopped working last week. Today I recieved an extremely efficient and thorough test report telling me what needed to be done and informing me that the total cost would be around thirty five pounds. Not bad considering it needed almost everything replaced! They even said they would put on a reconditioned new blade FOC as it seemedto have been damaged severely in the post. I am very impressed so far and when I get it back, if it is as good as I expect it to be, I'll publish the details of the company on this blog.
****Added a new canal captions picture to my main Khayamanzi site****

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Day four!

A grand total of 11 miles achieved today in 10 hours of engine running time! To be fair, we did also achieve 20 locks and 2 swing bridges, (twice.) The BW lock keeper was up and about the flight at 7.45am and, shrouded in mist and with a golden ball of fiery autumnal sun, Khayamanzi and her crew picked her weary way down the 10 staircase locks at Foxton. The good thing was that there were no gongoozlers at that time of the day, the bad part was that we still had to wait about an hour in the middle of them for 4 upward bound vessels to pass!

We headed off towards Market Harborough and turned for the return trip.

An interesting trip back where we came across a huge wide beam that was attempting to pick its way along, grinding to a complete halt at every bridge as it made its way through with cm. to spare.

Fortunately they soon let us past and we arrived at the Foxton locks again at around 1.45pm to buy the obligatory bridge plaque plus a few spare grocery items etc. We were informed there would be a long wait before we could go up and it wasn't long before another private boat pulled alongside with a lovely family on board. Time was passed in conversation and shared stories and over 2 hours later we were not only heading up the flight but had also 'bribed' 2 of their children to lock-wheel with us! (Actually they volunteered but we did give them some 'pocket money' for helping us!) It's amazing how time can fly with good company and conversation!

Before long, we were through the locks and cruising through golden autumnal leaves with the low evening sun shafting through the smoke of our stove and with nothing but panoramic views, rolling countryside and steep grassy or wooded banks with sheep lazilly grazing. Our final mooring is opposite a steep green hill with a copse of trees on the top and the owls have already been serenading me while I re-packed the stern greaser and tightened a loose bearing.
During the return journey, I also spotted this tug - a little over-kill I felt for the Leicester Arm of the Grand Union!
My final offering of the day is this sign seen just above the waterline - does anyone honestly have a clue what speed that is? "Honest guv. I was only doing 6.42 KPH!"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Day three

The fate that awaits us tomorrow!

15 miles and no locks today! Was supposed to be 10 locks at Foxton but turned up at 4.18pm and Mr. Jobsworth BW refused to let us through as the last boat was allowed through at 4.15. I guess this mean that he got to knock off at 4.18pm instead of his contracted 5.00!!
Currently moored right at the top of the Foxton staircase locks waiting to go through at 8.00 tomorrow morning.
A most beautiful stretch of canal between Watford Locks and Foxton. 15 miles of rolling countryside, wooded glens, the most remote places I have ever seen and plenty of amazing rural remote mooring spaces. Only 10 moving boats passed in 6 hours of cruising and the lovely Husbands Bosworth tunnel.
We toyed with the idea of having a meal at the Foxton Locks pub but decided to stay on board for a Steak and Guinness pie instead!
Tomorrow we plan to head down the locks, into Market Harborough and then return through the locks to find one of those beautiful remote rural moorings we passed today!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Day two

Approaching the Watford staircase locks.

Set off this morning after a full fried breakfast at around 9.45. Temperatures overnight dropped to -0.3 degrees and a hard frost this morning proved that autumn had finally arrived. A lot of traffic about meant very slow progress with a 2 hour wait at the Watford staircase locks for the hotel boats Oak and Ash to head up in front.
A grand total of 12 miles and 12 locks was completed with our final mooring just before bridge 17 on the Leicester arm of the GU after Crick.
Another totally failed attempt at photographing a Kingfisher! It would have been quite good if he hadn't decided to sit right outside the exit of a bridge resulting in this silhouette!
Half way up the Watford locks and I couldn't help chuckle at this 'notice'.
It reminded me of the warning sign that simply read, 'WARNING! The edges of this sign are sharp.'
Tomorrow, gongoozler city. If the weather is good, I imgine a lot of people will be thronging the Foxton Locks. We plan to do the locks and then turn towards Market Harborough and see how far we get before turning for the journey home.

