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Showing content with the highest reputation since 20/09/17 in all areas

  1. 15 points
    In 2009 Val had her first experiences narrowboating, the first on a hire boat from Foxhangers to Bristol return and the second with friends on their own boat, Whio. We went from Cambridge to Littleport via Judes Ferry on the River Lark. On this trip Val declared that a boat like this, was where she was meant to be, and then was promptly told if that was the case, to get on with it! Liz and Bill were in their 70’s when they had Whio built and had her for seven years including three trips across the Trent and Mersey. Well over the next four years, one thing continually led to another, resulting in us purchasing Whio in April 2013, for an intended five year, plus or minus a year, ownership cruising to the maximum six months allowed on our UK visitors Visas . The handover was bedside in a hospital in New Zealand and we took delivery of Whio on the wrong side of an expected long term stoppage due to major lock chamber failure on the Aylesbury. We had a week onboard provisioning Whio at the Aylesbury town basin where we were made so welcome by the Canal Society. They invited us to continue the winter mooring arrangements they had with Liz and Bill. These served us really well in their new home. Our escape from Aylesbury was a major undertaking organised by the Aylesbury Canal Society and CART for a mass “truck around” of forty boats to Milton Keys. So our first trip, Whio got up to fifty miles an hour on a truck with us following in a friend’s car, and all stopped for a bacon butty at a roadside cafe. Then it was up through Milton Keynes intending to drop our chauffeur at Wolverton from where we would be alone. On this first trip on our new boat I confess, at times, forgetting to slow some of the moored boats and I justifiably upset at least one. I now must apologise to Big Coll and to everybody else when on other occasions too I did travel at an inappropriate speed.. A couple of days later we were extremely unexpectedly hailed by name, it was Matty40s who we had engaged from afar for boat spotting before Whio had suddenly became unexpectedly available. Our second tunnel was Braunston. Approaching we admired the steam tug Hasty that had just emerged and then as we entered I was alarmed by the change in engine sound, but the sound did not change when I took Whio out of gear. It was like sharing a tunnel with an approaching, but unseen loaded diesel freight train not helped because the tunnel was full of smoke. It was not until we were really close to approaching boat we saw lights, the forward light was obscured by the headboard. We bounced past, relaxed back towards the centre and then spotted the butty! Our worst ever tunnel,but last year we were grateful to escape into the same tunnel during a blizzard. Well the plan was to tour a different quadrant of the network each year, with the final year, this year, armed with a gold licence, a repeat trip on the Thames but this time joining the St Pancras Cruise for an absolutely memorable Thames Barrier cruise and then via the Oxford Canal onto the Cambridge Fens. This where our cruising on Whio had started way back in 2009. We had considered this area to be somewhat of “the left overs” We were wrong, The fens are not without interest, The water level of the navigation is at about mean sea level, that is about 10ft below mean high water. I never expected to be locked up not down into the tideway. The rivers are however stunning, similar but even more beautiful than the Thames above Oxford and just so lightly trafficked. Ely and Bedford have such beautiful waterfronts. Last weekend we made it back up to Rugby Boats and on Monday we left Whio stripped of our “stuff” and there was plenty, far too much for an airline baggage allowance. Matty40s lent us a welcome hand in cleaning and polishing her, and more importantly, staging her, ready for sale, and in return he and Kathy accepted some surplus goods and foodstuffs. Whio looks gorgeous; we had even reflagged her with the Union Jack replacing the New Zealand Ensign she has worn for the last twelve summers. We then, had a taxi direct for Heathrow and after a 24 hour flight have now arrived home tired in Auckland. Matty was the first of many forum members we have met and who have helped us as well as enjoyed their company. We managed to resolve a compatibility problem between our Victron Combi and a cheap Chinese generator here on our off grid holiday property in NZ with advice from this forum and found Tacet for our pilot and radio operator for our first Thames foray here. It is a wonderful resource, and great source of amusement and time killing. Thank you. One of the many unique things we found on your canal system is that it is an incredibly unstratified society, we have met so many wonderful people and some real characters. We had some great towpath barbeques. On the waterways and adjacent to them there are some prats, but really considering how many people we encountered, they are noticeable because there were so few of them. Mostly we thoroughly enjoyed the wildlife with the exception of just some of the humankind. It was wonderful to take our own accommodation into the very heart of so many major cities and tourist towns The system is magnificent in its diversity. Nobody here believed us, when we told them that just on our first year we spent twelve miles on a boat underground. Hill top boating, up north must be unique in the world. We would like to thank those activists and hard workers that voluntarily reversed the canal closures and restored and are continually restoring more canals and historic structures. We found fascinating the links and artefacts between our industrialisation and the waterways. It is lovely also to see so many historic boats, and engines being so lovingly maintained and restored. As well as “colour” to the countryside they are important historically, That’s the people and the boats! Treasure them. We enjoyed the challenges of the tideways, the tunnels, not so much, some of the heavy swing bridges and locks. Fortunately we never had any real problems with high river flow conditions on the rivers although the last two bridges into Bedford we had as much spare headroom as through the Standedge tunnel but a lot more gongoozelers! Our experiences with CART were all positive, many exceptionally so. We found the boatyards we dealt with friendly, competent, and fairly priced. Whio herself as been exceptionally reliable. We were never immobilised and never were without any of her auxiliary services. Only three times did we need boatyard services, once to change engine mounts, another to rectify a high resistance connection on the starter alternator evident after the six months unpowered layup this year, and once to change a worn coolant hose and full coolant change. We did however use boatyards for the bigger scheduled engine sevices. There are regrets leaving but we are now at an age that further time and good health is now becoming an increasingly precious resource and there is so much else in this big world we want to see and do. The money released will come useful too. Val tells everybody that for our canal boating adventure the reality was even better then the dream. Farewell and good boating. Don and Val
  2. 13 points
