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GOBA Great Ouse Boating Association

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news Spring 2012

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In this issue From the helm ................................................. 2 News.................................................................... 3 Summer river events ..................................... 4

60 Glorious years

From the helm

Marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Bob Wells: GOBA Chairman

Page 5 Membership and Treasury report............. 6 General Secretary’s report........................... 7 Mooring Matters ............................................. 7 St Ives Lock improvements ......................... 8

A gypsy and a scholar Simon Judge and family visit the Great Ouse Page 9

In deeper waters Aboard the Queen Mary II Page 10 News from the Environment Agency ....12

65 Years on the river Roy Wood shares his boating memories Page 14 Fuel and services guide ..............................16 Members write ..............................................17 Club news........................................................18 Advertising directory ..................................21 Great Ouse cruising map ...........................28 Design by Simon Kotz and Marina Povey.


With spring nearly upon us I am sure that most of you have re-commissioned your boats and are preparing for another summer on the river system. The Anglian Waterways offer so many choices for boaters. If you enjoy the solitude of your own company you can just drift away to a favourite spot and enjoy the wildlife, endless skies and unspoilt landscape of the Fens. But then there is the social side of boating, with opportunities to socialise with fellow boaters at the many marinas and clubs dotted along the river, all offering a variety of events. The choice is yours, whatever your persuasion I hope you all have a wonderful summer. Your committee has not been idle over the winter months, attending meetings on various topics with organisations such as the Canal and River Trust, Parliamentary Waterways Group, Regional Navigation Group and many more including, of course, the Environment Agency waterways team.

Strong Objection Recently, our main concern has been with new Interchange Agreement between the Cam Conservators and the Environment Agency. GOBA has objected strongly to the excessive increase of river tax that boats moored on the EA waters will incur should they wish to navigate the river Cam. You may have seen our press release which has been widely distributed to interested parties. A more detailed report can be found in this edition of GOBA News. I have in the past made requests for volunteers to join the committee and I was pleased when Beverley Jenisis contacted us. Beverley had the chance to take early retirement from work, was looking for an outlet for her various skills and has now been co-opted on to the committee. I am sure GOBA will keep her busy and exploit her skills to the full. Beverley

and her partner have recently purchased a 35ft narrow boat which is moored at Priory Marina in Bedford. The AGM is now fast approaching and this year will be held at the Cambridge Motor Boat Club where I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible. As in previous years you will have the opportunity to join fellow members and enjoy a sit down meal, provided by our usual caterers at a very reasonable cost. Full details are enclosed with this edition.

Privileged to Serve It has been my privilege to serve as Chairman of GOBA for the past two-years. This is usually a post held for a term of three-years; however, unfortunately I will not be able to stand for re-election again due to family and business pressures. It is becoming harder to find the time and dedication that this role requires and so, with some regret, I have decided not to stand for re-election as Chairman or as a committee member for this coming year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Committee for the support they have provided me this last two years and, of course, the members for the pro-active way they have helped in providing us with information and putting forward their points of view for discussion, some items of which the GOBA committee has taken on board on their behalf. ■

Bob Wells

Copy deadline for the Summer 2012 GOBA News is Friday 15 June Please send stories, comments or questions to

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All change on the Cam Changes to the EA/Cam Conservators Interchange Agreement for 2012 have caused quite a stir amongst our members. In September 2011, the two navigation authorities announced that they were ending the 18-year-old existing agreement which allowed EA licence-holders access to the Cam without further payment. The Cam Conservators were recompensed with an annual payment from the EA registration fee (amounting to £41,000 in 2011) based on boat numbers. It was hoped that a new Interchange Agreement could be negotiated which would assist the Cam Conservators with their funding shortfall while still allowing unfettered Cam access to Great Ouse users. In a joint statement in November, the authorities said they were looking ‘to meet the needs of boaters while responding to the challenging economic climate’. There was considerable disappointment when in January the Conservators announced details of the new agreement which patently failed to meet those aspirations. It was not until 23rd February that the Environment Agency made its own official announcement confirming everyone’s worst fears. There had been no consultation by the agency on the serious financial and other implications for its boating customers. With a general licence fee increase for 2012 of 6.4% already announced it must have been clear that the substantial further increases would be greeted with dismay. Boaters based on the Cam above Bottisham lock must now purchase a CC/EA licence from the Conservators costing 110% of the standard EA licence. EA licence-holders must add another 10% to their registration payment to navigate Cam Conservancy waters or subsequently purchase an annual visitor licence at a 15% premium. Half of the extra revenue raised will remain with the EA but be swallowed up by administration costs. Short-term visitor licences will not be available. Boaters found on the Cam without the correct licence will be charged a penalty amounting to 25% of the annual EA/Cam licence fee. The GOBA committee immediately issued a strongly-worded press release condemning the increased costs and manner in which they had

been imposed. We subsequently met with the EA waterways manager, Irven Forbes, who then agreed to provide the missing facts and figures used in formulating the new agreement.

GOBA’s main concerns and objections:

Fragmentation of our river system. Boaters will no longer be able to access the Cam without making arrangements well in advance and paying a considerable premium. Lack of prior consultation and no inkling of what the cost implications might be to our members before the decisions were imposed. The increases will fall heavily on the shoulders of a comparatively small number of boaters, a situation at odds with the established notion of one regional licence with shared costs. The serious effect the new agreement and charges could have on the Cambridge Motor Boat Club. Rendering the popular GOBA-owned Waterbeach mooring redundant for most of our members. GOBA disputes the figures and understands that much of the extra income gained by the EA under the new agreement will be swallowed up in administration costs. Bearing in mind the £41,000 of our EA licence fees previously paid to the Conservators, GOBA completely rejects the EA’s statement that we have been getting ‘something for nothing’. A waste of money at a time of economic pressures through additional and unnecessary administration costs. Complete uncertainty over how much revenue the new measures will raise. Lack of incentive under the new agreement for Cam Conservators to effectively address their own long-term funding and administrative problems. The GOBA committee, supported by our boat club colleagues at UBC and CMBC, will be actively working with the EA to address these issues and, although it is too late for this year, we hope there will be a full review leading to a more realistic ‘boater-friendly’ and cost-effective solution for the future. ■

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Sidney James Merry, 1931–2012 Sidney James Merry, a very well-known character on the Ely riverfront died aged 80-years on 20th January 2012. Sid will be sadly missed by all who knew his familiar voice. He had a vast amount of knowledge, especially on local history and nature, having spent much of his life as an eel fisherman using traditional methods. Sid had two pleasure boats, ‘Iron Lady’ and ‘Merry Lady’ both moored at Babylon (now the site of Cathedral Marina) where he was

born in 1931. He had been interviewed on several occasions for TV and radio. He was an honorary life member of GOBA. He loved the river, the boats, the people and a ‘wee dram’. Many of us will have exchanged a glass of Scotch for a tale and a laugh with Sid along the Ely front. Our feelings of regret and condolences go to his wife, Shirley, and we are grateful to him for some wonderful memories. Thank you, Sid. Roy Wood


Boat registrations Plummet Figures from the Environment Agency Anglian region show that powered boat registrations fell for the year 2011/12 by over 8% from 4,524 to 4,160. Consequently, revenue from all registrations in the region was £112,000 lower than the previous year. GOBA believes that this is a worrying trend which can only be exacerbated by continued licence-fee increases being demanded in a difficult economic climate. ■

