welcome to the truss' new chief executive
making life better by south shields
Hi, Devid Scowcrovich, you may have read my lockdown diaries. I’m the new Chief Executive Officer at the Banal and Dither Truss and I wanted to reassure that my appointment will not mean any changes for cyclists on the inland waterways. In fact, I think my appointment can only add to the enjoyment of that leisure activity.
You will be relieved to know that my background is not in water. The Truss’ officers, in the past, had concentrated far too much on the waterway system and not enough on the towpaths of the system. Indeed, you will be appalled to learn that several rivers (that’s the watery things that run from mountains to sea, taking away sewage) have no towpaths. I am sure that my O-level in geography contributed to my appointment, that, and the fact that I have never been on a boat in my life.
It is one of my ambitions never to go on an inland boat except for media interviews. I will be seen shaking hands (pandemic permitting) with boat owners of all kinds from the safety of the bank. It is, as if, I will be at a funeral shaking hands with all the bereaved - less the flowers and the sincerity. Not that I will be destroying the boating way of life, as for many it is just a hobby and a leisure opportunity. Those who live on a boat are probably desperate or demented. Certainly, there must be some mental instability when it is known that a boat is a ‘hole in the water into which you pour money’.
So why would anyone buy a boat? The boat is going to sink in the future at some stage. Even vintage boats have had their front bit (what’s it called again - the pointy bit?) and the back end, now don’t tell me it’s not the bottom – you will have to be stern with me here and tell me again, anyway the back bit has probably been replaced at least once. There is probably very little left of the original boat isn’t that right, Mr President? One famous such ship, someone told me, isn’t really the right boat for that name; they merely took the name and put it on a better-preserved boat. So, not all you see on the water is necessarily - real truth. For instance, you would think our headquarters was somewhere handy for the canal users like Birmingham or Leeds, but no I am writing this to you from a railway station in South Shields. And very quiet it is too; none of those horrible boat fog horns, running diesel engines and smoking chimneys.
Just to underline my point, on ‘historic’ or is it ‘hysteric’ boats, the name of a certain boat will be changed to ‘The Donald’. We hope to achieve funding from America once they are informed that the canals are merely a water-hazard and the surroundings could be made into the biggest golf course in the world. As ‘The Donald’ would say ‘That’s huge, that’s a biggie, I am probably the world expert on canals having seen that one in Central America; is it called ‘The Pineapple Canal? Well it is now; I will sign the Executive Order. Then we can start changing all the canals in Englandshire into a golf course. After all boats don’t go anywhere just cruise round in rings.’
How reassuring, I think you will agree, to have such a ringing endorsement from probably the most important idiot person in the world. And with him being such an expert on canals his support of our new direction for the Waterways of GB can only be positive. Even our own Prime Minister (between making children) has launched the idea that canals become cycle tracks.
Speaking to boaters, last week. I was cornered by several eccentrics (oddities) wearing bobble hats and smelling faintly of engine oil. They admitted that if one could aim golf balls at speeding cyclists this would be a plus for the canals. An entirely new sport and activity on the canals, and I have only just begun my appointment - much more to come from South Shields. Like our new slogan ‘Making life better by South Shields’ – copyright Scowcrovich productions.
There’s going to be a new normal on the waterways - Keeping fit and well. Our Truss has, as far as records exist, always been a ‘Wellness Charity’: previous records were lost on a Bonfire Night. We can extend this ‘keep fit’ regime to include boat owners not only dodging speeding cyclists but golf balls as well. With our new motto ‘Fore’ we will be for ever going forward. Particularly boaters who will have to go forwards only, as Winding Holes will now become fishponds.
I know, you are keen for me to get off cycling and on to the historical subject of – fishing. Traditionally there has been conflict between fishers with long poles (mainly men) and cyclists in tight Lycra (mainly men). Cyclists claim fishers are blocking the towpath, fishers claim cyclists are travelling too fast. All this will end when the towpath is widened at the slight expense of water width. A narrowboat is only 6ft 10ins wide and that could be the width of the water, not sure why they need the extra ten inches but let’s be generous. None of this towpath widening will cause any protest since in a pilot scheme, only a few years ago, the towpath was widened at the Edgbaston Tunnel without any fuss or protest. The widening allowed two cyclists to pass whilst boats waited at the tunnel entrance. This innovative project can now be rolled out nationally.
To conclude: My period as Chief or if you insist ‘The Chief’ will concentrate on the majority of persons in the UK, that is those who don’t have a boat and not on that very small minority who own a boat.