    As a confirmed narrow boater and student of canal history with little interest outside of narrow craft made from steel or timber you might think it's obvious where my sympathy will lie. However I don't agree with the premise of the OP at all. In 50 years since the end of wholesale commercial carrying we have gone from the threat of little or no craft on the waterways to worrying about what sort of boat can go where. The true threat to canals is from under use not over use or perceived inappropriate use. The rise in demand for boats is a product of our time and things will not be so favourable regarding the usage of canals forever. In some places it still isn't and the threat of consequences of underuse are real. Be thankful for what we have. The 'blame' for this situation lies with the Grand Union company; it was they who opened up north of Braunston for wider craft with their ill-fated widening of the Napton & Warwick and Warwick & Birmingham canals. Before that I believe the stop narrows at Braunston toll house was only wide enough to pass narrow beam boats. Personally I think it a great shame this scheme ever happened. However we can't change the fact that it did happen and we must deal with the consequences. It was also that scheme which gave rise to the real anomaly in this debate; namely that the section of the south Oxford between Braunston and Napton that is part of the wide route from London to Birmingham is surely even less suited to wide beam craft than the north Oxford beyond Braunston? As for the issue of Berkhamsted being the northerly limit for wide beam craft I don't believe that the intention of either the Grand Junction company in 1800 or the Grand Union company in 1930 was that their wide locks would never be used by wide craft. It was lack of demand requiring such that caused that. There also was a time in history when wide boats did trade to Braunston in small numbers. Today there is a demand for wider craft and the principal problems around the movement of wide craft are dredging and vegetation management which are eminently solvable. This section of canal may never be ideal for wide craft but that it is delicate point since it can easily be argued that craft longer than 57' in the north or ex-GUCCCo boats on the BCN are not suited to those canals yet such craft do operate in those areas. And there is unlikely to be any craft on the network with more potential for causing damage than a butty crewed by volunteers. So I would say put the effort into campaigning for dredging and particularly vegetation management instead of telling others where they should or shouldn't take their boats. Ultimately it may just be doing canals more harm than good. JP
  3. 13 points
    I live on my narrowboat . There was of course a sizeable payment when i bought it . In 4.5 years ive owned it - my first boat ive also spent a fair amount in improvements , servicing , maintenence etc . I have a mooring , i have insurance , i have RCR cover , i have a license . It is CONSIDERABLY cheaper than renting a flat . If i CC'd it would be cheaper still . I dont live on my boat cos its cheaper . I live on my boat cos its BETTER .... by a country mile . All this negativity about overheads , and how theyre greater than my home etc is wearyingly boring ..... . Well done to those who " played the property game " and won . " Weve a got a big house , didn t we do well , weve got boat aswell , aren t we marvellous " . " Our boat coats more than our house - so dont even think about buying a boat as its an expensive thing to own " It all reminds me of the Harry Enfield character who always comments " Excuse me Sonny , but me and the wife couldn t help but notice that we are considerably richer than yow " in a brum accent . Of course your house was cheaper . You probably bought it in the 60s 70s 80s 90s & have seen big increases in its value . Im not suggesting you ve had it easy but i am suggesting that things are more difficult in recent times . Folk - hard working , honest folk just like yourselves cannot get the homes they want the buy because they cannot keep up with the insane prices of home buying . If one is stuck in a cycle of renting in order to fund someone elses lifestyle is not likely that one will look to altetnatives ? In times past one bought a home to live in , raise a family etc . Property nowadays is bought up by investors aswell thus removing the opportunity to those whod like to buy . So some folk - usually old , retired types or close to it did well . Good for them . But all this " dont buy a boat unless you love it etc " is bollocks . Is it so far beyond imagination that someone can buy a boat for one reason ( finances ) and stay on it for other reasons ( cos they then fell in love with it ) ? I expect there are several members of this forum who would fit my question above . But i doubt many would question thier motives The OP sounds to me like theyve got thier head screwed on . Asking the right questions. Theyve spent time in campervans - so what they haven t lived in it . The OP doesn t sound like he wants a lavish lifestyle and would infact actively embrace the simplicity of boat living . It sounds actually as if the only thing missing is a larger budget . People are slowly waking up to the idea that working your knackers off all your life to pay a mortgage isn t the be all and end all of the three score years and ten that good fortune has blessed us with by being born in the first place . Why spend that lifetime working working working if its just to pay rent because the country they live in is such a f*** up that it cannot house its own population . So all this " it aint cheaper " is tosh - because it is cheaper by a long way , & its better by long way than renting a crappy house to pay a landlords investment off Yes - there will expenses & some of them may well end up very costly. Buying a boat , especially the first is frought with insecurity , anxiety & worry because the initial cost of buying involves a sizeable chunk of money . Concern is only natural . If one buys a boat its warts n all and if a buyer is unlucky or not diligent enough the costs can be eye watering . These things the OP should be made aware of - quite rightly . But i personally find all this " don t do it unless u wanna do it " boring , negative and if really honest a bit snobbish ..... Thats all folks cheers
  4. 10 points
    I am for CART, I am for anyone who has anything to do with my waterways even if they sometimes get it wrong. I have found almost invariably in life that its a certain type of person that is often simply anti any person or institute with any kind of authority. I found some people to be anti police and funnily enough it nearly always turned out they had criminal records. We have morons daily who abuse staff in hospitals even when they are treating them!! CART knocking has simply taken over from BW knocking and funnily enough in my 28 years of dealing with them I have always found them helpful, funny innitt?
  5. 10 points
    Dear Black Rose being as you state most people haven’t heard of me prior to this forum perhaps you might like a potted history of my work life In 1967 I started working for Kearney and Treacker in Brighton and did a four year apprenticeship as a Fabricator welder passsing EITB courses with credits and City and Guilds fabricaton and welding courses with credit I moved to Northampton for personal reasons in 1973 and was offered a position with Hancock and Lane in Daventry and began a further apprenticeship in steel boat building I worked up through the ranks to become a leading hand I have built boats for notable companies ie Peter Nicholls yacht builders. G &J Reeves Probuild narrow boats and Steelcraft during this time I have been involved in the construction of over 100 boats I decided that I would like to finish by running my own company Kedian Engineering I bring over 45 yers of experience to this forum and am happy to share that if asked Thank you for your interest in my journey and for your comments on this forum which I take on board and read with interest Martin
  6. 7 points
    There is a place for wide beam boats but the north Oxford Canal is definitely not one. Despite the published dimensions of 2.1m beam and 21.9 length, it would seem that CRT have not objected to these boats being moored at Dunchurch Pools [Onley "Monster Marina"] and Barby Moorings. On my return trip to Cropredy last week, I saw 4 wide beams in Dunchurch and 2 in Barby. The former's entrance from the canal has clearly been constructed to allow these boats to gain access and egress. The local licensing officer even said there was nothing they could do. Really? But let's look at the real issue, and disregarding the fact that only narrow beam boats can travel through Hillmorton Locks: the canal profile is totally unsuitable for anything over 6ft 10" nominal beam! Several pinch points exist which will render meeting a wide beam an accident waiting to happen include a. the length between bridge 90 and 89, with 14 day mooring and overgrown offside vegetation, b. between bridges 83 and 84, again overgrown vegetation on the offside, not to mention the slope of the towpath edge c. the blind approach to bridge 80, only recently repaired. CRT have said they doubt if these boats will actually go out, but I do know that Dunchurch have constructed a wide beam slipway so we can expect movement along this 3 mile section. I for one would not want to come up against a wide beam at the locations noted above. An even worse scenario would be one going down to Hillmorton, finding they cannot go further the trying to reverse back to Tarry's bridge winding hole. Maybe it is time to campaign for a narrows to be constructed at bridge 90 of 8ft beam. I'm sure it would get the support of most narrow beam boaters.
