An excerpt from Wind in the Willows

Nice? It's the ONLY thing, said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING - absolute nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing, he went on dreamily: messing - about - in - boats; messing----'
From 'Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

New mooring Restrictions at Stoke Bruerne

A picture is always worth 1,000 words
There's been a lot of discussion recently about the new mooring restrictions implemented at the 'honey pot' sites on our waterways, one of which is Stoke Bruerne.  Since the announcement came from CRT I have been walking the mooring line between the Museum Green and the southern tunnel portal each evening and trying to work out how many 70', 60', 50', 40' and 30' boats there was still space for.  In other words have the moorings been full as is the inference from Canal and River Trust.  The simple answer is no apart from the Bank Holiday saturday evening.  They will probably be full again this coming weekend when we have Village at War weekend.

Does this mean I am against the 48 hour restrictions - no I think the fact that boats should move on after a short stay is good for the area and good for local businesses.  But is it right to slap a £25 charge for over-staying?  I am not convinced by that approach. The same view applies not just to Stoke Bruerne but to anywhere else.  By all means monitor the moorings, relax the the time limits during the winter; perhaps make the 48 hour and 7 day moorings all 14 day moorings but insist the boats move on - that's what Continuous Cruising is all about.  Winter should be winter - i.e. the time our clocks are set to GMT and not some fuzzy logic of 01-November to the Thursday before Easter - Easter moves so much that's a difficult date to follow.

The notices explaining the restrictions are complex,  more so if English is not your first language (as is the case with a number of hirers).  I don't understand why maps have not been used to show the restrictions with a 'You are here' arrow.  I'll update this post with links to the CRT website with their updates on the situation at Stoke Bruerne but please bear in mind that these rules also apply to the other sites where the new restrictions have been implemented; Foxton, Thrupp (Oxford) and the like.

Links - CRT View is here
Stoke Bruerne Visitor Mooring information is here

Just to reiterate - I am not against restricting the mooring times provided it is done in conjunction with the boaters (how many of those CRT people implementing the restrictions are boaters I wonder) and seeks to keep Continuous Cruisers as Continuous Cruisers (for that's what they sign up to) and not, using the recently applied euphemism, continuous moorers.  There will be, of course, aways reasons why someone cannot move on, sickness (of person and boat), and all manner of genuine reasons which I think everyone accepts.

I walked up to the tunnel in the rain last night.  There was a trading boat that had been there since the previous night - nothing wrong with that, other than they had left their chairs on the towpath, I very nearly walked into them and fell over - no not too much vino!

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