Canal and Rivers Trust progress Elections for the four boaters’ posts on the C&RT board have been taking place through February and March. Only British Waterways boat licenceholders were allowed to vote. The government has announced increased funding guarantees for the new charity. In addition to the £39 million for 10-years already on the table, C&RT has negotiated an extra annual sum, subject to conditions, of £10 million and a one-off grant of £25 million which should go some way to meeting the feared shortfall. Following earlier concerns, it has now been confirmed, subject to Parliamentary approval, that C&RT will have obligations under the Freedom of Information Act in relation to its statutory functions. At the end of February the government laid before Parliament the draft order to transfer the functions of British Waterways to the new Trust. It is expected that this will enable C&RT to launch later in the summer and inclusion of the Environment Agency navigations, subject to funding and approval by the Trust board, is widely expected to follow in 2015. ■

Easier access at St Ives St Ives Town Council has been working closely over the winter with St John Ambulance and the Environment Agency to make some improvements to the Waits in St Ives to allow people with restricted mobility and wheelchair users to be able to get on and off boats more easily. Although final approval has yet to be granted, it is hoped that by Easter a ramp will be in place at the Norris Museum end of the Waits. ■

{Stop Press...} Just as we go to press, unconfirmed news has come in of a potential delay to the scheduled reopening of St. Ives lock. Problems found during the extensive work mean that the lock may not be open to boaters before 5th April. ■

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Get creative – get afloat St Ives based charity ‘Young Lives’ tells GOBA News about their exciting project to provide a boating experience for youngsters and makes a plea for volunteers: Young Lives is a Cambridgeshire based charity that supports children, young people and their families. In June 2011 we were lucky enough to be winners in the Jubilee People’s Millions competition with this project which meant we were awarded £60,000 to purchase a boat for young people. So what is our project about? We want to bring creativity and countryside together via the waterways of Cambridgeshire through a floating multimedia facility that offers all of the benefits of static facilities but with the ability to move from one place to another via the network of rivers in Cambridgeshire. Imagine spending the day with a group of young people producing and editing a film whilst travelling down the river in the peace and tranquility of the countryside. Or meeting a group of young people on the quay with a ready-made recording studio at their disposal. Our project will make this image a reality. We have purchased a steel barge which arrived on a rainy day in August and we are currently

undertaking a conversion project to change this into a state of the art multimedia facility for young people. This involves working with members of our local community and young people to develop the concept and design and also training volunteers in boat handling and maintenance. We are keen to make contact with anyone in the boating world who may be interested in joining us as volunteer skippers or crew. In exchange for people’s time we will arrange training through the Community Boat Leadership Programme or the Community Crew Programme. We are also looking for volunteers to help us continue the fit out work as well, so if you are handy at DIY we would like to hear from you. If plans continue on schedule our first session will be in April with a Summer Tour and project launch event planned for August this year. If you are interested in learning more please visit our blog or contact Lynn Hogarth – ■

Cambridge riverside The long controversy over who actually owns the “railings” riverbank at Cambridge seems to be reaching a conclusion. Previously, neither the County nor City council believed that they were the riparian owners but evidence has been found that the City Council has the valid claim. It will now

seek registration of title at the Land Registry. This may, at last, enable Cambridge City Council to exercise some effective control over an assortment of boats presently moored by the “railings” of Riverside, a move which will be welcomed by many users. ■

Share a lock With parts of Eastern England experiencing the lowest rainfall in a 12-month period for over a century, there are fears about maintenance of water levels in our rivers this summer. We all need to consider using water extra carefully both at home and in our boating activities. Share a lock with several other boats whenever possible, please. Back in 1976, a summer-long drought caused the Anglian Water Authority to seek emergency powers. By the end of September it was instigating plans to close locks to navigation and install huge pumps to return the water to upper levels - as shown here at Hemingford Lock. A government drought minister was appointed and by mid-

With all the special events scheduled for this summer it’s going to be another great year to be boating on the Great Ouse. St Ives Steamboat Festival

25th to 27th May 2012 This weekend sees the return of the popular steamboats to Jones marina at St. Ives. A variety of these fascinating craft, with their enthusiastic owners, visiting from the U.K. and the continent, will create an enchanting spectacle at Jones’ and on the river at St. Ives.

Hartford Marina Open Event

26th and 27th May 2012 Over the weekend of 26th & 27th May, Hartford Marina will be hosting an Open Event to promote boating and water sports in the area. Alongside trade stalls covering many aspects of boat ownership, there will be opportunities to go afloat in canoes, motor boats, paddle boards and other craft. Specialists will cover skills and products including rope splicing, fibreglass polishing and painting, outboard and small boat sales and wooden boat restoration. There will be an opportunity to see on board a 2011 Viking 20 and to talk with the builder. A number of boating organisations have indicated they wish to attend the event, including GOBA, Seamaster Owner’s Club and Electric Boat Association, all of whom will be warmly welcomed. Other facilities available over the week-end will include food and drink on board The Captain’s Table restaurant boat, a bouncy castle, ice creams and refreshments. Lots more is still in the planning stage, so please check our website (www. for regular updates, and please bring your friends and family along!

Bedford River Festival

21st and 22nd July 2012 Bedford’s river with its Victorian Embankment, Promenade and surrounding park will come alive with hundreds of thousands of people enjoying live music, markets, sporting activities, boating events and fireworks. It’s free - don’t miss it.

Hemingford lock summer 1976.

October it was raining hard and the pumps could be withdrawn. ■

The tender trap GOBA members report some confusion over EA registration renewal documents for their boat tenders. In many cases, the forms have shown incorrect charges and have included no information on the discount applicable. The correct fees are: Manually propelled tender – Classes10/12 ........................................................... £32.00 Mechanically propelled up to 5m. (Engine up to 4 hp) – Class 30 ........................ £70.92 Both these figures are subject to a 50% discount where the tender is registered at the same time as the parent vessel. If you’ve paid too much, ask for a refund. ■


Summer river events

Ely Aquafest

Sunday 1st July 2012 Always a popular event with many activities beside the river, this year’s Ely Aquafest promises to be even more ‘boaty’ and will feature a Vintage Boat Rally. Steamboats, electric boats and locally built craft will be on view and there will be a grand parade of boats on Sunday morning.

