Here are feature articles by London Boaters. Members may comment on matters presented here.

These Idle Women are not so idle

March 2017 - This year marks the 75th anniversary of start of the Women’s Training Scheme, the wartime attempt to keep the boats at work despite a shortage of crews. Later nicknamed The Idle Women they undertook six weeks training and then worked in teams of three with a pair of boats and 50 tons of cargo.

Now, 21st century ‘Idle Women’ – former Worcestershire Poet Laureate Heather Wastie and writer/performer Kate Saffin - will be recreating their journey, from London to Birmingham and back to London via the Coventry coal fields.

When is a new Towpath Trail really an old one?

March 2017 - The newly appointed spin doctor to the Lancaster Canal Partnership has been earning her £250 per day fees with newspaper and TV stories about what is claimed to be a new 'Towpath Trail' but all is not as it seems, as the Floater has discovered.

The press release boasts:


“Cumbria’s forgotten canal is to be rediscovered with the construction of a new £184,000 towpath trail from Kendal to Natland, thanks to members of the Lancaster Canal Regeneration Partnership.

Questions C&RT have yet to answer

March 2017 - By Peter Underwood

Towards the end of last year's boating 'season' the way in which Brentford lock – the exit from C&RT waters onto the tidal Thames – is operated came into question, according to one concerned boater.

Three incidents of inaccurate or incomplete information being provided and delays being caused that shortened the time available to transit the tidal Thames were reported to the Trust.

Tea shops, trains and training

March 2017 - By Peter Underwood

At least once a month we like to pay tribute to the work of the Canal & River Trust's press office and pass on to Floater readers the things the Trust would like you to know.

Some good news from the Caldon

A former canal wharf at Froghall Basin on the Caldon Canal in Staffordshire is being brought back to life, thanks to Café owner Emma Atkinson, who saw the potential of converting the attractive heritage building into a café and gift shop, with holiday accommodation for rent upstairs.

Has jealousy led to plots on the Lanky?

March 2017 - Peter Underwood looks at some unpleasant rumours surfacing in Lancashire.

Could it be true that the new, C&RT certified, officers of a certain NW canal charity are so fed up with their inactivity being shown up by an upstart new organisation that they are actively seeking an excuse to bring legal action against the livewire who is making them look like lightweights?

Bye Bye Milton Keynes ... Hello Birmingham?

March 2017 - Allan Richards has been examining some recent developments within the Canal & River Trust's senior management and the changes have led him to ask whether C&RT will move its HQ to Birmingham?

With C&RT's predecessor, British Waterways, moving its head office from Watford in London to Milton Keynes just a few years ago, could there now be a second move - from Milton Keynes to centre of the canal network - Birmingham.

More gassing about the gasworks

March 2017 - By Peter Underwood

Moorings on the offside at Corbridge Crescent in East London have become the subject of a bit of a slanging match between some of the National Bargee Travellers Association and the boater wanting to develop them as a permanent mooring site, Peter Underwood writes.

Head of Boating search stalled?

March 2017 - By Peter Underwood

It seems the hunt for a replacement Head of Boating for the Canal & River Trust – following the surprise departure of Mike Grimes – scheduled for this Easter – may not be going as smoothly as hoped, reports Peter Underwood

The Trust has just announced it has appointed North East waterway manager Jon Horsfall as the charity’s interim head of boating.

He will start an immediate handover with Mike Grimes who leaves at Easter.

Why do we have part time canals?

March 2017 - Peter Underwood has been looking at a canal which is being blocked at both ends by C&RT's insistence on winter closures.

Few canals have had as much spent on them as the 200 year old Leeds and Liverpool with major urban developments at either end involving millions of pounds in public and private money.

Mooring charges linked to property prices

March 2017 - Peter Underwood looks at the way mooring fees are being increased by the Canal & River Trust – it now seems land-based property prices are being used as an excuse to hike charges.

In the past British Waterways would compare prices amongst marinas and other moorings providers before setting the price on one of its mooring sites.

Even when the controversial auction system was introduced, prices would often fall after the initial three contract as the standard price per metre for that mooring site – rather than a boater's auction bid – would come into effect.


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