Aylesbury Car Park Theatre
Aylesbury Canal Society should win an award for the efficient use of space.
With 40 years' experience of packing boats into the basin they still seem to get more in each winter. Last time we wintered here we had to move seven boats in order to get out.
On our way down here on Sunday we encountered unexpected problems in the two-mile pound below lock 13. To remind yourself of what this looks like in the summer go to the archives in the right-hand panel and pull up the blog entry on 21 June 2007 - Pull Harder Mr Allnut. Although narrow, this is one of the few places on the arm where the water depth is usually adequate. Not since BW have employed their new reed cutter. This apparatus, I am told, has removed the reeds from the banks and deposited them in the centre of the channel. This is why we ran aground. There is some question over whether this process has removed the roots along with the reeds. If so, when the summer comes there will be no passage at all for Mr. Allnut.
The new theatre has appeared alongside the canal basin over the past two years and is now open. Aylesbury Vale Council held a competition to find a name for it and selected the wholly original one of Waterside Theatre. Given that the River Thame runs through the town at this point they could have gone a step further and called it Thameside!
Personally I think the council should have come clean and called it the Car Park Theatre to reflect their proposal to fill in the canal basin 40 years ago and make a car park here. As they are due to evict the boats shortly I guess we have to applaud their honesty in not calling it The Boat despite many people comparing its shape to that of a tug.