Louis Jankel

I am sure you will share my sadness to hear that Louis Jankel passed away on 13th December. I have only known Louis for the past three years, but soon came to realise how very passionate he was about our wonderful Thames and related waterways – not only always willing to challenge EA and others responsible, but rolling up his sleeves and getting stuck in. A deeply committed and religious man, he set the highest of standards and was always true to himself and those he represented. He will be so missed. With much sadness. Mike Rodd

Fiona Slee

Hilary and I were saddened to hear the news that Fi is no longer with us. I last met up with her and John when they visited the Pocklington Canal in ‘Epiphany’ and Fiona went on to write a useful and definitive section about the canal in her Book ‘North Yorkshire Waterways’, published by Richlow in 2011, which is a valuable addition to my bookshelf.

I remember her enthusiasm for everything around her, and have enjoyed reading her daily writings, accompanied by her many photographs, in the daily blog about their many years of cruising the inland waterways. Fiona was a shining example of how to overcome adversity caused by ill health and she set a marvellous example to everyone who may be fighting a similar battle. It is a sad loss and our thoughts go out to John, Craig and the rest of the family at this difficult time. Howard and Hilary Anguish

I’ve been laid up learning how to walk again since September, so I have no personal experiences of what’s been happening recently on the waterways. However, lots of correspondence from NABO members and Council members suggests that the EA should become more of a focus for our association’s attention. The recent court case seems (without the benefit of the judgement transcript) to be extraordinary. How can marina-based Thames boat owners avoid paying a boat registration fee by saying that they don’t use the river? They are still floating on Thames water. The reduction in numbers of lock-keepers will only add to the problem of checking who’s using the river and who’s not. Then there is the somewhat surprising decision that, after decades of having fire extinguishers and portable lock ladders available at Thames locks to assist boaters in trouble, they are now deemed by some health and safety ‘experts’ to be unusable. Louis Jankel has something to say about this in his article. Mike Rodd’s report to the AGM in November is reprinted in this issue and there was an interesting discussion by members of the areas that they think CRT should focus on in the forthcoming year, summarised by Mark Tizard. Geoffrey Rogerson gave members an update on NABO’s discussions with CRT over the new licence terms and conditions, and his summary and the correspondence with CRT’s Ian Rogers are included in this issue. Elsewhere, Helen Hutt reports her recent experiences of boating in London, with some tips and warnings for those wishing to visit these waters. David Fletcher gives an update on the issue of paddle pawl stops and possible changes to address the issue of worn paddle spindles, and Stephen Peters concludes his series of articles on the legislation that governs CRT activities and what CRT can and cannot do to move your boat omit unless this article is included. There is also news of plans to launch a new insurance scheme for NABO members and finally a varied bunch of letters from members. I hope you have an enjoyable Christmas, with perhaps some seasonal icebreaking, and best wishes on behalf of NABO Council for 2016.