Monday 10 June 2013


Dear Bill.

A great deal to report for a change from the porthole on Nb Dulwich Dishwasher.

Well goodness gracious me! As Mr Khan our friendly and affable local grocer would say. The towpath telegraph has been very busy. It seems that the Upton upon Severn Town Council have now given the stamp of disapproval to the decision by Canal and River Trust  inner sanctum to prevent boaters using river moorings on the Severn at Upton. Today a new phrase has entered the English language. Everyone remembers the Watergate scandal and cover up that did for that 'honest' President Nixon of the United States of America. Today, the latest 'gate' version is MercerGate named after CaRT Boating Trade Manager. With as usual, CaRT doing what they do best of all 'arranging another complete cock up.' 

I saw old Rodders in the bar of the 'Wig and Wedge' and he reckons that Upton Town Council are shared owners of the moorings. Which provide not only a service to the town but also provide safe refuge for boaters on the moorings, whenever the Severn rises. The veto by the council who were not consulted about the arrangement has now overturned the decision made in isolation by CaRT. Once again making the pontoons available for boaters. It seems that the Canals and River Trust had entered into an agreement between themselves and the owners of the water bus Avon Belle. The agreement had been drawn up conferring mooring rights on the pontoon in Upton upon Severn. It was noted at the council meeting that the Canals and River Trust had no due authority to enter into such an agreement without the prior consent of the Town Council. 

I spoke to Snodgrass in the snug of the 'Cock and Bull'. Seemingly according to Snodders, the pontoon was considered by the council to be a most unsuitable point for people to embark onto the Avon Belle. Not only that, but the slope of the walkway to the pontoon was far too steep for wheelchairs to be used safely. The loss of the mooring to a commercial company was also felt to be another one in the eye to the boating community. Accordingly, the Town Council voted to kibosh the agreement and demand its withdrawal. So now we have a contractual agreement between CaRT and the owners of the Avon Belle. The feeling in my water says that the issue is not over. I have no doubt that our 'learned friends' will be consulted over exchanging a large wedge of charitable donations in a face saving exercise.

I just heard the gentle thud of the foot falls of the Memsahib turning the corner at the top of the street. I also need to break out another cask of Château 'vin de commisération.'  To drink yet another one of our regular toasts. Done as a celebration of the 'tribulation and triumphs' that are the seemingly never-ending story of an inland waterways charity. 

Well I must run, toodle pip old boy.

Cap't Bob

"The events depicted in this series of letters are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental. No person should without the prior permission of the author assume the identity of any character. These letters are a story that could be based on actual events. In certain cases incidents, characters and timelines have been changed for dramatic purposes. Certain characters may be accidental composites, or entirely fictitious. I was helped in my creative endeavour by my friend's telepathic cat named Huxley. Huxley assumes all responsibility for any mistakes and errors."

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