Spreading the word

Editor, Peter Fellows, explains NABO’s focus on promotion and recruitment

Part of NABO’s raison d'être is to influence navigation authorities and other organisations for the benefit of boaters. Last month, we clocked up our latest influencing success when the changes we sought to the Middle Level Bill were written into the Act, guaranteeing provision of boater services on the Nene-Ouse Link. The issue at hand is how to communicate what NABO does, and seeks to do, targeting boat owners who are not members. Many boaters, especially younger ones, now get the majority of their waterway-related news and views from social media and other on-line sources. So NABO needs to further adapt the way it communicates in order to reach these boaters. If we can get our messages across effectively, we can hopefully convince many of these boaters that NABO membership will benefit both them and the waterways as a whole. To this end, the Council has made a number of changes. Ken Hylins joined the Council to take a lead on promotion and recruitment, in addition to assisting boaters who are having problems staying on the water. Alison Tuck will develop NABO’s social media presence as Media Officer and Mark Tizard has become the General Secretary, while continuing his roles as Communications Officer and moderating NABO’s Facebook page. We are also updating NABO’s publicity material with a new flyer to hand out to boaters. Boater-to-boater recommendation is one of the most effective recruitment tools. If you can help in letting others know about NABO and the benefits of membership, please get in touch.

Part of NABO’s success is down to getting accurate, up-to-date information about what is actually happening on the ground (or on the water!) in the waterway regions, and the Council therefore decided to expand its regional representation. We need new reps for the Middle Level and River Trent, so that all the major river navigations are covered. Please let us know if you can help fill these vacancies or others shown on page 2. Another of Ken’s roles is to coordinate the regional reps. Phil Goulding has become the Severn rep. and David Williams continues for now as the Thames Rep. Peter Vickers is our new North West Rep. and Mike Rodd has added Southern Waterways Rep. to his role as Welsh Waterways Rep. The other regional reps. are unchanged.

In this issue, Alison Tuck describes a new ‘Urban Moorings’ initiative and there are summaries of recent reports and meetings. Fly on the Wall recounts a presentation by, and a discussion with, Adam Comerford, CRT’s Hydrology Manager, at the October Council meeting. This was a useful insight into CRT’s management of water resources during the summer drought and the Council gave Adam feedback on boaters’ views of water resources.

Finally, it is with great sadness that I learned of the death, on 1st November, of Harry Arnold. He was always ready to help if I was stuck for a high quality photo for NABO News and he donated the images from his extensive collection, built up over 60 years as a waterways photographer.

My best wishes for a happy festive season, especially if you’re cruising.