Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Bonkers letter writers

Lisa has arrived and she came with canal related goodies in the form of the canal boat magazines. These are not much use for up to date information and some of the boat reviews and articles are appalling but some of the historical articles I enjoy. However the best part of these rags is most definitely the letters pages. Some of the correspondents are truly bonkers. Narrowboatworld on the interweb is the same on the letters and email pages and always worth a good read. I realise that some of these letters must be spoof and written by people like myself (I would love to lay claim to have written some of them).

In Waterways World a letter appears by one Richard Miles who having hired a narrowboat on the K&A insists that, 'there were barely any stretches of the canal that were free of moored boats. This made our progress rather slow and tedious...' That's the whole point Richard. The relaxing speed and if you found the journey tedious you chose the wrong mode of transport. He goes on to say that pubs stop serving food at 2 o'clock, that taxi drivers don't know everywhere on the canal and that Devizes is unimpressive. Welcome to the world Richard. He obviously didn't like getting told to slow down even though he was speeding (presumably since it was 'slow and tedious'). The best bit was when 'without any warning a Dutch barge suddenly pulled out in front of our boat...'. I've never seen a Dutch barge suddenly do anything. Poor Richard. He must have had a wretched time.

And poor Alec McHale who in his letter titled 'Towpath Squatters' in the same rag has an insane rant about all things liveaboards. He only travelled 20 miles and saw (around) 30 boats with people living on them. Best of all is the response from the BW spokesperson. At no time does the writer mention licences (or lack of) but the BW response only addresses the issue of licensing and none of Alec's barking points. 'These people have no respect for the canals', barks Alec, 'If BW does not tackle this problem firmly...more and more people will buy a boat and squat at locations with access to a road'. God forbid, Alec. God forbid.

The email on Narrowboatworld from Yvonne Umpleby cannot have been written by a real person. Surely it was written by Tom Crossley (aka Victor Swift) himself although I think this is the most likely letter to be a spoof (although I can't make a suitable anagram from the name). Although if Tom Crossley is not Victor Swift he should at least be told that on his recent trip to Chester, Victor stole Tom's boat, wife and dog. Possibly in exchange for Victor's moped. Yvonne complains, 'why do these 'continuous cruisers' have to be so scruffy (lack of paint, wheelbarrow, logs, their worldly goods and not forgetting the blue tarpaulin)'. I think the title of the piece tells it's own story, 'Stoned at Wallingford'. Yes Yvonne. I think you probably were.

There are many other examples but read them for yourselves. Priceless.

4 comments:

Steve said...

Was looking out for you on the Ashby but missed you... Shame, I fancied a cup of tea under your blue tarpaulin!!!
next time maybe...

Pete said...

Unfortunately I'm in Trinity Marina at the minute but I'll have that blue tarpaulin flappin' in the wind before the summer's out. I'll just get those tea bags that I keep on the roof with the bike, logs, etc.

MortimerBones said...

is tom really victor? oooh...

Martin said...

Oh I'm loving it. Keep up the good work Pete :)