SO without the pomp and circumstance of £23,720 worth of bunting and flags CART was launched.
To very much an invited audience, comprised solely of followers and the gullible who would accept that everything in the garden is lovely, and perhaps it is for all those cyclists, anglers, nature lovers, etc, whose interests comprised of such a large part of the proceedings.
We were certainly not invited, and it seems no one else was who had had the temerity to tell it like it is, and used narrowboatworld, seemingly the only publication that dare do so. But Del Brenner, though holding two waterway related positions, also obviously was not invited, but whose patch they had invaded, so most certainly wasn't going to be left out—so was able to tell, and did so very well too.
But what about that £23,720 spent on buntings and flags to launch CART, that were never used. Really peanuts I expect in the way the old British Waterways and now the new CART throw away the boaters' money on ludicrous schemes.
I hear that boaters were not too enamoured at being part of the big launch at Birmingham, complete with the buntings and flags, having it seems little trust in the Trust, so that idea was scrapped.
Anyone brought to book over this waste? What do you think? I hear now that the bunting and flags are to be given away to charities, with a rumour stating they were given to houses along the Birmingham waterways to hang out their windows. Anything is now possible, but however you look at it, it was our money thrown away by people who most certainly should not be in charge.
Don't like it
The powers-that-be hate the initials CART to represent Canal & River Trust, telling that it should be CRT, but surely CRT stands for Cathode Ray Tube.
So boys and girls at Ivory towers, CART it is.
Down a bit...
Back to my favourite grouse—the new annual figure of visitors to the waterways has dropped from the original 13 millions to 11 millions, last month down to 10.5 millions and now down again to 10 millions.
Stuck on Sawley Cut for the past few weeks with the Trent in flood and it slinging it down, visitors were very few and far between, and I would think the same over the whole country, so a long way to go down yet to get nearer the truth.
I have to feel sorry for those poor buggers stuck with flooded rivers, which is very prevalent around our neck of the woods, and particularly hirers, with I noticed families stuck on Canaltime boats at their berths. Some of those caught out were at least able to get back to Shardlow where they could leave their boats, and some new people accommodated.
But not all made it back, with I hear a line of hire boats of various denominations stranded at Alrewas with the Trent rushing by, held up by brand new traffic lights that suddenly appeared.
Not really a sensible idea having a large hire base on river moorings, especially now with more summer rain and resulting floods. Certainly not fair on the poor hirers and sharers.
They don't know..
A good picture in the CART title page of its website, it tells us is Hazelhurst Aqueduct on the Caldon Canal—very pretty it looks too, complete with a five barred gate.
But alas, it is not a picture of Hazelhurst Aqueduct at all, but actually a picture of Bridge 1 at Hazelhurst Junction!
All I can really do is show them one of Ralph Freeman's photographs of the actual aqueduct, then there is a chance they might put it right.
And I've just learnt that the website have now moved Tring from Herts to Bucks! What a shower!
We now have CARTisms thrust upon us, with the latest, and here I must quote:
Salwarpe entrance onto the Droitwich Canals is now is now in indemnity.
That has even spread to the locks:
Severn is currently closed at Diglis Lock and Upper Lode Lock. The River is in indemnity from Diglis Lock to Lincomb.
What the hell does that mean? Can't they use plain English any more?
Boaters are now fully aware that CART is rolling over to the wishes of the Health & Safety Executive, with I now hear the 200 years old steps at locks now in its sights as a health hazard—and will most possibly be removed. (I reckon it would be more sensible maintaining the pictured lock gates instead!)
We all know of the furore about lock tail bridges and visitors that turned into a three ring circus, and is still continuing. But why do visitors need to use bridges over locks?
At Bratch locks there is a very clear notice—'No Public Access', that solves the problem. I only wish they would erect the name notices at Foxton, that is a nightmare to operate the locks when the public, their kids and their dogs are milling around on the boaters' bridges.
But of course Leicester Council lists the locks as a visitor attraction, which CART is very much in favour of—and bugger the boaters. Same at all the honey pot sites at summer week-ends. You need eyes in the back of your head, they are a real problem. We keep away, as it's not safe.
So we have the ridiculous situation where the CART hierarchy wants visitors but has to make provisions to keep them safe from themselves. Why not think about the people who help pay their enormous salaries, and keep them away from the locks altogether, and on the towpaths
I see there is a 'clutch' of continuous moorers at present on Duke's Cut at the bottom of the Oxford.
One boater counted 11 of 'em. Only hope they had nothing to do with the Anglo Welsh hire boat that was broken into and subsequently fired whilst left there.
I see our Pam took one Alan Fincher, failed representative for the CART council, to task for 'having a go' at narrowboatworld. Not to worry Pam, he has a rather large chip since failing his election, and is 'having a go' at all and sundry.
Nobody takes much notice lass.