Editorial NABO News 5 November 2016

Winter’s on its way

Editor Peter Fellows hangs up his tiller pin for the year.

After the boat spent the summer on the River Great Ouse, my last cruise this year was back up the River Nene to Northampton, which coincided with the Indian summer at the beginning of October – wonderful to be in shirt-sleeves instead of waterproofs! The aim was to get the boat back onto the canals before winter storms made the Nene impassable, but we needn’t have worried: I travelled with a narrowboat having a draught of 30 inches, and they were told by the EA that, due to lack of rainfall in the catchment area, the river was too shallow for them to proceed and they should hole up in White Mills Marina until it rained again! Generally, the locks and river are well-maintained, so CRT will not have to incur vast expenditure if, or when, they take over the navigation, but there were a few places where tree growth restricted the river to a single boat width. This is not due to lack of cutting back over the last few years – some of these trees must be 20 years old.

Mike Rodd pens his last Chairman’s report in this issue, and will complete his three-year stint at the helm at the AGM in November. The Council is also looking for new faces and a new role for a willing member as Communications Officer – could this be you?

Mark Tizard peeks behind the scenes at the work done by CRT’s Navigation Advisory Groups and also sets out NABO’s concerns about the seemingly unfair provision of winter moorings this year for some boaters. Mike and Stella Ridgway report on recent meetings with CRT. The Trust announced a 2.5% increase in licence fees, but the Head of Customer Services didn’t feel it necessary to mention this at their meeting, and NABO found out, like everyone else, from a press release the following week.

But CRT has done well to get the Rochdale reopened and there is also some new money for the ‘Monty’. David Lowe sent a report of the first crossing of the L&L by a loaded short boat for 38 years. News from the regions is by Howard Anguish in the North East and Mike from the South Wales and Severn region. David Fletcher’s walk in East London (see last issue), has prompted Helen Hutt to explore the unusual features of the Bude Canal on foot. Less happily, further recent deaths from fires and carbon monoxide has prompted me to set out the basics for selecting smoke and CO alarms for your boat. The roving trader in this issue is Militza McCarthy on her sewing boat. Finally, but not least, thank you for all your letters – please keep them coming.