  7. 7 points
    Probably not a lot of point until boaters and their interests are given receive more attention. Its no use bragging about 300, 400, 600 boats attending unless there is more for the boaters than evening entertainment they can not get into, expensive food, and a degree of daytime entertainment. Not everyone is likes sitting in a bar all day drinking. I am still trying to work out what Chity Chity Bang Bang and a couple pretending to be drunk wandering about has to do with boating. At last at Crick there is more than one chandlery type stall, unlike later nationals. I tried my best to provide something for boaters at no cost, apart from the pitch, to the IWA but they eventually wanted paying for that as well as me giving my time and expertise. Personally I suspect what is needed is not more Nationals but a new IWA that is not in CaRT's pocket, has developed some teeth, and pays more attention to boaters and canal restoration interests. At present it looks more like a sideshow to me.
  8. 6 points
    A remarkable parody of a 70's union leader claiming that it isn't his members walking out that is inconveniencing people but the management who MADE them do it. You may not have started your argument with Peel on the basis that nobody would pay. Like most others in your position, you started from the entirely selfish position that YOU shouldn't pay. However, there isn't even a vaguely arguable position that says that you shouldn't pay whilst others do. The only argument that you can advance is that all charges are illegal. Your post then veers off into the realms of utter fantasy. Bridgewater boaters would probably pay voluntarily? On what basis do you assert that? You are regularly on the canal and you won't pay. If there was no compulsory charge, the canal would soon begin to attract others of the same ilk who fancied a free ride, and those who are prepared to pay would rapidly conclude that they didn't want to pay to be on a canal choked with freeloaders, and they would move to CRT waters. You say that you want to return to the reciprocal agreement, but if you accept that agreement as valid, you actually accept that they CAN demand a charge, because if they can't demand a charge, the reciprocal agreement isn't needed. We then go even further with a suggestion that somebody else would take over. Where do you imagine somebody else would get the money to run it? Frankly, the canal system needs those who want the world to revolve around them like it needs a hole in the puddle.
  9. 6 points
    If I am cruising the I would estimate 9 out of 10 narrow boats (or more) that come towards me going the other way, I dont have to take 'significant' avoidance action. Maybe 1 out of 10 (or less) ie at a bridge or blind bend and I have to take avoiding action - viz going into reverse. If they had all been wide beams then these numbers would look a lot different - a significant obstruction to navigation. They slow down lock operation by 50% or more and when moored in areas that are not wide they become an unnecessary chicane. I think they are a pain. Not a rant. Not a moan. Just a reaction to wide beams causing obstructions to navigation. No problem with them when they are not - for example moored up in a marina or moored on a wide section of the cut.
  10. 6 points
    From what I have seen the IWA are briefing a great deal against live aboard boaters, at least where it relates to the South East and particularly the London area. In doing this they purport to be speaking for other boaters who are not live aboard, of course. I'm not a full time live aboard, nor ever likely to be close to being one, but I do not find any stance that seeks to divide boaters into different camps, and hence divide them to be in any way helpful. There is plenty all boaters need to be concerned about in terms of our canals, how CRT manage them, and particularity how important CRT actually choose to make boating as part of their total remit. What is needed, in my view, is for us all to try and understand each others position, and to try wherever possible to be putting as united a front as we can to CRT, (although I realise this is often far from straightforward!). Overall I think people like the IWA leadership, (at one extreme), and the NBTA leadership, (at the other extreme), tend to be doing more harm for boaters as a whole than the good they think they are doing for the rather small percentage of all boaters that they believe they represent. I suggest the vast majority of us boat owners do not hold such extreme views, of see quite as many of our fellow boat owners as "the enemy". A lot of the unhelpful and divisive comment actually comes from a very small percentage of all boat owners.
  11. 6 points
    I have found the following on a Post-It note in writing desk: IMPERATOR was a new boat when health registered as Chester 636 on 16 July 1907 for the Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company, Chester. and carried fleet number 604. As IMPERATOR was not gauged at this time it would be fair to assume that it operated across the Shropshire Union Canals only. With a length of 70'0'', beam of 6'10¾'' and a maximum capacity of 28 tons I would suggest that this was one of their barrel sided boats, and this is partially confirmed on its health registration where it is noted as being Fly - the master at this time being Samuel Bell. IMPERATOR was a wooden hulled unpowered narrow boat that would have been pulled by a horse. When Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company were wound up in the early 1920's their boats found a number of new owners, and IMPERATOR went to London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company, Wolverhampton. Under this ownership IMPERATOR was B.C.N. gauged BCN766 on 21 November 1923, and carried the fleet number 40. The articles on board when gauged are consistent with a long distance family boat, and this is confirmed by the health registration Chester 636 on 22 February 1924 when IMPERATOR was approved as a dwelling. Although I hope you find this of interest I have no record of how or when IMPERATOR was broken up
  12. 5 points
    I dont get this realy and honestly. Why does anyone think genuinely that CART bully anyone? Enforcement of what? There are a very few very easy to abide by rules that should need no enforcement, such as not being a pillock and running your engine/gennie to the annoyance of other canal users easy to comply with, obtaining a BSS which again is hardly arduous and not even strict criteria, paying for a licence well that's surely obvious with the vast running costs of the system, having a mooring or simply using the boat to boat around in, again a very easy one to comply with if you so wish, purchasing third party insurance again no right minded person would surely be against this? so what or who is it that whoever think they are being bullied over?