My final offering this evening is this interestingly moored boat - no comment needed!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Half term - day 1

A lazy start to the day meaning a late start. The eventual pulling out of the marina didn't take place until 10.40am. We stopped at Yates' Yard at Fall's Bridge - the first time I have ever stopped there, and the last! Most unhelpful. He waited until we had squeezed in between 2 moored boats and watched us all the time before coming down and announcing that his pump out had frozen and he couldn't do it for us! What rubbish as the night time temperature hadn't fallen anywhere near freezing. He then continued to tell us how he ran the pump-out as a loss leader and wouldn't do just a pump-out anyway and I could make that widely known in the marina, if he had been any sort of business-man, he would have discovered that I also wanted a large quantity of coal and diesel too! By contrast,we pulled into Clifton cruisers very apologetically as it was 'turn-around day' only to be met by a very cheery and extremely helpful person who replied, 'oh don'tworry- we never turn anyone away if we can help it.' He then did a very thorough pump-out, filled me up with diesel, sold me some coal, magazines and chandlery items, gave my father some free apples from his tree and gave us a few washers to mend my winter chimney - what a total contrast and I would now never hesitate to recommend the services of Clifton Cruisers.
Onwards through the Hillmorton Locks and towards Braunston. Finally mooring just past bridge 82 at a lovely spot at around 3.00pm. Early enough to mend my chimney, mend the handle on the coal bucket and sit in the sunshine for a while before stopping Iain and Allison on working boat Gosty Hill for a long chat and another 10 bags of coal. A total distance of 10 miles and 3 locks! Tomorrow, the turn at Braunston, locks and tunnel towards Kings Norton Junction. Now.... the rugby!
The first picture at the top shows my new cratch with wider doors rolled up to enjoy the sunshine. I shall post a full and closed picture soon.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A cratch to weather the storm!

Well, my new cratch canopy was installed today by A J Canopies and very smart it is too! true to their word, 2 fitters arrived this afternoon and fitted it. I have to say, I am extremely impressed with the quality and fit of it and would recommend them to anyone. From the start, they went out of their way to fit in with my time scale and the final cover will last many years to come I'm sure. Unfortunately since getting home I have been too busy to take any pictures of it but will post some as soon as I get the chance.

I notice Narrowboat world have dragged up my past death threats from a certain forum to fuel the ongoing row between the 2 sites and in the process kicked up quite a storm! I suppose you could say I dragged up the issue with my recent blog highlighting my opinion, I guess they have just seen the opportunity and like all good marketing gurus 'siezed the day'! I have no objection to their article whatsoever and it is comfortingto know that the vast majority of people on the forum that they are quarrelling with seem to realise that the circumstances publicised were 'out of order', indeed, I find it somewhat flattering that anyone should believe what I say can carry such 'weight'; I guess the reason I am so outspoken and seemingly controversial at times is that I don't actually believe myself that what I ever say can be taken all that seriously!

I helped neighbour Norman take his boat down to Rose Narrowboats after school this evening for his bottom black, (the boats, not normans,) and then returned for a good dinner cooked by my father, a shower, hair cut, hoover and load of washing, (not necessarily in that order though.) Tomorrow I plan a lazy start before taking on water and heading for Braunston and beyond.... more tomorrow.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Two pleas for help!!

This evening, I have 2 please for help! Firstly, many readers of my blog have posted me this picture.
It's a boat moored on the River Thames and if you look closely you'll notice the name is 'Kyamanzi'. I have never seen it myself but am assured it exists. I can also confirm that my spelling of the name 'Khayamanzi' is the correct one! I would love to find out anything about the person who owns it as I believe we are the only Khayamanzi named vessels on the system.
My second plea is this. I have communicated on occasions with the owner of a lovely Goldsborough boat called 'Ten Bob Note'. They are not the original owners but the boat used to moor with me at Trinity Marina. We are trying to track down anyone who knows the history of the name as I believe there is a story behind it - can anyone help?
Tomorrow, my new cratch is due to be fitted - watch this space for the first new pictures!! My father is also travelling up to join me tomorrow so that we can leave on Saturday, (sorry I interrupt this bulletin to moan at the fact that the first Christmas themed advert has just been seen and heard on the TV courtesy of Argos!) to travel to Market Harborough and back. I hope to be able to update the blog daily on this trip with pictures and news.
Finally I have posted a couple of pictures of some lovely evening sunsets and cosy evening shots in the marina simply because I took them today and like them!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

I despair!

Just for a giggle, I checked out the Canalworld forums. The first post I read says, and I quote:

'I wondered what BW's actual purpose/charter is. So I looked it up, on the DEFRA website.BW charter on DEFRAThere is nothing in it whatsoever about boats. We (boaters) are stuffed.'