GOBA Illuminated Boat Parade

Saturday 25th August 2012 Here’s one definitely not to miss. A phenomenal success last year, GOBA’s Illuminated Boat Parade will be repeated at St. Ives this year. Watch the GOBA website for full details or email ■

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Glorious years

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, marking her sixty remarkable years of service to the nation, is being celebrated with events nationally and locally. The late May bank holiday has been moved to Monday 4th June and an extra bank holiday has been declared for Tuesday 5th June. 1000 boats will line up on the river Thames at high water on Sunday 3rd June in a magnificent flotilla to mark the Diamond Jubilee. In what promises to be an amazing spectacle, boats of all shapes and sizes will pass under 14 Thames bridges on the 7-mile route. GOBA member, Simon Judge, aboard his boat, Scholar Gypsy, has been honoured with a place in the pageant. We look forward to seeing the GOBA burgee flying proudly amongst all the other flags flying in honour of Her Majesty. Monday 4th June will see a concert at Buckingham Palace with 10,000 members of public given free tickets by ballot. Later that day, thousands of beacons will be lit across the world to mark the Queen’s 60 year reign. On the river Great Ouse, many of our boat clubs have special events organised for the extended weekend and we expect to see many colourful sights on the river with boats dressed for the occasion. Our riverside towns are organising a variety of public events. At Bedford, there will be a Kite

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Festival in Russell Park with live music and an ‘It’s a Knockout Competition’. St Neots has a ‘Family Day’ with raft races, a duck race and talent show planned for the Saturday and a ‘Rock on the River’ show on Sunday 3rd June. There will be illuminated river boats, an air display and fireworks. At St Ives, the town council and charity groups have joined together to create one of the biggest and best celebrations ever held in the town. A street party on Saturday 2nd June will have live music and dancing with a ‘Punch and Judy’ alongside other entertainers. There are even some free food ‘tasters’ promised by local businesses. Sunday will see an open-air concert with West End star, Leanne Jones and local singers. At 10pm on Monday a beacon will be lit alongside the river at the Parish Church. There will also be a circus in Warners Park over the weekend. The City of Ely is hosting a concert in the park on Sunday 4th June, featuring a ‘Queen’ tribute band. There will be children’s entertainment and Ely will light its own beacon to round off the evening. It looks like a great extended weekend on the rivers, wherever you are and whatever your plans. Congratulations from GOBA, Your Majesty.

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Membership and Treasury Report Mike Mackay: Membership Secretary & Treasurer Firstly a big ‘Thank you’ to all those cheque and PayPal subscription payers who deluged me with cheques and online payments during January and February. Hard work, but it does take the stress away from dealing with a constant stream of late-payers over the season. The membership standing at the beginning of March allows us to send the Spring GOBA News with certificate and sticker to as many as possible. Talking of stickers, have you checked the envelope before you consign it to the bin? The letter which accompanies each addition of GOBA News allows me to communicate something, usually membership specific and this issue is no exception, so what about that tear-off slip at the bottom of the letter? AGM’s have a poor reputation which puts many people off attendance. Please don’t be put off. Our AGM affords you, the member, an opportunity to meet both fellow boaters and your committee in the convivial atmosphere of a famous boating club house. This year we meet at Cambridge Motor Boat Club situated at on the River Cam and providing full facilities including a bar. Many members stay after the formal “bits” to enjoy meeting, greeting and an exceptional lunch. This year sees us enjoying a roast beef main course followed by apple pie, cheese and biscuits with coffee. A vegetarian option is available. So, please complete the slip if you would like lunch or just turn up on the day to meet fellow boaters. The direct debit subscription run went well this year. Those members leaving managed, in the main, to cancel before I sent my collection file off to the bank. A small plea; if leaving or moving banks please do it well before February 1st otherwise chaos ensues. Whilst on the subject of banks, don’t always assume that they’ll automatically move DD instructions. Several members have opted to pay their subscription directly into our bank online. Online through your bank saves you postage and gives you security that your payment has arrived and obviously saves time at my end. In discussing this method of payment a member was quite surprised to find that all of your committee members are volunteers working in their spare time. Some statistics: Our paying membership for 2011/12 was 2,026. 202 members paying by cheque sent in their subscriptions between January 1st and early February. 141 used their PayPal facility for subscription payment over the same period. Notwithstanding regrettable increases in registration, the debacle over the River Cam/ Environment Agency Interchange Agreement and the ever rising fuel costs I hope your boating season will meet your every expectation. ■ Happy boating and look forward to meeting you either on the river or at the AGM.

Mike Mackay

Not everyone pays full attention!

Formal AGM business over – time for lunch.

Notice of the 2012 Annual General Meeting Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Great Ouse Boating Association Ltd. will be held at the Cambridge Motor Boat Club, Clayhithe Road, Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire on Sunday 29th April at 11am.

Agenda 1. 2.

Apologies for absence Minutes of the AGM held Sunday 17 April 2011 3. Matters arising from the minutes 4. To receive the Chairman’s report 5. To receive the Hon. Treasurer’s report 6. To receive the Hon. Secretary’s report 7. To elect Officers and Committee 8. To appoint an Auditor 9. To discuss any topics raised by members 10. Any other business

Travel and lunch information 1. 2.

Coffee and biscuits will be available from 10.30am. Some moorings may be available for boats and those members who wish to moor at the club should contact Dave Smith on 01480 811899 or 07890165649 before 20th April with full details of your boat and ETA. There are also public moorings available upstream of the road bridge and our own GOBA mooring upstream of Bottisham Lock. 3. There is ample car parking at the club and the map above shows its location. 4. A licensed bar will be available and after the meeting a hot lunch will be served at a cost of £12.50 per head. This year our lunch will be Roast Beef with two veg, Apple pie and cream followed by Cheese and biscuits, coffee or tea. A vegeterian option is also available. Lunches must be booked and paid for in advance. Please complete the tear off slip at the bottom of the accompanying letter and if you do not have a Direct Debit mandate set up, please enclose a cheque for the correct amount with your membership number written on the reverse, to reach us not later than 23rd April. Unfortunately reservations cannot be taken by telephone. We look forward to seeing as many members as possible at this convivial social gathering and we would like to thank the CMBC in advance for once again letting us use their facilities.

Notes 1.

Nominations for the committee, duly proposed and seconded and with the nominee’s consent must reach the General Secretary, Alistair Reid, at least 48 hours before the meeting at: 15 Willow Green, Needingworth, Huntingdon, Cambs, PE27 3SW. They cannot be accepted at the meeting 2. Any member entitled to attend and vote at the AGM is entitled to appoint a proxy to attend and vote in their stead. Forms for appointment for a proxy are available from the General Secretary at the address above. Previous minutes of GOBA AGM’s are available in the media section on the GOBA web site:


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General Secretary’s Report Alistair Reid: GOBA General Secretary Most of the winter months have been spent in discussions with the Environment Agency regarding the new licence charges which on the face of it will be 6.4%. This was worked out at 2% plus the CPI inflation rate for the beginning of September 2011 at 4.4%. This formula will be used in 2013/2014 when hopefully the inflation rate will fall to 2% which would mean increases for these two years of 4%. Perhaps not too bad when they were originally looking for a 10% increase each year for the next three years. However, just when we had resigned ourselves to these increases it was announced by the Cam Conservators that a further 10% would be added to the EA river licence to navigate on their waters. To add insult to injury the EA will hand over only 5% of the increase to the Conservators whilst retaining the other 5%. This means that the EA will achieve more than the 10% increase they originally proposed which was totally rejected by all the consulted bodies. Talking of consultation, the Conservators did go through a consultation process of sorts; however there was no consultation by the EA on the new Interchange Agreement and charging structure for the river Cam. At the time of writing this there still has been no official announcement by the EA with information coming only from the Conservators. All this means an increase of over 17% to navigate the same waters as we did in 2011. There is no provision for a short-term visitor’s licence for the Cam so unless you pay the extra 10% (or if you want to add the Cam at a later date - 15%) the river Cam is off your cruising range.

