Saturday, 2 September 2017

Into and out of Reading ... no mooring!

Remember that mission we were on?
Well, Wednesday 30th August was the last leg
... as we left our mooring at Sonning and continued to cruise upstream
There be dragons here!
Passing Thames and Kennet Marina as we enter non-boater friendly Reading
The very inauspicious gateway to the Kennet and Avon Canal

The new mooring spaces at Dreadnaught just past the marina are now fully taken with barges (in good condition)

... and then we come to Tesco 
... despite the notices recently installed ...
(picture from Sue's blog)

... some boat owners are still refusing to move

... and there's even more mess than usual there

This is exactly the same situation as occurred perhaps 4/5 years ago when attempts were made to remove overstaying, old, unlicensed boats from these moorings.  By the time warnings to owners were issued and the appropriate length of time for owners to comply (but didn't) were taken into account and the amount of time it then took to apply for and present court orders and time again for owners to appeal etc., etc., another 12-18 months went by (with boaters still enjoying their free moorings).  So it looks as if we're on this merry-go-round once again.

I understand that not everyone chooses to live the way we expect them too, that some cannot afford a decent dwelling place or mooring fees, some may be homeless if it weren't for their boats no matter the conditions and I feel for them, I really do.

But ... these people should have looked into the costs of living on the water; licence and mooring fees, fuel/heating costs before they stepped onto a boat, let alone live in it and are irresponsible for not doing so.

Housing authorities should look more at affordable or sheltered accommodation for those boat owners who can't through illness or poverty move back onto the land.  The water authorities/law should have more power to move on (as in cruising) or remove the offending boats of those boat owners who couldn't care less and just want to defy the rules that the rest of us live by.  It's these few people who spoil it for the rest of us (and I'm not only talking about boaters as there are 'bad apples' in all walks of life).

I would say 'rant over' but I don't think it is ... but now I can breath again!                  
Our journey continues ...
Approaching Caversham Lock
Flats with matching litter box
As expected since it was only 8:15 Caversham Lock is still on self-service but fortunately another early boater has come down it so we can go straight in

Closing the gates and letting the water in
There are some council owned moorings by the park between Caversham Bridge and the new footbridge 
... and apparently you can moor opposite Caversham Boats (but watch out for their ferry here), there are no 'No Mooring' signs here but no 'Mooring Allowed' signs either.
Moorings also opposite Caversham Boat island
Unfortunately my attempt to take a picture of the rules and regulations for mooring here was photo-bombed by passers by!
More boaters ignoring the signs
8:40 and the racing boats are coming out to play
Moored on 'The Promenade'  

... and spreading their 'stuff' all over the walkway
A bit blurred, but this is the same as the one at Tesco's and this notice is repeated 
... all the way up and past the Reading Festival site where we've enjoyed in years gone, several evenings with boating friends before the no mooring signs apeared (again due to one boat overstaying for months on end)

I've looked at the TVM (Thames Visitor Mooring) website for Reading and the only ones appear to be just over 2 miles from Tesco at Scours Lane where the charges are first 24hours free and £5 for a maximum of 2 more days.  The fine will apply if you do not register with them on your arrival.  To date I have no knowledge of any boater being fined or TVM wardens being in evidence.  The problem with this system (in my opinion) is that the boater has no evidence that he/she has registered so it's easy to 'buck the system' unless mooring sites are monitored daily.

Earlier this year the Canada goose was nesting here and I did wonder how the goslings were going to 'fly the nest'
... today they were gone and so has most of the thatch.  I don't think she'll manage to nest here again next year.
Approaching the temporary Reading Festival footbridge.  On our right as we cruise upstream we can see through the trees the camping areas for the festival where there are now huge piles of rubbish including cheap pop-up tents that campers have left behind them.
The Thames becomes narrow and windy
... as we approach Mapledurham Lock where boats were exiting.  It was on self service and we followed the cruiser closest to the lock in the picture, inside.  Still on self service the lady on the cruiser saw up and through.
Mooring is available at Mapledurham House and Estate. A charge is applicable but I'm not sure how much.
Mission accomplished!
Now moored on Pangbourne Meadow for an arranged visit tomorrow.


Vallypee said...

It is such a problem, isn't it? There's no tloerance over here for boats illegally moored. It's tough, but as you say, it makes life so hard for those who do abide by the rules.

Carol said...

how do they set about removing or moving on those boats Val?

Herbie Neil said...

According to the local news the rubbish left at the festival site does have advantages. A charity is working hard collecting it all up and passing it on to homeless people.
The overstaying Reading boats have annoyed us for years!
Kath (nb Herbie)

Carol said...

Hi Kath, it's good to hear that the charities are making good use of other peoples rubbish to help the homeless, I just hope those homeless people have a decent place to use those popup tents. Yes the overstayers at Reading have indeed annoyed us for years, it's time 'they' did something about it I say!

Vallypee said...

Hi Carol, in answer to your question, mooring in unauthorised places rarely happens. I'm not sure why except that I think you don't even get the chance to do so on our waterways - maybe because there's so much commercial traffic, it is just dangerous to moor in places where it's not allowed or it is limited. There are very clear signs about where and when you can moor up and for how long and these rules are adhered to. If you don't obey, or you don't pay your mooring fees, you get a visit from the river police, and I've known of a boat being impounded for not moving when it was told to. I don't know how it works in Belgium or France, but here in Holland, it's a pretty unknown issue because no one wants to risk a fat fine or loss of their boat! It's a very different situation from the UK as well. For the Dutch, living on a barge is not regarded as a cheap alternative to life on land the way it often is in the UK and as I mentioned, the commercial traffic dictates the rules and they always take priority.

Carol said...

Thank you Val, as you say very different from the UK where living on the water is regarded by some (boaters as well as non-boaters) as a cheap alternative to land living.

Naughty-Cal said...

It is also a problem on CRT waters not just EA ones. We have noticed this year a big increase in boats being dumped on visitor moorings for weeks or in some cases months at a time. This despite the enforcement officer in our area being known as one of the more ruthless.

It wouldn't be so bad if they dumped their boats away from the best spots by the towpath, But no they choose the most popular of the limited visitor moorings.

Carol said...

You're absolutely right Rachel.