The charter referred to says, and I quote again with parts in brackets added by me,

  • Maintain, enhance and expand its historic waterway network for the benefit of both current and future generations, (that will be for boaters then)
  • Provide a broad range of public benefits, including leisure, (that will be boaters then) environment, heritage, education, health and social inclusion that attract increasing numbers of visits and increasing appreciation by the public
  • To be a responsible member of the business community engaging with its wide stakeholder (that will be boaters then) base on the climate change agenda, acting with concern for the environment and focusing on long term sustainability
  • Contribute to the economic vitality of the adjacent urban and rural space by promoting regeneration and by providing a focus of public interest, which contributes to the building of sustainable community activity (like boating for instance)
  • Develop a growing commerical income from relevant entrepreneurial activity, associated with a well-maintained and well used waterway network, (for boaters perhaps) and in so doing reduce dependence on government grant.

There then follows 6 posts all agreeing, slamming BW and even advocating a mass protest of opening all swing bridges during rush hour to get us poor boaters noticed!

I guess the post was added by a floating housing estate dweller who clearly doesn't understand the history, heritage, business or future of boating.

With a level of intelligence and support such as that, as someone once said, 'We (boaters) are stuffed.'!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Why blog?

Why blog?It's an interesting question. I always thought bloggers simply wanted to share personal and specific aspects of their intriquing lives with the wider world via an impersonal medium. It seems that with the increasing popularity of blogging and the fact that bloggers appear to be marked solely on their ability to write and report in a style equal to that of best selling broadsheets, there is an emerging trend being developed of several tiers of bloggers!

I monitor quite a few blogs and I notice different categories emerging. Some focus on regularity of postings and even use blog-bots to help, others focus on high thinking or majorly controversial issues and others maintain their focus on the reason they first started blogging - to share personal and specific aspects of their intriquing lives with the wider world via in impersonal medium! The blogs I personally find the most interesting are the ones that blog when they have something relevant and interesting to say that is directly related to the original reason that I added them to my feed-reader!

So why do I blog? Haven't a clue!! I simply enjoy sharing personal and specific aspects of my (hopefully,) intriguing life to the wider world via an impersonal medium. My posts don't take on any popularity contest - they simply allow the 'nosey parker' within to read the rediculous ramblings of my mind and act as a window to my life, all-be-it often with very frosted glass!

So todays news!
My father left this afternoon for his meetings having cooked a full English fried breakfast this morning bless him! We then planted over 50kg of daffodil bulbs around before sitting down and resting outside for a while. Although it has been cloudy and damp today, the unseasonably mild weather has been very enjoyable - I just hope it extends to a weeks time when I go off on my trip towards Foxton Locks for the half term.

Tomorrow, I plan to service the batteries on the boat and have a general tidy round.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mid week interlude!

OK - a hasty update on life from the perspective of a Wednesday evening! Yesterday was hectic to say the least! Playground duty during the teaching day ensured no break whatsoever between 7.45am and 3.30pm, Eco-Schools meeting between 3.30 and 4.30pm, a hasty catch up with marking, planning and assessment before a governor's meeting from 7.00 to 10.15pm finally arriving home from school at 10.45pm to collapse in a chair for about 20mins before bed - don't even ask where dinner fitted in!

Today was marginally better with the lack of playground duty and a short break to get my weekly shopping completed between 5.00 and 6.00 before attending our parent's evenings from 6.00 to 8.15pm. Finally getting home at around 8.30ish.

My father is using Khayamanzi as a hotel for the remainder of this week as he has meetings in the north and finds me a convenient staging post for them. He arrived at school at 3.30 today to collect a key to get into the marina and look after Simba for me. The rest of the week should be relatively 'normal' if there's ever such a thing in a school when dealing with children! Hopefully at least, evenings shouldn't be too late. A parents association meeting next week and then a series of 3 parent/teacher interviews will ensure that sensible working day times don't last too long........

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A bizarre day!

Today started as a strange day and got stranger as it went on! It was one of those days I have been torn limb from limb in about 12 different directions and have now switched off the phone, battoned down the hatches and am determined to finish at least one job without being pulled somewhere else, and the job in question is the most important of all - that of dinner cooking!!