  13. 5 points
    Hear hear, excellent thread. Have to say I found gigoguy's tone intensely irritating at first, but then thought that if Aickman were alive today and posting on here, he'd probably have the same effect and we owe the continued existence of most of the network to him. Sometimes stroppy sods are just what's needed .
  14. 5 points
    Well I ought not to have spent the time, but herewith my own hasty synopsis of the relevant Acts affecting PRN & pleasure boat charges on the Bridgewater Canal. Question marks denote legislation I do not have copies of. 1759 Bridgewater Canal Act s.29 - 2 interpretations possible respecting PRN: no mention of pleasure boats, but ambiguity could potentially support use of any boat at all. 1760 Bridgewater Canal Act ? 1762 Bridgewater Canal Act ? 1766 Bridgewater Canal Act Riparian owner/occupiers to have free use of pleasure boats without charge, so long as no lock passage without consent. Note: if riparians granted free use of pleasure boats, implication is that others have not been; but see erivers post re GJCC Act 1793 [& my response] 1794 Bridgewater Canal Act s.73 Riparian boats may pass locks if either: a) consent of company, or b ) pay tonnage equal to 6 tons. Note: combining this section with previous, would suggest that ‘consent’ in 1766 was an ex-gratia one, and that henceforward an alternative to such consent was payment of a fixed charge. It might seem from this that even if consent for something was needed from the company, they were free to give or refuse that consent, but not on the basis of charging for that consent – perhaps. 1795 Bridgewater Canal Act ? 1847 Harbour Clauses Act ? 1870 Bridgewater Rules - nothing relevant 1885 Manchester Shipping Canal Act Interpretation: “vessels” includes “craft of every class & description however propelled.” s.62 provides that any riparian owner/occupier may construct wharves, landing places, side basins and lay-byes with suitable access to the canal, free of wharfage rates. s.128 provides that the company may demand dues in respect of every vessel specified in 3rd schedule to the Act on entering or leaving the canal [relating only to commercial craft]. s.129 provides for charges for carriage of both passengers & cargo s.130 provides that “light or empty vessels shall be at liberty to pass one way between the extreme points before mentioned or any intermediate places toll free.” s.138 provides that charges may be made for any vessel using the ‘communications’ to be built at Barton, unless repairs interrupt passage. s.139 provides that use of the canal for conveying fertiliser for field within a mile of the canal is free. s.149 provides that the company may licence lighters s.196/7 provide that the company may licence steam powered tugs for towing s.196 added byelaw powers – for regulating use of wharves, landing places, quays, basins and lay byes, but not private ones; for regulating speed limits of steam-powered vessels of all sorts; for regulating the T&C’s and charges for the grant of any licences as aforementioned; s.213 provides that unless expressly provided in this 1885 Act, nothing is to extend to prejudicially affect the provisions of the Bridgewater & etc Canal Acts Note: there are 2 classes of commercial vessel that they get power to licence here [which is later extended to other classes] but not including pleasure boats. 1886 MSC Act 1887 MSC Act 1888 MSC (additional lands) Act 1888 MSC (alteration of works) Act 1888 Railway and Canal Traffic Act - qualifies MSC under Transport Act 1962 s.52. 1890 MSC (tidal openings & etc) Act 1890 MSC Act - s.19 extension of Byelaw powers – nothing relevant 1891 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1893 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1893 Manchester Corporation (ship canal) Act - nothing relevant 1893 MSC (additional capital) Act - nothing relevant 1893 MSC (surplus lands) Act - nothing relevant 1894 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1894 Canal Rates Bridgewater & etc Act General Schedule applicable to all listed canals s.7(viii) expressly excludes charges for the boat occupation of any private wharf on the canal, in any private lay-by or in any private canal basin. Also provides for free overnight mooring at any Company berth, and for any reasonable time when not at work [providing no impediment to navigation or the facility]. Amended later in 1960. s.25 provides that “nothing in this schedule shall apply to pleasure boats or affect the tolls or charges (if any) which the Company are authorised to make in respect of such boats under the provisions of any Act of Parliament”. Note: the company were authorised by the 1794 Act to charge for pleasure boats to pass through a lock Special section Applicable Only to the Bridgewater Canals s.(i) provides that any empty boat passing through one or more locks, or entering the canal from another navigation, may be charged 5 shillings [unless on a return passage having paid toll on cargo carried Note 1: on its own, this could be interpreted as applying to any pleasure boat - which will fit the definition of an empty boat so far as carriage of cargo is concerned. The query would arise: does the special section come under the s.25 exemption of the general section? It seems to me that it must, but it is possibly arguable, demanding more attention. IF it could be said to apply to pleasure boats, then a charge for entering or leaving the canal from or to an adjoining navigation is authorised. It would not affect the freedoms of riparian boats, so long as they remained at private berths, and when leaving those to navigate did not either use a lock or leave the canal. Note 2: – on reading the 1960 Act, it is apparent that the special section did not include pleasure boats, hence the remedy of the additional clause; it DOES now include them. 1896 MSC Act - extension of byelaw powers for Bridgewater – nothing relevant 1897 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1900 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1904 (finances) Act - nothing relevant 1907 (various powers) Act - nothing relevant 1907 MSC (Bridgewater) Act – nothing relevant 1911 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1912 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1913 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1919 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1920 MSC Act - increase of Bridgewater rates; nothing relevant 1924 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1925 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1926 MSC (general powers) Act - nothing relevant 1926 MSC (staff superannuation) Act - nothing relevant 1928 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1933 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1936 MSC Act - s.32 removal of sunk stranded or abandoned vessels – not relevant 1945 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1947 Transport Act - nothing relevant 1949 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1950 MSC Act s.18 increased Bridgewater rates; s.25 abandonment of Bridgewater lock; undertakings re: other locks [repealed 1975] 1952 MSC Act - increased Bridgewater rates - no longer relevant 1954 Transport Charges &etc (miscellaneous provisions) Act – applied national charges schemes to private undertakings – nothing relevant – abolished in 1962 1956 MSC Act - ? 1960 MSC Act s.3 - application of Harbour Clauses Act 1847 – not relevant s.4 – additional canal tolls s.6 – company can charge any boat at all that remains in Runcorn Dock, and for use & occupation of any berth in Runcorn Docks s.6( b ) – extends definition of vessel in special section of the 1894 Rates Act applicable to Bridgewater, to embrace every type of craft, however propelled [hence pleasure boats]. Hence the entry & exit toll now applied to pleasure boats. s.9 – powers of removal of Bridgewater boats left therein without consent Note: consent not required for boats at private property/moorings, but is required for longer than overnight on company premises &/or towpath, for lock passage if not paid for, & for entering and exiting the canal. Schedule 3 – articles to be carried by pleasure craft in the harbour 1962 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1962 Transport Act - applies s.43(1)( b ) (2) (3) (5) & (6) to the charges of the Bridgewater 1966 MSC Act - nothing relevant 1970 MSC Revision Order - extension of byelaw powers 1975 MSC Revision Order - nothing relevant 1976 MSC (black bear canal) Act - abolished PRN, but nothing relevant to Bridgewater Note: I have not seen the original Act for the waterway affected; if couched in the same terms as the Bridgewater, might affect the interpretation of PRN there. 1983 MSC Revision Order - nothing relevant 1984 MSC Revision Order - nothing relevant 1987 MSC Revision Order - nothing relevant 1990 MSC Revision Order - nothing relevant 1992 MSC Revision Order - nothing relevant 2012 Bridgewater Canal (Transfer of Undertakings) Order s.4 - affirms existing byelaws, extends byelaw making powers to include registration, T&C’s etc, subject to a penalty not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale. s.7 – affirms power to make reasonable charges, though that subject - s.7( c ) - to any prior enactment which “expressly or impliedly provides for freedom from charges or otherwise prohibits the making of any charge.” Note: that last respecting “reasonable” is odd, given the TA 1962 which had specifically removed the need for reasonableness in charges – maybe government were having a change of heart? Apart from the missing Acts, there will be sections bearing on consent for berthing at private premises which I have skimmed over and which I don’t feel like going back to look for at the moment. So far as PRN is concerned, it is now irrelevant, given Parliamentary sanction for transit charges to be levied has been discovered.
