Victor: More 'smoke' complaints

Published: Sunday, 07 January 2018

IT SEEMS the scourge against smoke from stoves is hotting up (no pun intended) after the Mayor of London showed his intention of banning wood-burners in the capitol, and showing particular interest in the many boats scattered around the city.

Then there were complaints about the resident boaters at Cambridge creating 'unbreathable' smoke from their stoves, with Cambridge City Council threatening action, raising the rather alarming information that painted and tanalised wood are toxic when burnt.

Now it's the turn of Birmingham whose council is to take action against boaters who infringe its smokeless zones legislation by burning other than its listed smokeless fuels.

Of course it's the middle of winter and at this moment the thermometer shows just 0.1 centigrade, so the stoves are at full blast, and we all know the propensity of boaters for burning wood—well shown by the piles on boat roofs—but it seems its end is nigh...

A wondrous world

I get the impression that Cart is really scraping the bottom of the barrel in its attempt to get visitors to its waterways, with its 'Wondrous World Awaits' 'Arches'.

The 'Welcome to...' plastic signs were bad enough, but arches at £4,000 a pop are really over the top—especially at this time of the year.

Anyway, what sort of 'wondrous world' is it with the mud and detritus of winter?  (Not forgetting the smoke!) I doubt if anyone will be visiting the waterways today. Sorry, sorry, sorry, there will definitely be 1,205,479 we must believe.

More hire boats leave

What is it with Mercia Marina and hire boat companies.  First it was Shakespeare Line that had its base there, that went bust, and now Aqua Boats that are also based there are moving its boats to Barton Turns Marina.

Aqua is also forsaking Mercia with its boat building. I was surprised that instead of extending its existing factory at the marina, as there is lots of space, it is moving its boat building away too.  And from a waterside base to a non waterside base. Strange.

Boat builders

I always thought that being boat builders Aqua actually built the boats, but no, all it does is fit out other peoples' hulls.  Personally I believe they are boat fitters, not boat builders.

Our Thomas bought our first boat as a hull at Bolsover Pit Yard, just having one aperture—the stern door, he having to cut out all the windows etc, taking a year to fit the boat out completely.  So was he therefore a boat builder?  He doesn't think so, and neither I would imagine would anyone else, so how come others doing even less (after all the doors and windows apertures I learn are already cut out) can be boat builders?


The reason

The contributor who commented about the polypropylene rope attached to the sheets strangely placed in the bottom of the Jacksons Aqueduct on the Leeds & Liverpool to stop leakage, thought it took some beating for stupidity as the rope floated and could then get wrapped around boats' propellers.

The stupidity my friend was the decision to employ contractors who haven't a clue what they are doing, instead of in the old days of British Waterway employing their own people, who did know what they were doing.

Victor Swift