Totally Unacceptable

Kings Lynn Mooring

GOBA has found this totally unacceptable and issued a press release condemning the actions of the EA in particular. The GOBA committee will have met an EA delegation by the time you read this and a report appears in this issue. There have only been two committee meetings since the last issue of GOBA News so there are only a few other things to report. We understand that St Neots Town Council will reinstate the public water tap at the Priory Centre but await this being officially confirmed. It would be in a locked cabinet accessible with a navigation key and the percussion tap would need to be held open to prevent wastage. Hartford Marina is holding a gala weekend on the 26/27th May. GOBA has been invited to attend along with other organisations. We intend to set up the gazebo and hope that many of you will come and speak to us. There will be a number of visitor moorings available but it would be prudent to contact the marina to check for availability before the event.

Kings Lynn Council has advised us that the Conservancy Board are still refusing the use of berth 6 for the mooring of pleasure craft and this is unlikely to change until at least April 2013.

Illuminated Boats After the success of the 2011 Illuminated Boat Parade in St Ives, GOBA will once again organise the event this year on Saturday the 25th August. St Ives Town Council kindly invited GOBA to participate in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee event this summer. Unfortunately we have had to decline as there are a number of other events already scheduled primarily with boat clubs and other organisations.

Etiquette sub-committee GOBA has set up a sub committee to work on the production of a pamphlet on “etiquette for boaters” on the Great Ouse to be published by the EA. The purpose is to assist new boaters and remind a few others to use the river in the spirit of friendly cooperation and courtesy for which the Great Ouse is noted.

Attend the AGM Details of this year’s AGM are contained in this issue of GOBA News. It will be held at Cambridge Motor Boat Club on Sunday the 29th of April and we would encourage as many members as possible to attend. As always we are actively seeking new committee members and this would be an ideal opportunity to put yourself forward. At the time of writing, present committee members willing to stand for re-election are: John Bevan David Mercer Ian Cox Sid Fisher Nigel Handscombe Alistair Reid John Hodgson Mike Mackay Geoff Parrish Stuart Turvey Roy Wood plus our newly co-opted member, Beverley Jenisis. Bev is already putting her considerable skills, gained in over 20-years working for a large membership organisation, to good use for GOBA.

Alistair Reid

Mooring Matters Roy Wood: Moorings downstream – Stuart Turvey: Moorings upstream As we go to press, Stuart has just left for a holiday in Australia but before he went he made sure that arrangements for maintenance of the GOBA moorings for the 2012 season were in place. Our mooring maintenance contractors do a fine job in keeping the grass and weeds down at most of the sites throughout the spring and summer. Access with necessary equipment to some of the more remote sites is not always easy. It’s good news that the contractors have kindly agreed with Stuart to renew the contract on the same competitive terms as last year. It seems that some smaller organisations are rather better at controlling their costs than certain larger ones who can demand ever-increasing fees from boaters without apparent regard to the consequences! Thirteen of the GOBA mooring sites will be cut seven times each through the season from April to October. The remainder of the sites are either inaccessible or maintained naturally or by

volunteers. Please let us know if you have any issues with any of the moorings and we’ll do our best to put things right. Roy also has good news to report. He has been working with EA River Inspector, Mervyn Day, to secure two new sites. GOBA has an informal reciprocal arrangement with the EA whereby the Agency finds us potential mooring sites in return for copy space in GOBA News. It has already borne fruit with our new mooring at Stretham on the Old West and we are most appreciative of the EA waterways team’s efforts on our behalf; a fine example of GOBA and the EA working together. Mervyn and Roy are currently negotiating with a farmer regarding a site on the Little Ouse near Hockwold. A previous attempt to find moorings at Hockwold was thwarted when it was discovered that the land had been sold outright by Anglian Water to a fishing club. However, Mervyn tells us that down at TenMile Bank, there is now a possibility of renting

100-metres of bank from a well-known fishing club. It is rarely used for fishing these days and it may be possible to establish a mooring here subject to priority being given to the anglers on the few occasions when they do have a match. There is also just a possibility, sometime in the future, of another rural mooring on the east bank of the river Cam near Popes Corner. Much of the land here is subject to strict statutory ecological regulation so the negotiations will not be easy. We still need your help in securing new mooring sites, of course. Please let us know of any bits of riverbank that look promising and could be enhanced by some nice blue GOBA signs. It won’t always bear fruit; there are inevitably loads of hurdles to jump in establishing a new mooring, but we’ll do our best to set the wheels in motion. Enjoy your GOBA moorings and have a great 2012 season. ■ Stuart Turvey Roy Wood

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St Ives Lock improvements

Following a site visit in February, Ian Cox reports for GOBA News Started just before Christmas, St Ives lock is now well into a £750,000 major works programme. Carried out by the civil contractor Jackson, almost every aspect of the lock is subject to repair, refurbishment and/or improvement. Both mitre gates have been removed for refurbishment and the fitting of new slackers and improved walkways. New tread mills will be installed. The lock floor in the area of the gates has been injected with concrete and a new concrete plinth is to be laid. Large parts of the lock wall have been rebuilt and the voids behind the walls have been filled. New coping stones have been laid around the top of the lock and the concrete pathway surfaces improved. Bollards will be mounted on top in their original positions. The guillotine gate is being refurbished and fitted with a new control box. The structure is also due to be painted. A new Strong Stream Advice light has been fitted to the guillotine gate. New plastic fendering has been fitted to steel

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shuttering downstream of the guillotine gate. The concrete path on top of the shuttering is to be replaced. The fender piles have been realigned on the downstream entrance in order to improve the angle of entrance/exit to the lock. The old timber landing stage has been demolished. The old timber canoe portage has been demolished and incorporated into the design of the new floating landing stage. Piles have been installed downstream from the lock ready to hold the floating landing stage in place. The pathway to the old timber landing stage has been removed. The schedule is at present running about two weeks late due to the need to carry out additional unplanned work which became evident when the gates were lifted. All in all, it would appear that the changes being made by the Environment Agency will make significant improvements to the ease of use of this lock. ■

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My first experience of Fenland waterways was as a 1980s student, rowing in bumping races on the Cam, and attempting to publicise the efforts of the IWA to restore the Lark to Mildenhall. Our family has owned the narrow boat Scholar Gypsy for many years, and I’ve always been keen to come back. Although we’ve had the boat stretched twice – it’s now 56’ – fortunately the locks on the Middle Level have also been lengthened, and so this year we finally took the plunge. We set off from Braunston just before Easter, and were one of the first boats down the Nene after the winter stoppages. Indeed we met only six other moving boats, on this glorious and peaceful river. Many canallers are put off by the fearsome Nene guillotines, but we found them very straightforward (even those few that still require human effort),

Head of navigation at Bedford

A gypsy and a scholar Simon Judge and his family thoroughly enjoyed their visit to the Great Ouse in 2011 aboard ‘Scholar Gypsy’. “We’ll be back soon” says Simon.