  15. 5 points
    And far more than one (your boat) work perfectly well with two or more baffles, in some case vertical so that should be good enough for you also, but it appears it isn't? According to your original posts an extra baffler would cause overheating on the grounds the engine water pump would not be powerful enough to overcome the extra resistance to flow. As Engines Plus have in the past and may still supplied the majority of new hireboat engines any that followed the mariniser's advice would be overheating according to you. They are patently not, even the ones that were allowed to do the London and Thames rings. This indicates that either the builders ignored Engines Plus's advice or your conclusions about baffles and resistance are wrong. I leave it to other readers to decide which is likely to be closer to the truth. It is my view that you have a tendency to read something, do it, and if it works take what you read as 100% correct. That's fine for you but when you then try to use that limited experience to advise others then, again in my view, you are in the wrong. No one has a problem with the Beta design because it will work but it may be sub optimal. I could reply in the same way and say if you have a problem with the Engines Plus design take it up with them but my experience tells me its a pointless remark to make. I do have a major problem when you mislead other people (in my view), criticise very experienced and well regarded people and then try to justify your conduct by quoting a single internet source. That is not good enough for me.
  16. 5 points
    An artificial horizon is a must. It should warn you of the boat listing when the bogs full up.
  17. 5 points
    Or did they do what they the British public wanted? You will never know because you dont seem to listen, when Tim, Myself and others tell you we dont care about the deal, we just want to leave and nobody influenced us. Well its true people did makeup their own mind, and did what they wanted to do, some from both sides were swayed and influenced but we wernt led by the nose for slaughter, nobody was in the voting booth telling us what to do! At the moment I suspect that influential people are trying to break the will of the people and overturn the result, whether they succeed or are destroyed in the attempt we will have to see but for me and millions of others I cant wait for the day that we leave the failed experiment that is the EU
  18. 5 points
    Or better still any place where the public are present, so there is no wriggle room. Hopefully it is the first step to getting compulsory registation and insurance for cyclists, to bring them into line with other road users.
  19. 4 points
    I bet whoever was on the bog got a shock.
  20. 4 points
    I think that's a bit unfair, I don't know who this Steve J is but a quick look at his website and it's pretty clear he has an "agenda" and, possibly, a bit too much time on his hands. So those who do know him from the past were making a pretty safe assumption I would say. FWIW a lot of this negativity about CRT flies in the face of my personal experience and I'm sure many others. I'd go further and say the vast majority of boaters I talk to have nothing but good things to say about the way the waterways are managed. The fact that there are some disgruntled workers isn't very revealing, I'm more impressed by the evidence of my own eyes.
  21. 4 points
    I don't quite see it it that way. All the OP has sought according to his postings, has been clarification of what the legal position truly is, and has objected fiercely to the public relying on mere say-so from the authority. Admittedly, in the absence of clear direction from their legal department, he has been somewhat precipitate and disproportionate in his visceral response to their obfuscation, but it takes people with passion for justice and with conviction to force things into the open - and whether the result is what one might have desired or not, it is desirable to achieve a result. Nearly 2 and a half centuries of applicable legislation containing several different private company Acts as well as relevant public Acts to sort through, and their own lawyers cannot come up with a straightforward answer to a simple yet cogent question as to why they do what they do? It brings to mind the comment by Hildyard J regarding the 'morass' of BW legislation - it cannot be right that the public should have to rely on BW's say-so as to what they are entitled to do. Same applies here.
  22. 4 points
    I'd get a wireless, they're more reliable.
  23. 4 points
    Re them having to prove it... I remember a long thread some years back on here about the illegality of CRT (though it may well have been BW back then) charging for mooring permits, and some highly vocal members being absolutely certain that there was no legal justification for it. The same arguments as here were used - that it was illegal extortion with no basis in law and that anyone who paid for a permit was an idiot (not that gigoguy has said any such thing in this case). As far as I am aware, no-one ever got BW/CRT to write to them explaining the bit of Act which it was based on, and everyone just kept paying it. I suspect this will end up going the same way. I know that gigoguy, CRT and many others have tried to persuade Peel to change their minds, and Peel say tough and won't budge - but they don't have to UNLESS someone can clearly show that they can't. Possession, as they say, is, rightly or wrongly, nine tenths of the law and it's their canal. And it would seem that the obscurity of the original documentation is such that you could argue about it for years and not reach a conclusion and therefore all the clout is with Peel, because no-one is going to do that for forty quid. And as Peel aren't even going to try to go to court, or take someone's boat off them, for forty quid either, it'll never end up in court. They may for other reasons, but not that. And most people who are forced to return within 28 days and spotted, will stump up. For the same reason, people will carry on paying for their boat licences, because they will assume that any argument saying they don't need to is simply daft and not worth considering. As I've said, with enough pressure and the right kind of political action, you might get the return limit reduced. You certainly won't get licence fees scrapped, and picking a fight that you can't win is not sensible - all it does if force your opponent to refuse to give ground on smaller matters to avoid looking weak. You need to make them feel good about giving way, that by doing what you want that they have actually beaten you. This may of course be impossible...
