Sunday, 21 August 2011

Tinsley Marina (4)

The Marina is essentially a secure area. I understand that the gates into the car-park and landings should be locked between certain hours approximating to dusk and dawn. Because of the ill feeling between people, there has been either deliberate closing of the gate to inconvenience other non key holders, such as visitors. Or reluctance on the part of some people to close the gates after returning to the Marina before or after the appropriate time. This is a symptom of a entrenched partisan malaise. It is obviously to the detriment of everyone who leaves a vehicle in the car park or chooses to walk around the Marina at night.

The marina is blessed by an excellent well tended green space in what is essentially a very desirable area, if only for the nearby facilities. Never mind the excellent quality of moorings. Tinsley marina is a well kept secret. There is easy access to facilities such as, Sheffield Supertram which gives access around the city and into the Meadowhall Shopping Complex. There are Supermarkets, Pet shops, various food outlets, craft shops, Ten pin bowling, Cinema complex, Football stadium, the Sheffield Arena, a plethora of pubs and much much more. And all are in easy walking distance.

The Marina has had trees on the lower pond heavily pruned (some say vandalised) to the point where BW actually had to take action and fell the trees. BW also at the time issued dire threats if any similar occurrence should happen. This action caused some concern again amongst other boat owners. Some feel that – by inference once again as boat owners – they are being viewed, as in part causing damage to the trees.
BW does not cover itself in glory by writing to all the people in the marina rather than the individuals known to be involved in problem issues. This type of shotgun correspondence only exacerbates the divisions. It directly involves people who up until that time have had no part to play. Rather than help to resolve the divisions and issues, it deepens them. The addendum to such correspondence such as “if this letter does not concern you please ignore” does little to placate the individuals. Its the arrival of the unwarranted letter that causes such great concern. As well as the feeling that British Waterways could not care less about their feelings on the issues.

The upshot of all this is that people feel forced to take one side or the other or alternatively to sit on the fence. Yet, from what I have experienced, as individuals the people at the marina are all very amiable, helpful and friendly individuals. I find it hard to understand why the sides in this conflict have become so deeply entrenched.

I know from conversations that some people feel that the situation is unfair and not representative of the majority boat owners view. Some people have said that when they have been to boat club meetings. That their opposing views have been rubbished, ignored and given no credence. So there is no incentive for them to become members or to play any further part in the proceedings. In effect the way that business is conducted disenfranchises the ones it purports to represent. I have attended a couple of meetings and what has been apparent to me is that the outcome as been pre-ordained.

Some people have expressed concern about the Tinsley lock keepers. The lock keepers are not on site to be at everyone’s beck and call, whenever there is some discord. Their role is not to take sides, but to sit on the fence, express no preference and to do their day to day job. Which in my opinion is being handled very well by the lock keepers in what is a sometimes a difficult and uncomfortable environment. This speaks volumes for their tenacity and dedication. Yet, I have had conversations with a minority of boat owners who condemn the lock keepers out of hand, without any apparent rational or reason.

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