indeed easier to operate than many locks on the Grand Union. My crew abandoned me at Peterborough, as they did not fancy the trip across the Middle Level. Again, I felt this was a much maligned waterway, and decided to explore some of the extremities on our return voyage (we successfully reached the lowest point in England, at Holme Fen). Research on the tidal transit from Salters Lode to Denver had produced some alarming photographs of boats marooned for hours on mud banks, but in the event (after taking advice from Paul, the lockkeeper) it was very straightforward. I then had a long hot trip to our temporary home, near Upware lock on the River Cam. I was reduced to drinking lots of water, re-calculating at each “bend” my average speed since leaving Denver (4.4 mph – not bad for a ditchcrawler), counting pylons, and wondering what trolling is and why it attracts a £1,000 fine. From Upware, we were well placed to explore the three navigable Lodes. Imray’s guidebook is somewhat vague about turning points, but if you can get through the lock then you can turn at all three termini (in each case, put the bow to the left). Reach was somewhat challenging in a strong crosswind, with the bows rather close to the left bank and the stern rather close to the right, but fortunately I didn’t meet anyone coming the other way. I’d timed my visit to coincide with the IWA’s annual barbeque & quiz (too much local knowledge required), and the historic Reach Fair. Burwell had good moorings, but was a little weedy. Our overnight stay on the GOBA moorings at Wicken was just magical – lovely clear water. I’m not much of a wildlife enthusiast, but even I was impressed by the quantity and variety of birdlife here, and indeed throughout the Fens. We explored most of the system during our stay, including the Lark (a very pleasant walk up to Mildenhall, passing several navigational structures, still derelict), half of the Wissey, and some of the relief channel (more interesting than it looks – and easy rail access to Kings Lynn). I visited Cambridge during Bumps week, hoping to see my middle son rowing for his College. His crew had to take part in the qualifying race the week before, and unfortunately were comfortably last. The boat’s

spiritual home is Oxford – where my parents live – so we got quite a bit of banter from the bank (and my son got fined at his boat club dinner, for having an embarrassing father). Nevertheless, if you don’t hang about, keep a sharp lookout, and follow the marshals’ instructions, it is quite possible to get safely from one end of the course to the other between races. From my perspective, Cambridge was a bit disappointing – very few visitor moorings, and lots of boats permanently moored on rather narrow stretches, but I know this is a controversial issue.

Plastic and steel sha re Brampton loc


Moored at Wicken Fen

Spectacular Moorings and Friendly Boaters Finally, over the Whit bank holiday, we managed to get all the way up the Ouse proper, to Bedford. The Old West River, at five in the morning, felt not quite of this modern world. The water meadows between St Ives and Brampton were very special, and we found some spectacular moorings at Offord and Great Barford. Castle Mills lock single handed was a challenge – it’s Taking part in the Bu mps not often one needs to use ladders when the lock is full – and I wore my lifejacket, as falling in would not be fun. Everyone on the Ouse was very friendly, with rather less of the nervousness between narrowboaters and plastic boaters that I’ve experienced at locks elsewhere, and everyone working to fit in as many boats as possible. My sister was particularly grateful to the friendly boater who rescued her, when the fan belt finally snapped near Little Paxton. After a very successful trip, I plan to return to the Ouse again in a few years. In 2012, however, Scholar Gypsy will be taking part in a rather different experience, with 999 others: the Diamond Jubilee pageant on the Thames tideway on 3rd June. This will involve a large number of boats mustering in West India Docks beforehand, in the shadow of Canary Wharf. To prepare for that I joined a recent convoy of seven narrowboats visiting the Boat Show at the Excel centre, in the Royal Docks, travelling

through the Thames Barrier. I hope very much to meet some other boats in the pageant that are flying a GOBA pennant. ■ Simon Judge, nb Scholar Gypsy For more photographs, please visit

Why Scholar Gypsy? ‘Scholar Gypsy’ was originally named by Simon’s father, an Oxford don, and comes from Matthew Arnold’s 1853 poem of the same name: “Or in my boat I lie, Moor’d to the cool bank in the summer-heats, ‘Mid wide grass meadows which the sunshine fills,”

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In deeper waters

Band on the rear deck

Peter and Rita Swinson have cruised the Great Ouse and other waters extensively in their Fairline Mirage, ‘Lizzy B’. But in November 2011, there came an opportunity, courtesy of some good friends, to experience some deeper waters – the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Southampton aboard Cunard’s magnificent ‘Queen Mary 2’. The ‘Queen Mary 2’ is the only passenger ship now plying the Atlantic route non stop, a voyage of seven days on the world’s largest ocean liner. (A few cruise ships are larger, but are not designed for high speed non-stop ocean passage, see “Liner vs Cruiser”). The ship is a world in itself, carrying up to 2,600 passengers in the style of a bygone age, with a crew of about 1,300. Among the treats on board are 10 bars, 6 restaurants, a 1,000-seater Theatre, a 475 seat digital Cinema that converts to the world’s only floating Planetarium, a Ballroom, Casino, Art Gallery, 6 swimming pools, gyms and a Night Club.

The technical stuff ‘Queen Mary 2’ is 1,132ft (345m) x 131ft (40m) with a draft of 32 ft (10m) and an air draft of 204ft (62m). She has thirteen passenger decks plus several other crew and storage decks in the lower hull and has a maximum speed of 28 knots (32 mph). She is powered by two Diesel generators at 16.8MW each plus two Gas turbine generators at 25MW each. This provides a total power of 117MW or 157,000HP. Of this power the vast majority, 115,000HP is fed to four Rolls Royce Mermaid Pods mounted below the stern, two of which have fixed forward facing props and two pods that can rotate through 360 degrees. Each pod is fitted with an 18 ft four bladed prop and each pod weighs more than a Boeing 747 aircraft (around 260 tons). The two rotatable pods are the entire steerage mechanism at sea, and in conjunction with three


4,700 HP bow thrusters ensure the ship is entirely self sufficient in maneuvering in port, and needs no tugs to assist. Daily fuel consumption on a typical Atlantic crossing, both heavy fuel oil and marine gas oil for the turbines is 500 tons. With a capacity of about 2,000,000 gallons that’s a total range of 18 days sailing. Regarding the propellers, each blade weighs more than a Fairline Mirage fully laden! And ‘Queen Mary 2’ carries four spare blades on the bow. I hate to think how much it costs to dry dock her to change a blade!

The Bridge Due to security it not possible to go onto the actual bridge; however a viewing area, through glass, has been incorporated behind the bridge. From here, those, like me with a fascination of all things nautically technical, can see the full operations. On a six day open ocean crossing, little obviously happens, but a watch is still kept by at least three crew members. For such a large ship the helm wheel is tiny, smaller than that on most boats on the Great Ouse. Of course the ship is mostly under “autopilot mode” and the manual helm is only used on close, or presumably, emergency avoidance manoeuvres. ‘Queen Mary 2’ takes 1.7 miles to stop from full speed and has a turning circle, at speed, of 0.8 miles. With the ship’s huge air draft the visual horizon range is 13.2 miles and the radar range is useful out to 48Nm, although across the North Atlantic

Peter, Rita and Lizzy B

few if any ships ply the Ocean Liner route. There are the twin air horns, or whistles as they are called, mounted either side of the main funnel, each appears to be about the size of a bus! They can be heard for 10 miles and have an extremely deep note, more felt than heard.

