Canals full of boats, but frustrations galore.

Editor, Peter Fellows, includes a roundup of members’ photos.

It’s been a busy summer on the waterways as many people decided on a ‘staycation’ instead of holidaying abroad, with hireboat companies reportedly fully booked. Unfortunately, those who decided to head north had their travel plans disrupted by a series of stoppages on the Macclesfield, Peak Forest, Leeds and Liverpool and Rochdale canals. Further south those on the Leicester Arm of the GU and the South Oxford did not fare much better. The lack of maintenance brought lock failures and a lack of vegetation management resulted in many members sharing photos of overhanging trees with lines of sight obscured, encroaching reed beds and places where the canals were narrowed to one boat-width. I’ve included a selection of their photos in this issue. The issue of CRT’s revised terms and conditions rumbles on, with letters from members agreeing with NABO’s stance and Mike Rodd further questioning aspects of them in his Chairman’s column. Mike is also delighted that the EA has made a U-turn in employing the car parking company to manage Thames moorings, but is concerned that the waterways may becoming ‘Disneyfied’, like Forestry England’s Westonbirt National Arboretum in an attempt to broaden their appeal to a wider audience to secure further Government funding.

Rubbish features in this issue, with members sending letters about the lack of facilities in some areas and photos of overflowing bins, but Helen Hutt has some sympathy for CRT, noting how difficult it is for the Trust to prevent fly-tipping by the general public. Elsewhere in this issue, past NABO Chairman, Stuart Sampson, writes about his experiences of boating in France and Paul Monahan calls for the correct terminology when describing the language of the waterways. John Devonald surveys the furry and feathered friends that accompany many boaters and also examines the options available to boaters when diesel fuel is phased out in a few years’ time. Mark Tizard reviews what has been happening to CRT’s London strategy and its plans for the River Lee and Ian Hutson begins an occasional series of articles with a wry look at CRT’s boat spotters.

NABO’s AGM will be held at Tamworth Cruising Club in November and the Council members look forward to seeing you there.