  24. 4 points
    I think SOME people are just trying to help where they feel you have facts wrong. Once you present a fact that can be proved wrong then that is a basis to read doubt into the rest of your argument. If you say the "The Tank never moves" and they put forward a record that shows its opened 4 times every week people will just doubt everything else you say.
  25. 4 points
    What a joy to wake up to all these helpful, kind, funny and practical answers. To summarize so far (in no particular order) 1. Slow down, especially when passing moored boats. Slow down to enjoy the canal. Slow down (this is my goal for the trip) 2. Read the Nicholson guide (downloaded and read it last night) 3. Don't waste the water in the locks by emptying without a boat in it, unless there is no-one in sight 4. Don't moor in places where others need to go - such as water stops, winding holes 5. Take turns at bridges and tunnels (notify waiting boats if you have a boat immediately following) 6. Be prepared for some humiliation on keeping the boat going straight (I've read the zigzag thread) 7. Do the homework - watch the canal trust videos https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/boating/a-guide-to-boating/boaters-handbook (done) 8. Learn how to use and protect the locks - paddles etc. 9. "Drive" on the right 10. Pay Mike the Boilerman 10 Pounds per lock + 20% VAT and hope that he buys everyone some warm beer when he gets back from the Seychelles Thanks again - can't wait to get out there in June 2018. We'll warn you before we get going
  26. 4 points
    No. It means you don't come onto public forums and make stupid posts. Hmmmm. Yes. Looks like a bad case of sour grapes to me doctor.
  27. 4 points
    There are many moorings both on the canal and offline which don't allow you to liveaboard, that's where discretion comes in-a quality you appear to be short of.
  28. 4 points
    This is the sort of thread that really makes me feel negative about this forum. If wide boats including narrowboat-style widebeams, Dutch barges or cruisers are in places where they shouldn't be that's one thing and people have a right to complain about anyone who's obstructing navigation. But if it's just another excuse for a rant and moan against wide boats amongst some narrow-minded narrrow boaters, well that's just depressing...
  29. 4 points
    Vigilante action to obstruct navigation? Turning boater against fellow boater.... This sort of nonsense just reinforces the points made earlier about the mindset of some narrow boat owners. Is that really what you people want?
  30. 4 points
    Fortunately not true, and both our ex working narrow boats, built to 7' 0.5" beam, (but one of them now definitely wider), are no less suited to the canal than the now accepted 6' 10" beam chosen for most modern leisure narrow boats. Having got that out the way, I am otherwise in agreement with you, and find it most unsatisfactory that CRT are prepared to allow the use of the Northern Oxford by wider beamed craft. It is a stupid idea, and should not be happening. IMO CRT should not be prepared to let marinas built on this canal house these boats, unless there is a clear condition specified that they are never going to leave those marinas. Yes, but there are some fairly horrendous pictures doing the rounds of some incidents involving these boats cruising the Northern Oxford. One of the better ones shows the resulting chaos when a loaded motor / butty pair on a long line encountered one at a point that was simply not wide enough. The canal was certainly not built with anything other than narrow boats in mind, and they should not b on it.
  31. 4 points
    Day boaters - people enjoying a day out on the cut Hen and Stag parties - people enjoying a week out on the cut Hire boaters - people enjoying a fortnight out on the cut Boat Share - people enjoying a fortnight out on the cut Private owners - people enjoying a month out on the cut GRP owners - people enjoying a month out on the cut CCers - people enjoying the rest of their life out on the cut Seems to me we all have something in common - now I wonder what that could be? Live and let live and smile whilst doing so, life's too short to be grumpy and miserable!
  32. 4 points
    It wouldn't worry me if it was self inflicted. I get the impression that the whole attitude on the cut has changed in my boating days you were either working or an enthusiast but the leisure side has more or less completely taken over & good number boating have no real interest in the system as such it's just a hobby/pastime & anything that they view as not to the way they think it should be done or not the way they do it (more than likely incorrectly)Gets them ranting or grumpy& don't like being "advised" on the correct or better way of doing something
  33. 4 points
    Chubby, thank you so much for your post. I was starting to get disheartened (but not deterred!) and your post really perked me and my girlfriend up. I think as you pointed out, most people seem to have missed the point that I don't own a house or have a mortgage. You're bang on the money, I'm young and I'm already fed up of not being able to afford to live the way society is going and i'm looking for alternatives. I'd rather live on a boat, have more money and more time to do what I want to do and love rather than working constantly to end up in a coffin having got nowhere in life. I'm almost sure that having time to do what I want and love will in turn make me love the boat life. Of course, people are still shouting "but you must want to live on a boat, not because it's cheaper" well the truth is as i said before it's been playing on my mind for the last 6 to 8 months so it's not a fleeting thought. We went to see our friends who have lived on a 30ft cruiser stern for the last two years and they couldn't be happier. (Just like to point out theirs is a springer and only cost £15k but it's bloody amazing and just passed it's hull survey). So yes, I do want to live on a boat and not just because it's cheaper. Maybe we won't like it, but as Chubby said, we won't know for sure until we try. We're actually looking forward to downsizing and simplifying our lives. Yes it's one thing to go away in a campervan for two weeks compared to living on a boat but the truth is, when we go away in our van, we have showers, in winter, outside in the freezing cold with boiled water from a pan fed through a solar shower. So yeah, we're used to difficult, I wonder how many people who live on a boat have done this? In terms of costs, trust me it still works out cheaper even when moored compared to the costs of renting here with bills. I fully understand if you own a house it costs more because you are paying for mooring fees where you don't pay them fees in a house, but a loan for a boat plus mooring fees still comes in less than my rent a month. Unfortunately as well, our budget will not allow us to get a massive boat that's nice and new because I'm simply not well off and let's be honest, if I had the money you'd still be telling me no in case I didn't like it. That's the whole idea, we get something a little cheaper that we won't lose much money on hopefully and we can test the water, excuse the pun. We have received some fantastic advice on the thread as well, so thanks for everyone who has contributed and I know some will have genuine concern and don't want to see us regret the choice. At the end of the day, that was what the original post was about, asking for help so we didn't make a mistake.