Liner vs Cruiser ‘Queen Mary 2’ is not a conventional cruise ship; her design is specific in several ways for Trans Oceanic use. Such ships must be capable of handling bad weather and gales in deep high latitude oceans with very large waves, while providing a fast comfortable voyage over an extended period of days or weeks. Conversely cruise ships are designed for calmer shallower continental shelf and lower latitude waters making port almost every day. So cruise ships have flat bottomed hulls, with wide forward rounded bows and superstructures such as cabins and bridge very close to the ship’s front. This ship has a very fine bow entry, a V-shaped double skinned hull and no superstructure forward of about 150 feet from the bow. This, combined with much higher power engines for its size than cruise ships, offers high speed and relatively comfortable travel in all sea conditions, without the bow spray damaging any superstructure. Cruise ships tend to put into port every few days, allowing them to restock and refuel. This is not an option on a transatlantic voyage, where a turnaround time in port can be less than 12 hours. Therefore ‘Queen Mary 2’ has to carry vast stores of food, not to mention bar stocks! To load the

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On the bridge Queen Mary 2

Rita stands by spare props

amount of fresh water required would take too long, therefore the ship has its own evaporative water making plant. This produces over 630,000 litres of water each day! Towards the rear of the ship are two smaller funnels to service the onboard incinerators. Again, a cruise ship can dump its rubbish every few days but an ocean liner cannot. Some other truly massive statistics that would frighten most “galley slaves”. On a one-way transatlantic cruise ‘Queen Mary 2’ uses 20,000 litres of milk and 32,000 eggs. 96,000 meals are prepared and each day 87,000 pieces of china and glassware are used in the dining areas. That’s a great deal of washing up!

The Route The North Atlantic crossing in November is more a Rhumb line rather than Great Circle route to avoid icebergs. While it takes an extra day due to the greater distance, it is safer and a bit more southerly than routes used by commercial shipping or aircraft between the USA and Europe. During five of the seven days’ voyage we were well away from land and we never saw another ship nor any aircraft vapour trail. It was just 4,000 people alone on the Ocean, a strange but adventurous feeling to be hundreds or thousands of miles from land for so long. Even the seabed is 5Km below at times, and yes we crossed very close over that most famous of all Cunard/White Star liners, the Titanic, on closest approach the captain saluted the Titanic with several blasts of ‘Queen Mary 2’’s horn.

Comparisons with cruising the Great Ouse I found it interesting that comparing the ship’s ocean going design to that of a cruise ship, had much in common with equating our typical river cruisers to the ‘Queen Mary 2’ and our narrow

QM2 on the Great Ouse!

boats to cruise ships. V hulls vs flat bottomed, sharp bow entry, vs rounded and engine power ratios, although I don’t know of any boats on the Great Ouse with incinerators! So, where is the nearest the ‘Queen Mary 2’ could get to the Great Ouse? For those who venture into the Wash, she could get her bow no closer than the Roaring Middle Buoy, and that would be tricky. In reality she is not likely to come closer than 40 miles off Lowestoft where the North Sea deep water shipping channel lies. Just for fun I include an image showing ‘Queen Mary 2’ to scale with the Great Ouse at Huntingdon, except she would sit up out of the water by at least another nine metres and be truly stuck on the bottom and wedged between the banks!. At 28 Knots, following the river, using the 100ft and ignoring locks she would take about 2 hours to

get from Bedford to Denver Sluice, I wonder how much an EA licence would be for her!

Conclusion The largest ship we had previously been on was the Pride of Bilbao, the car ferry to Cherbourg and by comparison ‘Queen Mary 2’ is magnificent. The cabins, even the smallest, are more like staterooms, the food and entertainment are elegant and despite our initial concerns that seven days at sea would be boring we never had a dull moment. However, believe it or not, we still prefer our own cruising on the very special world of the Great Ouse and its tributaries. ■ Peter Swinson

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Works will improve Bedford Lock for 2012 and beyond We are giving Bedford Lock a £110,000 refurbishment. Our works, which began in February, are part of an ongoing project that will improve the safety and reliability of lock gates on the River Great Ouse. We are refurbishing the lock’s guillotine gate and replacing the drive systems, actuator, gearbox, chain sprockets, bearings and shafts. Maintenance access to the high-level platform is also being improved and the lock gate is being raised. This was recommended by the recently-published Bedford Waterspace Study. The lock will be electrified and will become one of the last locks on the river system to be motorised. Its new control systems will include a pedestal-type control panel featuring countdown timers and safety delay. The works will ensure the lock operates smoothly and safely during the 2012 boating season. They are being carried out by CW Engineering Ltd using May

Gurney as main sub-contractor. The lock will be closed to boats throughout the project which is expected to be completed on 6 April.

Bedford Waterspace Study The Waterspace Study is a partnership between the Environment Agency and Bedford Borough Council. It outlines how the Great Ouse and its facilities can be improved and developed in the Bedford area. The study is intended to provide interested parties with a better knowledge and understanding of the opportunities and challenges along the river. The Waterspace Study can be found at recreation/136129.aspx. ■

Brandon Creek mooring repairs Brandon Creek Mooring has recently had some work carried out to improve the piling at either end of the mooring. The old piling was in poor condition so we took the opportunity to use a piling rig that was in the area to repair the mooring. We have also installed new hand rails at the steps. This has made the site much safer.

New face at Hermitage Lock The Waterways Team would like to introduce a new member of staff.


The new landscaping at

Eaton Socon Lock.

When we refurbished Eaton Socon Lock a couple of years ago, the landscaping work carried out was not very successful as the weather inhibited the grass from growing. We have recently re-landscaped the whole site and we hope that, this time, by the time the new season comes around, the site will be looking better then ever.

Double-up to save water during drought

We have made improvements to Brandon Creek Mooring.

Patrick Mahoney joined us as a lock keeper at Hermitage Lock at the end of last summer after completing his third successful summer as a relief lock keeper on the River Thames. During his time there, he provided cover at seven different locks between Caversham and Hurley including Blakes Lock on the Kennet & Avon Canal system. Patrick said: “I am really pleased to have joined the Waterways Team here in Anglian Region and to have taken on the role of assisting boats through Hermitage Lock. I am very much looking forward to meeting many of the GOBA members throughout the coming year. If you get the chance, pop into the office and say hello.” Patrick will work very closely with existing lock keeper Keith Musk to make sure our boating

Eaton Socon greener than ever

customers continue to receive an excellent frontline service at Hermitage Lock.

Environment Agency lock keepers Patrick Mahoney (left) and Keith Musk.

The ongoing dry weather conditions and low water levels remain a concern across all of our rivers, including the Great Ouse. Some areas of the country have seen the driest 12 months since records began. And Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, along with Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and West Norfolk, have seen the lowest annual rainfall since 1921. Because of this, we are asking you to do your bit to help conserve water – for people and wildlife – by doubling-up when using our locks. A lock uses thousands of gallons of water each time it is operated so the more you can double-up, the more water we will save. In addition to reducing the volume of water you use, we would also like boaters to help identify areas where the ecology of our rivers is under pressure. You can do this by reporting incidents such as fish in distress – for instance gasping at the water’s surface – to our 24hour incident hotline on 0800 807060. ■

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News from the New landing stages

Andy – already a familiar face

As part of the major work taking place at St Ives Lock this winter (see article on page eight), we will be installing a new floating landing stage on the downstream side. This will provide temporary mooring space at the lock when river levels are above normal in addition to the existing highlevel landing stage. We are also improving the approach to the lock side and are re-aligning the ‘in-stream’ fenders. We plan to install new floating landing stages at Brownshill Lock and Hermitage Lock in March/ April in time for the new season. We are also planning to replace the existing floating pontoon landing stage at Denver Lock (tidal side) with new-style floating landing stages and will be installing a floating landing stage on the tidal side of Salter’s Lode lock. This will also serve the entrance to the Old Bedford River. We also intend to install a new ‘fixed’ landing stage on the upstream side of Cardington Lock in time for the new season. This landing stage will be designed to enable boats to be safely ‘walked’ into the lock. ■

