C&RT removes Pontcysyllte photos

July 2017 - Canal & River Trust's fifth birthday has come and gone with no fanfare. Even C&RT's marketing department, never short of a spurious story on such occasions, has remained silent. No self congratulation or stories with titles such as 'Our achievements - year by year'. Just silence. Allan Richards has been reviewing the major launch story from five years ago.

Five years ago C&RT spin doctors created a press release with the title 'Canal & River Trust launch celebrations'. It read:
'Events to celebrate the launch of the Canal & River Trust are taking place up and down the country.

“Here we will be showcasing photos from the different launch events, starting with the stunning lighting up of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. This event not only marked the launch of the Canal & River Trust, but also celebrated the 3rd anniversary of the Aqueduct being granted World Heritage Site status.”

C&RT reported to its board in July 2012: 'This period was dominated by the official launch of the Canal & River Trust. Working with waterway colleagues and waterway partnerships, we held a dozen launch events around the country, we lit up Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, launched our 50 appeal projects and held ministerial events in Camden and Westminster''

The 50 appeals project was a miserable failure. Perhaps more importantly, the photos of the 'stunning lighting' attached to the news article can no longer be found (as has a single photo related to another event). Investigation shows that not only have links to the six photos been deleted from the webpage but also the photos themselves have been removed from C&RT's website.

It is understood that the C&RT launch light show at the Pontcysyllte World Heritage Site was provided by specialist outdoor lighting, projection company, EMF Technology. The cost of this 'spectacular' is unknown.

Perhaps the reason for the removal was the criticism that C&RT received for wasting over £30,000 buying 29,400 balloons and 48,750 metres of bunting for the launch events - balloons and bunting that were never used ...

There is also a suggestion that the photos may have been deleted much more recently following the death of Kris McDowell who fell from the aqueduct on May 31 last year.

To recap Floater articles, the coroner rejected a C&RT-purchased 'independent' report into safety at the world heritage site and will carry out his own investigation. The Health and Safety Executive has suggested it might bring criminal charges. Lastly, the Floater reproduced a video of an unsafe railing upright subsequent to C&RT's claim that its railings were safe.

Could it be that the Trust fears criticism that it is willing to spend money on self aggrandisement but reluctant to spend on public safety?

All that aside, The Floater has managed to track down a couple of videos of the light show so you can help celebrate five years of Canal & River Trust - even if the Trust does not want you to ...

Below are some videos from a local newspaper - the Leader -

Photos: (1st) The lightshow to celebrate C&RT's launch, (2nd) The original news from 2012.

Video from the Leader
Video from the Leader
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