I woke up, made a cup of coffee, switched on the iron and got half way through my ironing when the phone went for the first time. The school intruder alarm had triggered a fault and the monitoring station couldn't get hold of the head. I switched everything off, left my coffee to get cold and headed into school. Half way there, the phone rang again to tell me it had been upgraded to an intruder activation. I finally arrived at school after another 3 phone calls from different people on the way - none of whom I could help and checked the premises - no intruder, just a faulty alarm. I phoned the alarm engineer and then did another premises inspection whilst I waited only to find water pouring through a ceiling! Closer inspectionr evealed that the cleaner had left a tap running since Friday and it had flooded 2 cupboards, the corridor, year 3 cloakroom and boys toilets. The engineer arrived and informed us that the flood water was totally unrelated to the alarm - good job it went off then! I managed to get hold of the head and as we were sitting in the office making frantic phone calls there was a loud bang. We went to investigate and found that a glass internal door and simply exploded. No one was in the school, no window was opened, the flood wasn't anywhere near it - it just decided to explode and decided that then was a good time to do it!! More work to be done in cleaning it all up.

Eventually I managed to get home and finished the ironing and cleaning the boat, (a job I had been putting off for weeks and spent time elsewhere which resulted in the boat getting extremely dirty!) Most of the rest of the day was spent washing all the bed linen, towels, mats etc etc and then re-filling the water tank. Half way through filling the water tank and a car arrived with a smiling child waving enthusiastically at me. As it pulled up, I noticed it was one of the children from my year group at school. we set them on a canal project and they decided to visitmy marina, (without knowing I was there,) to photograph 'roses and castles' decoration for the project. I could only oblige with the roses and hinted on getting an extra few marks for the inclusion of photographs of Mr Edwards' boat and then phoned John who could oblige with the castles and even gave them a 'roses and castles' oil painting that he no longer wated.

Another boater in the marina volunteered some help to plant a few dafodills and although by that time, it was gone 5.00pm I felt I couldn't turn down a genuine offer of kind help so we wnet and planted a few before I returned and am now waiting for the meat to cook so that I can STOP!!!

I can't wait for work tomorrow- I need a rest!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

October plans

Spent this morning helping my neighbour, Norman, taking his new boat down for a pump out and diesel. Lacking in confidence, he simply wanted me on hand to guide although he did fine and didn't need me at all. A Rose hire boat moored at a bridge hole on a blind bend and happily fishing off the front bow caused an interesting moment as we met a day boat coming through the other way being helmed by a kid! The adults made no attempt to take control as the kid lost it big time and the bow veered across in front of us forcing us to collide and pushing us into the side of the 'moored' Rose boat. The rest of the day was spent planting dafodills and enjoying the relative warmth of an early October day.

The plans for the October half term in two weeks are currently to hit the GU and head through the Foxton Locks and back again. It will be a shorter week as I want to be back in good time to set up for the Saturday when we are holding an open day at the marina and then an evening 'end of season' barbecue.

A heavy week ahead with a late evening for prospective parents on wednesday and a late evening for a Governor's meeting on Tuesday where I have to present last years performance data.

I note that Mike Stevens funeral is on 15th October and it would have been great to attend but sadly impossible due to work. Details for those interetsed have been announced on Narrowboat World.

This evening, I have sat, listened too and watched Classic FM TV enjoying a couple of beers and the dim flickering glow of my oil lamp with Simba curled up asleep on the blanket in his chair as we both enjoy the warmth from the central heating, (too warm for a stove tonight!) The latest canal and rivers magazine has provided enjoyable reading - all in all, a very enjoyable quiet night in!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Ditch crawling!

Ditch crawling - a phrase I have heard on numerous occasions to describe canal boating. I know it is used as a phrase of endearment but somehow it grates on me! It seems to epitamise the dis-respect for the history and heritage of the past and the hard lives of the old working boat men. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't correct anyone who uses it and at the end of the day, I guess I'm just as guilty in using 'derrogitary' phrases to describe cabin cruises and other such boating related areas but I just don't like being referred to as a 'ditch crawler'!!

On a more serious note, the death of Mike Stevens is still permeating through the boating community. His arrival at my school when we held the Save Our Waterways campaign meetings was always an enthusiastically anticipated event and guaranteed to liven up the assembled group. I am grateful for the picture in my previous post which was taken by Keith Langston of Towpath Talk. Towpath Talk seems to now be an excellent source of on-line news and rivals many other waterway news sites. Well worth a visit and a look to keep in touch - the only negative is that it doesn't appear to host an RSS feed and so has to be manually visited every time you want to catch up rather than simply landing on your plate!