Andy Hubble has taken over as a full-time river inspector after serving as a seasonal river inspector on the River Great Ouse for three years. He will be responsible for the Bedford Ouse from Kempston down to Brampton Lock. Andy replaces Karen Paterson, who left the Waterways team in 2011 to join our marine survey colleagues. Last year, he provided cover at Hermitage Lock for much of the summer where he met many GOBA members and has become a very familiar face. Andy said: “I am delighted to have made the step up to river inspector and am really looking forward to seeing the great work carried out at many of the locks sites continuing for many years to come.” “I am especially interested in seeing the river develop through Bedford where I spent much of my childhood enjoying the waterfront. The Bedford Waterspace Study, which was published last autumn, will hopefully kick-start many new projects and help people realise the great potential the river though Bedford has to offer.” ■

Andy Hubble has taken on the role of river inspector full-time.

Fishing for an answer to angling questions? Recent Environment Agency surveys show that many of our rivers contain healthy fish populations. For example, barbel, chub and perch are flourishing in the upper Great Ouse. Lower down the river, there are good stocks of roach and bream for anglers to target, together with the predatory species; pike and zander. If you want more information on where to fish and the contact details of angling clubs, visit homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/default.aspx. This website also provides useful information on fisheries byelaws so that anglers are aware of how to fish safely and legally.

A question that regularly comes up is: “When I am moored up, what are the rules about fishing from my boat?”. Answer, you need to have a valid rod licence and you need to have permission to fish. The fishing rights on a river are usually held by an angling club. This is true whether you are fishing from the bank or a boat. You can purchase either a season or day ticket from the club. Be aware that fishing rights extend to half way across the river so there may be different owners or clubs on either side. Should you see or suspect any illegal fishing, the Environment Agency has a 24-hour free incident hotline (0800 807060). We have a

team of fisheries enforcement officers who will act on information provided. Buying a new rod licence couldn’t be easier - around 15,000 post offices sell them and they can be purchased over the telephone on 0844 800 5386. Alternatively, buy online at www. any time. The income from the 150,000 licences sold in our Anglian Region is reinvested back into managing and improving fisheries. If you have any questions about fisheries in Anglian or the Environment Agency’s role, phone our information line on 03708 506 506 and ask for your local fisheries officer.

New fenders fitted

St Neots lock improvements

We have recently installed new fenders at Upware Lock. They make the approach into the lock much more pleasant and safer for boaters. ■

As part of our ongoing refurbishment programme, the Environment Agency is planning construction works at St Neots Lock starting in February 2012.

The new fenders at Upware Lock.

The works will consist of replacing the vertical lifting lock gate structure situated near the road bridge. The gate is primarily used by boaters to navigate through the lock but we also use the gate in Flood Risk Management, to control water discharged through the lock in high flows. The existing lock gate structure is over 40 years old and recent structural inspections have highlighted that it’s at the end of its service life and requires renewing to ensure continued navigation through the lock and the safety of boaters and the public.

Once installed, the new lock gate will look broadly similar to the existing structure, however we have made a few design modifications to improve safety and visual appearance of the gate structure. This includes locating the new structure approximately 2 metres further away from the road bridge which will discourage unauthorised climbing on the structure improve safety for our maintenance staff. We’re going to replace the large concrete ‘counterweight’ on the existing gate with a much smaller steel version which will improve the visual appearance. ■

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Roy’s 65 years o

My earliest memory of boating on the Great Ouse was on a boat called ‘Spree’ hired from Banhams at Cambridge. I can recall wearing a harness, somewhat like a dog, and being tied to a rail in the cockpit so as not to fall overboard. The wooden ‘Spree’ had a sail as well as a Stuart Turner two-stroke engine and was very cramped. I was just 5-years old and memories are a little hazy but talking to Mum and Dad in later years filled in all the missing pieces. ‘Spree’ turned up at Huntingdon Marina years later and I saw her quite often. She was not used very much and eventually sank and was taken from the water and scrapped. My father would hire a boat for the next year as soon as we arrived back at Banham’s boatyard. I can still remember all the names, much as one does with car number plates as a child. Next year we hired ‘Rogue’ which was very up-market. She was slim and trim with a Parson Pike engine and I still have pictures of myself and Dad on board. Mum, Dad and I with my Aunt and Uncle Reg went from the boatyard to Earith where we moored on the landing-stage where the marina entrance is now. The fishing was very good – the main attraction for Dad and Reg. The river there was


very different to now, with tall thatching reeds half-way across in places. We towed a wooden row boat behind and used this for fishing and collecting water lilies which were quite abundant at the time. Nowadays, the yellow spatterdocks have taken over almost everywhere. I can recall travelling along the Old West river, standing on the front of another Banham’s boat ‘Eddy Wind’ and parting the rushes for the boat to get through. Hiring a boat was our annual holiday. We had wonderful balmy summers on the river and enjoyed walking to isolated farms to buy milk and eggs. My father would work overtime to save for our holiday and although it was always his ambition to have a fortnight, we could only ever afford one week. Other Banham’s boats that come to mind at this time are ‘Caprice’, ‘Siren’, ‘River Bell’ and ‘Belle’. We hired ‘Rogue’ for several years until Banhams built a new class of boats, ‘Blue Dragon’, ‘Jade’,

‘Topaz’, ‘Opal’, ‘Emerald’ and ‘Sapphire’. ‘Amethyst’ was the pride of the fleet – a six-berth beauty. They were all much more modern than ‘Rogue’, ‘Pilot’ and ‘Bounty’. They had new overhead valve engines instead of the old side-valves. The ‘Vedette’ engines were really just from Morris Minors but we thought they were wonderful. Toilets had not yet been perfected! You just put your foot on a flap to make a hole appear beneath the loo and everything dropped into the river. Bad luck for swimmers who could not dodge those mysterious floating objects. We had two water taps, both cold. One was for drinking, the other, straight from the river, was for washing up and washing us. There were many pubs along the river in those days, old watermen’s hostelries from days gone by when the river trade was flourishing, but they are long gone. We would stay in St Ives and always moored on the huge meadow opposite Nobles Field, sadly no longer allowed. Hemingford lock was in a different place with a pretty watermill standing alongside which was demolished in the early 70s. It was replaced with a new lock and the sluices. It was not possible to get beyond Huntingdon as the river was very shallow by what is now the A14

