Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A Poem for Richard

The new CaRT CEO Richard Parry is on the point of arrival. However, I give credit where credit is due. Richard has not been letting the grass grow under his feet. He has been out and about enjoying a customer facing experience. Learning what the inland waterways are about. Now it could be just a ploy. However, when you start your day out and the first thing you meet is an emergency  stoppage. That should be a real eye opener.

Using the time honoured system of consulting first of all with the paying people. Those who will know from the blunt end what the inland waterways are all about. That's the boaters and other users of the Inland waterways system. 

Contrast this with his predecessor who sailed off into the sunset without leaving even a ripple on his last days. I thought I should mark his passage and the arrival of a new man. However, on reflection he did leave behind the gathering tsunami of a well planned and implemented underfunding of maintenance and significant backlog. Maybe the prospect of what the future held in store was the driver to move away.

Canal Knowledge

Will we still have a place, for our wooden boat plank;
in putrid water, where birds build a plastic bag nest;
green and blue algae, with an overgrown leafy bank;
where a discarded shopping trolley, lay rusting at rest.

Where discarded plastic bottles' of a myriad colours;
vie with everlasting, plastic bags in hue's to match;
festooned dog poo trees and a rainbow oil slick cover;
attract the millions of flies to make you scratch.

The graffiti on a bridge, bandit country is now close by; 
peopled with heavy drinkers, vandals and ne'er do well; 
a vista of today's canal heritage, to greet the boaters eye;
drunks lolling on corners, mixed with their urine smell.

Broken locks, now herald a much bleaker prospect;
none maintained bank, breeched at every turn;
our wasted money, is now an unwanted aspect;
millions lost on a gamble, and poor financial return.

The odd mugger and boat thief, all carrying knives;
the bridge lady from Nigeria,  who planted the seed;
endangering  the towpath, and  enriching our lives;
she is growing a cannabis crop,  just supplying a need;

But I don't want to brag, about each welcoming feature;
we're told now, the canal is much much better by far;
but then CaRT managers, are exaggerating creatures;
with their myopic claims, that prove quite bizarre.

To lead a trust, that's full of such forlorn managers;
a finished team that's bereft, of any worthwhile ideas;
a long drawn out list, of well pensioned passengers;
they're just treading water, since the end of BW years.

There is a new hand, now set upon CaRT's tiller;
shall we at last steer, a more steady course;
put in position as leader, not just another filler;
is there a real chance, of no more remorse.

Does he come with a mystic's, crystal ball;
his first challenge, to fix the leftover mess;
everyone hopes, it's not a quick CaRT curtain call;
tip their hat, to a very much wanted success.

Launched only a year and CaRT is already on it's second CEO. For some that would be a warning shot across the bows. However for me, its the real start of the long awaited beginning that I wanted a year ago. With the prospect of more ex BWB members leaving, I feel quite an uplift. Its not going to be an easy task. It's not the beginning of the end. It's the possibility of a whole new beginning. 


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