OK, enough of this - I'm off to explore Facebook. I've heard so much talk about it and some of my staff at school used it today to transfer pictures and files between home and school as well as to chat socially so I was promptedto go and investigate just to satisfy my own curiosity!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tragic news

Mike Stevens was a much loved waterway personality who can be credited with many waterway achievements. It is with a very heavy heart that I recieved an email from Will Chapman to say that Mike passed away yesterday. Mike was the web manager for the Save Our Waterways campaign and contributed to the Narrowboat World news site. As a blogger himself, Mike was instrumental in many waterways campaign ranging from restoration to museums. I had the pleasure of meeting Mike on a few occasions at SOW meetings and protests. Mike was also involved in education in one way or another all his working life and his last post before 'retirement' was with the Association of Teachers and Lecturers - one of the leading teaching unions.

My thoughts and sympathy extends to Mikes wife and family at this time.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Fight, fight, fight!

No, not the latest on a playground brawl from my day at school - more embarrasingly from adults who jolly well ought to know better! I find that the more patience I have with little people, the proportianally less I have with adults who seem more immature than the kids!
Try this one for size: The latest fight between the hormonal teenage attitude of certain Canalworld forum members and 'Victor' from the more respected news forum Narrowboat World. If I am led tobelieve correctly, there seems to be some feud between certain member sand that is what has brought on todays outburst of anger towards each other. There are some very influencial and extremely talented writers from both sides and it would be a shame if a few people ruin their reputations so my teacherly advice is 'steady on there people and calm down - now, shake hands and say sorry both of you!'

I follow both sites regularly and, (very occasionally now,) contribute to the Canalworld forum. Why very occasionally? Read Victor's latest comment and you'll see why - sadly, he is so very true!

On the 4th June 2007 I sent the following post to Jon - the site manager of the Canalworld forum:

May I please respectfully request that you unsubscribe me from this

Since receiving the death threats from this forum some time
back over expressing my views on unlicenced vessels, I have significantly
lessened my contribution and monitored the threads without participating. It has
been interesting and extremely clear that the type of 'boaters' now dominating
this forum are those with little or no interest in the boating package and would
rather spend their time bashing BW or expressing extreme views that do little
but betray their motives for boating as a cheap floating house. I am, quite
frankly, astounded by the number of people who openly admit and support such
ideas as bridge hopping, owning unlicenced boats and finding 'loop-holes' in the
law. This is not a community I wish to be a part of and having spoken to many
genuine touring boaters, the opinion is shared that this forum is fast loosing
its way as a boating forum due to the fact that almost every post ends in
slating opinions to a personal level or openly advocating flouting BW or
national laws. It is a shame, as Canalworld.net used to be considered as such a
useful and friendly forum for boaters but the latest post in the Living afloat
section, together with the subsequent follow-ups are indicative of the type of
boater now residing here. Charles123 will also soon be off, as will, and are,
the many other level headed and law abiding boaters who simply want to share
interests and ideas. I feel there is soon the market place for a splinter forum
with stricter guidelines to be used only by people passionate about boating and
the canals of England rather then the many bridge hoppers and ex-travellers that
now lead the discussions here.

Thank you for the years of interest and help your site has
provided but I now find its usefelness or interest extremely limited. I will
continue to 'watch' the forum with interest, (tinged with a little sadness of
the obvious demise of the canals as a recreational heritage,) but don't ever
want the temptation of getting 'sucked in' to silly debates.
Kind regards,

Andy Edwards


I received the following reply:

Andy, I am not following. I did receive your PM a while back (which I did
acknowledge on the day but you obviously didn't get it). Unfortunately I do not
delete accounts/unsubscibe members as this leaves holes in topics where posts
have been removed. This is set out in the forum rules and guidelines.To which
thread are you referring in this message? Please provide a link. Many thanks, Jon

I sent him the link but heard no more of it - I certainly didn't get any further reply! Needless to say, 'Charles 123' has not been seen or heard of since and comments such as that of 'Victor' on Narrowboat worldonly goes to prove how my predictions are coming true.

Sorry folks but it seems Canalworld forum has now officially been hi-jacked and only a handful of die hard boating enthusiasts remain as regular contributors to that site.

I know I'm going out on a limb with my personal opinion and frank honesty here but as no-one reads this anyway, I don't think it matters what I say!

Now back to more 'safe' matters! The central heating has been worked over-time lately with the temperatures too cold for no heating but too mild for the stove. I did go and get a few logs at the weekend just in case!