Wednesday, 1 October 2014
Friday, 26 September 2014
Thats me on the left and Kinver on the right. Then along comes the boat arrowed and he moors right in the middle of the space. What is it with people who own small boats. If we want privacy we can always stay home. This is Thrupp, part of the trial ‘new’ mooring rules. To make the most of the new rules (or even the old ones) we must share rings/bollards. This is wasteful and thoughtless.
Before sorting out my roof Alex set to fixing my gas locker. It was about this time last year that my gas locker hinge sheared. It did this because I only ever open the gas locker once every six months to change a gas bottle. Alex tells me that If I keep my centrelines in the gas locker then I will open it more often therefore noticing the problem before it gets to ‘shear’ point.
The original hinge formed by the two vertical straps and the ‘bar’ shape in the middle sitting on some ‘D’ section .
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Ok so there I was at the weekend sorting out my living room after the onslaught of Alex repairing the roof. (Well done Alex). Everything in the living room was carted out onto the towpath. I had bought, a while ago, some waste bins to use as storage and duplicate as foot stools. In one of these I keep my notebooks, in the other some art materials. I thought this was very clever. Last year I got some proper foot stools but still l kept the others. This, as you can imagine, took up a lot of space. What I needed to do was combine the two but still keep the functionality of the storage. Simple task, easy execute! Fecking genius!
If you have tar on your roof take the hat off, this should cure it. I know some will say what about the rain to which I would say what about it? During the winter my fire is continuously lit. Any water going down the chimney will evaporate before it causes a problems. When the fire is not lit it can be covered.
For a long time now my boat has been suffering from a surfeit of tar, both on the roof and inside the ceiling and dripping on to my stove. Last year I bought a new collar and arranged for a friend to fit it, but ran out of time during the summer. This year I was determined to get the roof fixed. I was thinking to remove the old collar reseal the flue and fit the new collar. We all know things are never as simple as that,
What you may notice is, the top of the flue is inside the bottom of the collar in the right hand picture.
Here, where the flue comes out of the roof ,there should be at least 3 maybe 4 inches of flue above the roof level. How long it has been sheared off is anyone’s guess, but I am thinking nearly eight years. Why do I say this? Well I have always had this problem.
Alex to the rescue! Alex is a bit of a genius. Steel is his forte. He trained as a shipwright. He can visualise a job and decide what needs doing. If you want to decide what you want and and Alex thinks it wont work Alex will not take the job. He will however tell you why not.
After removing the collar Alex wire brushed the roof to remove the rust. Midland Chandlers wanted £656 for a replacement kit from the stove top to the china man’s hat. We were not having that. I already had the collar. I had to buy the stove top fitting. This doesn’t come ready to fit. The ‘nuts’ which are just a piece of 1/2 inch bar drilled and tapped were an extra £2.40 each and the fitting screws were £1 each. Total price £46+ The chimney was sourced at £26.40 from an independent engineering company in Carterton near Brize Norton. Mort Bones had a reducer. That’s the connection between the stove top collar and the flue. It took a day to get the bits together but Alex was able to complete the job in two days.
The roof had rusted badly and around the flue hole the 4mm thick roof was thinner than 2mm . To correct this a 500x500x4 mil plate was ordered was ordered at a cost of £70. I knew this was needed. The panel was fitted to the roof using an awful lot of screws and a copious quantity of sealer after first having the collar mounting bolt heads welded on the underside
The stove top collar was fitted and sealed to the stove (after Alex routed out the channel with a broken drill bit)followed by the the reducer,
I was left to finish off the sealing and making it smooth for the undercoat. Only the top coat to go now. I am going to paint a black band right across the roof in case the tar comes back, but I doubt it will.
Saturday, 6 September 2014
I don’t suppose there are more than about 20 or thirty real Bargees on the 'waterways at this time. So I am at a loss to understand why there is a need for a National Bargee Traveller's Association? Have the ‘officers’ of this association purposefully used words like ‘Bargee’ & ‘Traveller’ in an attempt to take advantage of the Law as it applies to genuine travellers.
Currently the National Bargee Travellers Association (London) are against the new CRT London Moorings plan, no surprises there then.
They believe that the recent announcement by Canal & River Trust stating that it is reducing the time boats can stay on London moorings will not be of benefit. (Oh really!)
CRT do the oddest things on the waterways, though not necessarily for benefit of boaters, but this cant be helped because office Wallas cant be expected to understand the needs of us boaters however much they try to.