  34. 3 points
    You are having a hard time. Your finances are poor and you are constantly looking for the cheapest way to exist, by legal means if possible, but in the grey areas when not. You feel the need for "emotional" support in this struggle. "Emotional" is not the right word, nor is "spiritual" but something along those lines. You can get some of this support by feeling that you are part of a group and therefore not alone. The obvious group is "the aggrieved", and you can readily see that it exists by looking on the internet. The feeling of support that you get from belonging to this group is proportional to the strength of this group. Any group is made stronger by having an opposition group. Your instinct as a member of this group is to find an opposition group (or create one) - and thereby make it stronger. To qualify as an opposition group this group has to be as similar as your support group but "opposite". You are boating related, CRT are boating related. Your groups are related. You are suffering hardship, therefore it must be that CRT are inflicting hardship. But you need this opposition to be stronger so that your group is stronger, so you attack CRT with every means at your disposal. So, if you are having a hard time as a boater, your instinct is: to see yourself as part of a large group, the aggrieved. to see CRT as a monolith rather than a collection of parts than can have individual good & bad points. to see CRT as deliberately vindictive. to attack CRT across the board 100% of the time. So it behoves every hard-pressed boater to examine their motivation carefully. Notwithstanding the above, it still may be that CRT is a solid monolith, driven by a vindictive hatred of the small boater, but I doubt it.
  35. 3 points
    If you won't visit the site to see what has been put then why are you having an input on the content that you haven't read?
  36. 3 points
    It's a sad fact that, whatever SJ's agenda might be (and yes, I know it too!) he's almost certainly right that not many of CRT's on the ground staff think that their management is any good. Parkinson's second law, I think, that in any organisation, after a time it becomes more important to run the organisation than to look after what it was supposed to be doing in the first place. Why should CRT be any different? We're just lucky that most of the bods on the ground still care about the canals - all the back office people care about is their jobs.
  37. 3 points
    Twin motion activated chainguns, bit messy and the occasional cyclist gets caught but no one has untied my boat
  38. 3 points
    I was the person the BBC contacted and asked to talk about the "boat graveyard" at Harefield. I took the view that all publicity is good publicity, and it was great that the Beeb felt there was an appetite for a canal history programme. Prime time on the BBC is a great spot for viewer numbers but its not the time when an in depth programme would get aired. The coverage by Gogglebox was probably the level Sat Night TV is aimed at http://www.channel4.com/programmes/gogglebox/on-demand/.... The BBC team doing the research and recording were genuinely really interested in the site and whole local story - from the first "Bricks by Boat"chapter (as featured in the latest Narrowboat mag), to the final chapter and the boats sinking in the Colne Valley gravel pits. I was supposed to be advising the crew behind the camera, so rocked up unshaven and in scruffy togs. I ended up being interviewed by Mary Ann Ochota in front of the camera, so all a bit impromptu... Having to say the same thing over and over as they filmed from different angles wasn't the easiest thing for my brain to cope with! Anyway, the main thing from my perspective is that the Harefield filming "made the cut", and so got some great airtime. The BBC were genuinely interested in the site and the story, and I spent a nice amount of time with Mary Ann, showing her other boat remnants off camera too. So, we have gained some good allies and the possibility of expanding on the story in the future.
  39. 3 points
    I have no argument what ever against wide beam boats boating on a cut that has designed dimensions to suit them but the lack of upkeep is a factor that is causing problems & the fact some don't move much if at all the condition of the cut that make them concerned & if they move they have problems & don't enjoy so stay put it's a chicken /egg syndrome which will only get worse with the lack of maintenance & the increasing number of wider boats or for that matter boats in general the increase of newbie posts on this forum titled I'm looking to buy a liveaboard which is fine if they comply with the T's & C's but i wonder how many become disillusioned with the constant moving if they choose CCing & become stay putters or bridge hoppers so the cut has boats moored in awkward places so the round of difficulty's may start again for boats wider than the narrow beam dimensions, The purpose the cut is now used for is compleatly different to its designed use but without being adapted to today"s requirements such a shame
  40. 3 points
    I think you need to get out and meet more boaters There is a growing assumption of late that people live on the canal to get cheaper housing, but there are a huge number of people living on the cut because they choose that lifestyle, I fear some are even boat/canal fanatics. And no matter what the sartorial intention was, a few years on the cut and scruffy appears to take hold. ...........Dave
  41. 3 points
    To an extent of course you are right. Even though you own something, there are limits to what you can do to it, some legal, some physical. Peel probably don't have the right to fill in the canal, though they probably do have the right just not to bother to do any maintenance so it falls to bits if it becomes too much of a hassle, possibly loss-making and too many people whinge at them about it or refuse to pay what the owner thinks they should. But you're wrong that ownership implies either duty of care or responsibility - if it did, health and safety laws wouldn't be necessary, nor the various factories Acts, building regs etc. A business's responsibility is purely to it's shareholders - anything else has to be prised out of it, and anything that impinges on its profits is going to be avoided as far as possible, which, again, is why you don't get answers to your letters and why they won't bother taking you to court unless you run up such a huge bill that it becomes worth it. And then the judges will almost certainly rule in their favour because they own the relevant property, and that's what the law is there to protect. And, of course, because they will be able to afford the best lawyers and you can't. Don't get me wrong - I think the return penalty in iniquitous and the conditions excessive and it's put me off using the BW as I would like to. But it might be worth trying to persuade them that it should, as someone has suggested, be no return within 7 days rather than 28 rather than that they are acting illegally in charging anyone anything. You don't win battles by not leaving your opponent an escape route.
  42. 3 points
    Neil 2 may not not be "the Eyes" of the Forum but I am probably not alone in considering you as often Impolite and expressing opinions that you do not have practical experience of .
  43. 3 points
    Seems to have been taken from the T.W. Will King collection, Dudley Public Library/Black Country Museum. Does T. W. Will King hold the copyright? Many images have been seen on this forum that have come from many sources, and sometimes there's a storm in a tea-cup over them - usually if someone is attempting to make money from them. Go look on Ebay, images for sale from all over the place. Nice to see the boats Ray, (and the family).
