Wednesday, 2 April 2008

The Windsor Castle Shuffle
When I was younger (much younger!) I had a puzzle which comprised a picture of Windsor Castle printed on 15 plastic tiles arranged in a 4 x 4 frame. By sliding them around the picture could be jumbled up and, hopefully, reconstituted. This morning we tried the same thing with narrow boats. To extract Gecko from its winter mooring in the extreme corner of Aylesbury canal basin required more than two thumbs though.
Our departure from this friendly and convenient mooring is the more poignant as it will not exist much longer. As I have written before, BW have sold the site to Aylesbury Vale District Council who intend to develop the area with a new theatre, departments store and flats. The canal basin will then become a sterile water feature with the boats being moved a mile out of town. Only a mile and to a new purpose built marina? I hear you ask. That's an hour by boat and equivalent to 30 miles by car. How many people want to be forcible moved 30 miles from their current home on the whim of some lame-brain in the Council? Some people have lived here for 30 years. One couple are aged 93 and 87. If they were Crested Newts they would be protected!

While you were away.....
Severn Valley Boat Centre which built Gecko capsized on Jan 25 (Gecko's second birthday). According to the Administrator's report there is a shortfall of about £1.2m which means only a few secured creditors will be paid. SVBC was set up about 30 years ago initially hiring boats but abandoning that in favour of building and fitting out narrowboats. As usual in this kind of situation there are many people with part completed boats on which they have made stage payments for work which has not been carried out. One couple have sold their house and made a payment of 25% two days before the collapse of the Company.

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