CRT are claiming that these changes are 'to ensure that some popular locations can be shared more fairly by a wide range of boaters'. Personally I think this is bollox. I don’t think CRT have a clue what the problem is and much less know how to deal with it. Last year before the changes to the five locations on a trial basis mooring at Thrupp was monitored by the Warden and people were asked to move on after one week. They can now stay 16 days using the new rules.
The NBTA are saying there needs to be more rings. (More rings will bring more fake CCers. There are more than enough ring for genuine CCers. What they are in fact trying to say is, There are not enough rings in London for us to break the rules as we would like to. We need more rings.
The mooring situation in London is simple. There are more than enough visitors moorings in London. What CRT have to address is keeping non-visitors off the moorings.
I am sorry but if you work in London and hop from one set of rings to the next then you are not a Continuous Cruiser you are a Continuous Avoider. And if you are part of the various groups that contact each other on facebook or by phone to let others know you are about to move then you are most definitely a fake.
If the members of the NBTA can read then they will know the rules applied to CCers. If those members chose to flaunt the rules then they have to deal with the consequences. It is not for CRT to bend over backwards to accommodate them, that is not their job.
More rings along London’s waterways will need planning permission to allow people to live there, which is what the fakes really want, but as I travel around the country I see many marinas with empty moorings. Yes I know its not on their doorstep but why should boaters be exempt from normal society, I know many people who travel from as far away as Spalding in Lincolnshire to get to work in London.
I cant help but think that the NBTA is a self seeking group who don't give a shit about the waterways only themselves, whose credentials are suspect.
Maybe there should be more rings in London and maybe they should be reserved for the London Continuous Avoiders, but then the visitor moorings should be for genuine visitors only.
Now come on boys you have been rumbled play the game by the rules.
Thursday, 28 August 2014
Sunday, 24 August 2014
I used to feel sorry for the trading boats that were lambasted by the local traders along the Shroppie last year, but now I am seeing it from the village point of view.
Last week this boat arrived: First off he is taking up more space than he needs by wasting that last twenty five feet of the public mooring, but that is not all. This mooring is barely 100 metres away from Annie’s Tearoom. Well you might say there is nothing illegal in that and you would be right to a point, but the morality of it is wrong.
He has just turned up on spec and opened for business. The people who use this path in the main are Annie’s customers. Annie’s paid for the sign on the main road that brings people down this way. Annie’s have worked hard to make this place what it is today. And this bloke just turns up and takes customers from an existing business.
This boat can offer a cheaper product because his overheads are rock bottom. Annie’s has to pay council tax, rental on the building and the courtyard. There are parking spaces set aside for Annie’s customers (in the rent) which people visiting this floating cafe are using!
This is a hobby boat stealing trade from full time workers. He didn’t moor down by the Jolly Boatman, he didn’t moor up by Shipton bridge no he moored where he could take advantage of the graft that Annies have put in to their business. He has done nothing to make this area what it is, yet he takes money from other people. He is a moral thief, a parasite feeding off the hard work of others.
Friday, 22 August 2014
The last time this boat came through Thrupp the owner threatened to ‘get me’. Of course the owner is Norman Bate who moors at Heaton Bridge. Norman hates CCers and bridge hoppers with a vengeance, but he is just so much hot air. He is part of the mooring problem given that he is a regular overstayer. He talks bollox about having friends in CRTs high places. He will happily talk to anyone until he finds out you are a CCer then he will verbally abuse you and tell you lies about how he is getting CRT to clamp down on dirty soap dodging scum bags. He is one of life’s wankers. Avoid him like the plague. Alternatively you could just punch him.
Monday, 18 August 2014
I often cringe at the chosen footwear boaters use on the waterways. It ranges from bare feet through plimsoles, crocs, wellingtons to proper sturdy boots.
Notice I said Crocs! What will be the next fad?
Now I know the choice is yours, but the canals are akin to a building site (you cant get onto a building site without the correct footwear). Wearing inappropriate shoes can be fatal. No one drives a car with out a seat belt these days so why do people wear shit shoes when boating? What mentality says this is right?
It is just an accident waiting to happen! And trust me I know!
The extremist Muslim organisation ISIS are openly recruiting on the streets of London. David Cameron and the Mayor of London are learning to play the violin. The Met Police are doing nothing. This is despite David Cameron saying it would never happen.
I really think the only way to stop Cameron is to terminate his life. That will never happen either!
Sunday, 17 August 2014
Saturday, 16 August 2014
From my side hatch I said, “You are coming up to a tight right hander under a lift bridge”.
“Then why are you going so fecking fast?”
I sat back and listened for the impending crash. It came!
I swear one day a narrowboat will land in Annie’s courtyard along with a couple of million gallons of canal water.