  44. 3 points
    As i see it you have asked a question re your stoves safety . The question has been answered . But you don t like the answers because theyre honest & accurate and make for uncomfortable reading . If u ask a question expect an honest appraisal of the situation . Otherwise dont ask . Fortunately you do have smoke alarms and CO alarms . Good .Test thier batts regularly . If you haven t done so already you will need to sweep the flue . When u do this crud will fall from inside the flue so you will need to remove the " baffle plate " or " throat plate " that sits on top of the firebricks that line the interior of the stove . Replace baffle plate after . You will need to check the fire rope seals where appropriate - look on google . I make no judgement on your decision to rent a narrowboat . Up to you . But when you do so you are likely to be on your own . Expect no assistance from the landlord . Stoves are dangerous if not maintained . CO kills . Fire kills . . I couldnt care less if you die by either method , no skin off my nose - my concern is always the other people nearby or other people on your boat who may come to harm because of your decisons and workmanship . Either way , whoever pays is no ones concern but you & your " landlord " . Your agreement , your problem . Most folk on the forum are unlikely to care who pays and only concerned with offering advice about safety . So get the work done and if you have to pay for it yourself so be it . As for your comments about " being a happy bunch " - largely this is true . I am - my boats warm & set up for the winter to come as i serviced my stove in August before cold sets in & i know its not trying to kill me . Get your stove sorted mate , who cares who pays - it aint worth the risks involved cheers
  45. 3 points
    OK, let me say at the outset that I have very little time for BCC and its odious enforcement officer, and that I think their new policy on use of the reciprocal agreement is a complete dogs breakfast that wasn't thought through. However, there we must part company. Your quasi-legal posturing seems to be founded entire upon the "It's not fair Act, 1827" Life isn't always fair, and we have to deal with it. It may be essential in your mind that the canal is a Public Right of Way (it isn't BTW), or more to the point a Public Right of Navigation (again, nope), because for it to be otherwise would mean that a private company is in control of whether you can go that way or not. That may not be how you think the world should be, but that doesn't mean that the world isn't like that. You may then conclude that BCC can't charge for use of the canal, but if that is the case, how would the canal be maintained? Just suppose that you actually manage to prove that they can't charge for use of the canal. Will a magic money tree spring up at the side of Pomona Lock, providing funds for the canal. or do you just imagine that the largesse of the public purse will provide? Yes, the canal is run to make a profit (or rather more likely to avoid making a loss, and you might like it to be in public ownership, but would that actually mean it was cheaper or to be frank that you could use it free of charge as much as you want on a CRT licence? Perhaps BCT could take it over, but they would still need to cover the costs of running it. Perhaps it could be taken over by CRT, and all the BCC licence holders would have to change to CRT licences. You would be saved from paying £40, whilst all the locals would see their costs increase. In an ideal world, CRT would be discussing and sorting the reciprocal agreement with BCC, but if they don't want to play, then what. The only thing that CRT can do is cancel the agreement. You would still have to pay your £40, and BCC licence holders would need to pay to come onto CRT waters. That might hurt BCC eventually, because mooring there wouldn't seem quite so attractive if you can't go anywhere else. So, in the final analysis, the new BCC take on the reciprocal agreement is really rubbish, but that doesn't mean that it isn't legal.
  46. 3 points
    I've written on this before, but we owned the GUCCC widebeam craft Progress that was used for the ceremonial opening of the widened section Braunston-Birmingham at Hatton in 1937. We cruised London to Braunston several times in the 60s and on up to Camp Hill twice. Progress was 74' x 12'6". FMC also had an experimental craft Pioneer, but that was broken up by the time we came onto the canals late 50s. That said, Progress and Pioneer were both experimental craft and the experiment was abandonned as it was too problematic for the standard narrowboat traffic at bridges and tunnels in particular. I love wide beam vessels and we worked several in the London area. Our ex-partner Tim Wood still continues with some 4 Leeds and Liverpool shortboats and a couple of Dutch work flats we brought over in his WHH fleet of maintenance craft, though we took ourselves off to France where a wide craft is in its proper element. I do have to agree that although the Grand Union can cope with a handful of wide vessels it is not practical for there to be as many as there are now unless at least major dredging and tree lopping operations were to be carried out. tam
  47. 3 points
    In other words, nothing whatsoever to do with canals and boating. It would be a much cheaper option to put residential caravans in Hyde Park to help the London housing crisis, rather than clogging up the canal system. George
  48. 3 points
    But there is the problem. What is typical. I voted to leave the eu, but one of the main reasons quoted by everyone as being immigration and in particular free movement, is one of the better elements of the eu IMO, subject to some tweaking to ensure only the right sort of people can move freely. Everyone has different reasons for wanting out. There is no typical.
  49. 3 points
    I agree that unless they are very old, the boards will have been planed by machine, but that does not mean they cannot be planed manually. A Jack plane, or Jointer, can leave tramlines, but if a smoothing plane is sharpened correctly ie:- slightly convex, it will not leave tramlines, and will not leave a mess as you suggest. At one time (in the past) the boards would have been given a final overplaning with a toothing plane and then palm sanded to remove any planing marks, but that stage is rarely undertaken these days, except in the most traditional workshops. You may have gathered that I still do all my woodworking by hand using traditional tools and, having been taught by a Cabinet Maker, can use and maintain them correctly. With the demise of almost all paractical training in schools theses days, the traditional skills will, sadly, be all but lost in another couple of generations
  50. 3 points
    Mouths of babes? What patronising twaddle. I am 51 years old and went to a traditional Grammar school which was staffed mainly with sadistic old gits and a few younger teachers who didn't believe in corporal punishment. Guess who got the most respect from the pupils (a clue...It was the ones who treated kids as human beings to educate, not animals to train). The pleasure of winding up a nasty aggressive dinosaur who ruled by fear was worth the pain of getting caught so their classes tended to be utter chaos as they ran around the classroom screaming and waving their weapon of choice around. It was no deterrent at all and, having brought a son up through a modern school whose staff are not allowed to assault the children anymore I am in an excellent position to compare the two systems and the new one wins hands down...Trust me...Babe or not. Brutalising children is a big deal because it appears to have bred a generation that seem to want to perpetuate the assaults. Fortunately there is a "younger" generation that followed yours that, with a little luck, will mean the aggressive attitudes will die out along with the dinosaurs that approve of them.
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