Our annual April Fool’s article usually catches out a couple of members, but not this year as I didn’t receive any comments. Instead, there was a sense of humour failure at CRT, which posted (for a while) a note in ‘Boaters’ Update’ saying that they’d like the article removed from the NABO website article as ‘It’s nothing to do with us or, as we’ve been informed, IWA. There’s a reasonable chance it’s a scam!’
Our first foray out on the waterways since winter was not our most enjoyable of experiences: in the week before the sunny weather arrived, howling winds and horizontal sleet made progress along the southern Shroppie difficult as we crabbed up the canal. Then the calorifier packed up, flooding the engine compartment with the contents of the water tank. RCR couldn’t help as it was a ‘domestic incident’ and we were still able to move the boat, but they booked us into the nearest boatyard at Oxley Marine in Wolverhampton. We duly arrived the next day and I would like to give credit where it’s due, and acknowledge the service, professionalism and general good humour provided by engineers David and Phil, not to mention co-owner, Orpheus, who also writes the occasional article for Narrowboatworld (www.narrowboatworld.com/index.php/guest-columnist-section).
Towpaths are in the news this month, following the publication of CRT’s policy on sharing them, and David Fletcher and Simon Robbins both share their views on the document, making very different points. Elsewhere, Louis Jankel continues his series on ‘frequently asked questions’ about boating, this time focusing on ‘boat mechineers’, and Stephen Peters has a look at the early legislation that led to the establishment of BWB. David also writes about solid fuel stove failures that could lead to a fire on board; please follow his advice. And also note Mike Rodd’s concerns over 240V electricity and carbon monoxide - both potential killers on boats. Helen Hutt attended a meeting, organised by CRT and the Worcs, B’Ham and Droitwich Canals Society, on how organisations like NABO can increase support from the younger generation; something frequently discussed at NABO Council nowadays. Finally, with news of rare and endangered crayfish found on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, I have included an article on invasive species of plants and animals that are threatening the native waterways wildlife. Here’s hoping for some more good boating weather over the next few months.