Friday, June 13, 2008

Fun Travellin To And In Devizes

9.94 miles, 4 hours 21 minutes, 2 swing bridges, 2.28 lm/hour

We left our mooring fairly early for us! It was a beautiful morning, a bit of a breeze and as promised a little cooler. We didn’t see another boat for ages!

The field before Woodborough Fields bridge (122) is full of poppies and a yellow flower we do not know the name of! Beautiful.

We carried on to Gibson’s at Honey Street for fuel – 95pence/litre, apparently the marina at Devizes is £1.05! Fortunately we were not completely empty so did not quite break the bank today!

Just past All Cannings a group of cyclists passed us, we managed to read their T-shirts – they were cycling for Cystic Fibrosis so we gave them a cheer!

This duck family chased us for a bit – did the mother have a visit from another drake?!

The Veg Patrol were out cutting and strimming the towpath – the bank needs it too me thinks!

Perhaps it was in honour of Robin Evans’ visit to Devizes this evening. More of that later!

The managed to avoid this family of swans though!

Yesterday and today we hit something underwater in bridge holes. Yesterday it was Bristow Bridge 115 and today it was Brickham Bridge 137. Both bridges that are a little remote from habitation so foreign objects can be thrown in without too much chance of being caught red handed. Some people! No damage to us though, fortunately.

So on to moor in Devizes. What a lot of boats. Were they here for Mr Evans’ meeting with “interested parties”? Was it Devizes Boat Club preparing fore their treasure hunt tomorrow? Maybe they were her for the twinning entertainment and market in the Market Square tomorrow or for another event in the Devizes Festival. Anyway there were no spaces. Good job we had friends who had already said we could breast up with them!

We received a warm welcome from Geoff and Gill and a really doggie welcome from Ellie! Petroc is off down the Devizes flight tomorrow with some guest crew and so we will pinch their spot!

We went to “meet” Mr Evans, and some of his staff at the meeting at the Bear Hotel. There were a few local boaters we recognised, representatives from hire companies and other boat businesses, notably Richard, John B and Tim from Bath Narrowboats and “Mr Sally Boats” from Bradford on Avon. The K & A Trust was represented and Parish Councils, as were trail boat owners, end of garden moorers and the Devizes Boat Club.

Questions to Mr Evans were wide ranging, including end of garden moorings, Cruiseway Status for the K & A, licence evaders, continuous moorers, decreasing visitor moorings, locking the K & A at night, lack of maintenance, slipways, funding and educational ideas for schools. It seems that BW has embarked on a 3 year plan to concentrate on continuous moorers and licence evaders on the K & A. This is the 1st year, and there are 2 data recorders recently employed to check and record boats who over stay 14 days and the distance they move. Apparently, this will give them solid data to take action where necessary through enforcement. They say they have invested heavily in this programme so time will tell!

I don’t think we personally learned anything new as we keep up to date via various websites, forums etc. However it was good to see BW challenged, hear Robin Evans hold his hands up to BW “mistakes” and lack of action. However we came away feeling that they are still scared of enforcing the rules, they are trying to prove they can be responsive to users, not everything is possible with funding as it is and that they are keen to work with the wider community that live on and around the canal. We will wait and see!

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