Friday 26 July 2013

Pig and Bladder

Dear Bill.

Not a great deal of improvement in infrastructure or the movement of boats along the cut. So today's report comes from the back deck on Nb Dulwich Dishwasher.

It would seem that generally things are pretty quiet elsewhere along the cut. Its certainly a bit quieter on the Leeds Liverpool at Bingley where earlier this year CaRT washed a contractors 90 ton crane in the canal. This time a local marina has rolled in a JCB for the same sort of treatment. 

CaRT inner sanctum has been highlighted once again over problems with their ever growing maintenance backlog.  As a few more of the 'well maintained' locks have had to be closed down for reasons of safety. As we pay for a year round licence but have become accustomed to our inland waterways being closed to through navigation for stoppages in the winter. In a change this is now being carried over and the stoppages introduced into the summer months. Some waterways are now closed to through navigation for the school holiday period. It makes you wonder how the old canal companies survived the need to close the canals for months on end to do running repairs! 

This certainly takes a special management methodology to achieve such a stunning faux par! The spin doctors who were employed to replace the lengths men who were made redundant are soon out with the excuse book. This time they blamed a lock failure on a tidal wave of water. This tidal wave was carefully orchestrated by vandals to cause the damage. This tidal wave comes as something of a surprise as its now accepted as normal for at least one paddle on a lock not to be working. This in a way now compliments the two embankment failures that closed the waterways to through navigation earlier this year.

The Memsahib has been walking around all morning singing her own words to that christmas song that was published in 1780, round about the time of the canals being built. In a way, the song and her lyrics are proving to be quite prophetic. 

On the twelfth day of summer, CaRT gave to me; 
twelve paddles broken;
eleven locks a leaking;
ten boats a sinking;
nine cills a weeping;
eight bridges collapsing;
seven towpath warnings;
six marinas closing;
five broken mooring rings;
four stoppages;
three locks failed;
two embankments collapsed;
one tidal wave;
and a management team up a gum tree.

I happened to have a word with our old friend Mr Khan at his corner shop and garage when I went to pick up the Memsahibs car. He tells me that he is thinking about branching out into doing boat maintenance work. Apparently Mrs Khan and the kids were busy digging out the dry dock as we spoke. When I asked him about blacking - he assured me that there would be no  return to the bad old days of trade unionism and all boats would be made most welcome!

I happened to bump into our old friend 'Frosty' Coalhouse in the public bar of the Pig and Bladder. She was being her usual ebullient self. Apparently Frosty has like Edmund Blackadders erstwhile companion come up with a cunning plan to bring more punters into the Cinque Marina. Frosty is going to double the mooring charges, working on the well known business principal that the more expensive it is, the better it must be. I await with some incredulity the tidal wave of new boats arriving.

Snopes has revealed that the trust raised £900,000 in voluntary income in the first nine months of its existence. However to help balance the books the trust spent £1.8m on the voluntary fundraising. The trust said that it expected to spend more than it earned on fundraising for several years. So there is no change there then - or is there? The trust failed to highlight what everyone already knew. That some of the £1.8 million that it had invested to get £900,000 or 200% loss, went to a company that went tits up.  Another special mega loss investment.

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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