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on the river bridge and we got stuck aground several times trying to get through. So it was back to St Ives, Earith and Cambridge. Our boating holidays continued through my courting days, with the new fibre-glass boats beginning to appear. ‘Garnet’ was the first fibre-glass and wooden topside boat on the river and she is still moored at the Pike and Eel. I remember taking my son on ‘Garnet’ when he was just three-years-old. I rang Mr Banham from my next-door neighbour’s phone to ask if he had any boats not yet hired for the next week. ‘Yes’ he said, ‘Garnet is available and is £42 for the week’. I had to tell him that unfortunately I only had £30 and was sorry I would have to leave it. Next day, he rang back to say that he could make a £12 reduction for an old customer, so my son began his boating career. Then I began to think that although a week’s boating was still our best relaxing holiday, at £42 a time it might be time to buy a little boat of our own. My wages were paid into the bank so I went to see my bank manager and asked for a loan. ‘What’s it for?’ he said, and was very surprised to learn that I wanted to buy a boat. ‘This branch of Lloyds Bank has never owned a boat before. How much do you want?’ With tongue in cheek, I told him ‘five-hundred pounds, please’. He just said, ‘O.K’.Armed with ‘Exchange and Mart’ I discovered that Mr Carter at Buckden Marina had a Loftus Bennett 16-foot cruiser and trailer for sale, so off we went to see him. We fell in love with the boat and purchased it there and then. Next weekend, we took my mother, Annie’s mother and my son Steven out for the weekend. Five on a 16foot boat – never, never again! We decided we needed a bigger one. That was not to come yet and with a mooring at Buckden Marina we began to explore the river upstream, parts that we had been unable to reach before. It really was wild in

those early days of the 1960s. Mr Carter of Buckden Marina had a wealth of knowledge and also served as chairman of the old Great Ouse River Board responsible for looking after the river. He was a very important man and a key figure in gaining many of the improvements on the river. With Laurie Jones, Harry Lincoln, the Rev. Donald Brown and several others, he founded GOBA in 1958 and nursed it through the early years. I can remember asking him if I could have a better mooring for fishing as my young son was quite interested. He moved us next door to what had been his first marina on the river, in the Offord mill stream, Carter’s Boatyard. The fishing was wonderful. We joined the Pike and Eel Boat Club and our boating life took off with a bang – and a ‘SLURP!’ There are many stories to tell about the club but maybe that’s for another time. It was, however, the beginning of some very good friendships and very happy times. The years rolled by and the boats came and went, Norman 20, Freeman 22, Birchwood 25 and then an Ocean 30. Annie and I felt like the Queen and King of England with our lovely boat, beautiful mooring and wonderful friends. We had moved on, along with the river. The Great Ouse River Board was gone, then so was Anglian Water and along came the National Rivers Authority. How quickly things can change! My business was doing O.K. and life was good for me and Annie. Suddenly, and I mean suddenly, a huge change loomed on the horizon. Buckden Marina was to be sold by Mr Carter and the new owner wanted to buy the next-door Carter’s Boatyard as well. Our wonderful mooring in the Offord mill stream – gone? ‘Not on your Nellie’ said Anne, so we sold our business and bought Carter’s Boatyard for ourselves. We had to work like trojans to transform a

run-down little marina and caravan park into a wonderfully happy place and a thriving business. For sure, we spent the happiest 18-years of our lives there, until early retirement beckoned and we moved to Godmanchester – still on the river, of course! We had several moorings at the bottom of the garden and all our friends from the P & E still came to see us for a weekend once a year. We were then invited by our good friend, Geoff Parrish, to join the Cambridge Motor Boat Club and were granted a mooring there. As the Godmanchester garden had become too big for us and we were spending lots of time at the club on the Cam, we decided to move to Ely. We still have an Ocean 30 called ‘Lalita Anne’. She is the tenth Ocean we have had and we just love them. I’m now almost 70 and I do my bit with the other guys and gals on the GOBA committee. If anyone needs any help or has any questions on Ocean 30s or any other boating or river matter, then a gin and tonic will always get you the answer! ■ Hope to see you up the river, soon! Roy Wood

Banhams brochures 196


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GOBA News Guide to fuel and services on our river We are lucky on the Great Ouse to have friendly marinas providing a great service to boaters. Our table provides up-to-date information on what’s available on the river for the 2012 season Most marinas told us they would always try to assist in any emergency. “Just call, we’ll help if we can.”

Marina / Boat Yard



Priory Marina, Bedford

01234 351931

Tues–Sat 9.30–5.00

St Neots Marina

01480 472411

Summer 9.00–6.00

Overnight Moorings Small Permanent Berths Chandlery • Boat Sales

Crosshall Marina, St Neots

01480 472763

9.00–5.30 Sun 10.00–4.00

Clubhouse • Small berths Slipway

Buckden Marina, Offord

Office: 01480 812660

Hartford Marina, Houghton

01480 454677

Jones Boatyard, St Ives

01480 494040

Pike & Eel Marina, Needingworth

01480 468666

Westview Marina, Earith

01487 841627

Hermitage Marina, Earith

01487 840994

Weekday 9.00–5.00

Slipway • Hoist • Servicing

Bridge Boatyard, Ely

01353 663726

Mon-Fri 8.00–5.00 Sat 8.00-4/5.00

Gas • Coal • 35ft Slipway GRP Repairs • Hire Fleet

Cathedral Marine, Ely

01353 664622

River Island Marina, Isleham

01638 780663

Littleport Boathaven

01353 863763




Pump-out Chemical Servicing Emergency

Other Services GOBA: Moor one night free 5 metre slipway • Crane • Gas



Tue–Sat 8.30–4.30 Sun 10.00–4.00

Overnight Moorings Gas • Engineering • Boat Wash Boat Sales


Restaurant • Chandlery Showers •Slipway Maintenance • Gas Overnight moorings


9.00–5.00 Sun 10.00–5.00 9.00–5.00 Sun 10.00–4.00


Chandlery • Gas • Showers Slipway • GRP Repair Engineering • Electrics Used Boat Sales


Chandlery • Gas • Slipway GRP & Wood • Engineering Electrics • Boat hire New • Used Boat Sales


Chandlery • Gas • 30t Crane Blacking • Painting O/N Mooring on EA pontoon Caravan site

Tue–Sun 8.30–5.00

Weekday 9.00–5.00 Sat/Sun 10.00–4.00


Chandlery • Gas Brokerage Repairs • Hoist • Slipway FF

Window & Canopy Repairs Gas • Moorings available

Tue–Sat 9.0–5.0 At Swan

Little Ouse Moorings, Junc Brandon Creek

07713 465791

Weekday 9.00–5.00 (Fri - 4.00) W/E 10–1



Dry dock • Gas Narrowboat painting Moorings available

Note: FF denotes Fame Free (non-bio) diesel fuel. At some sites, no guarantee of completely Fame Free fuel can be given due to possible cross contamination in the supply chain. The FF suppliers shown are making every effort to source and continue providing Fame Free fuel for boaters. You should check at time of purchase. Boaters are advised to carry their own hoses on-board for use at water points. At some sites a small charge is made. Please do not obstruct water points This information is believed correct at the time of going to press - February 2012. Details will inevitably change with time and you should always check with the marina for the latest information. GOBA can accept no responsibility for omissions or errors but we will be pleased to receive updates from marina operators and feedback from members.


GOBA News • Spring 2012

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. . . e t i r w s r Membe

Your page to share Great Ouse news, views and pictures with other members

Professor Hawthorne


Members’ photo galle

I enjoyed the first part of the Appleyard Lincoln story in the winter 2011 GOBA News very much. However I thought I should tell you that Professor Hawthorne was an engineer not a physicist. He died in September 2011 aged 98. The obituary notice that we prepared just recently specifically mentioned his work on “dracones” and can be read at http://www.eng. Richard J. Collet-Fenson, MA, FICM, University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering.

Visiting In planning our cruising on the Great Ouse this year, we joined GOBA to make use of your moorings and to help support your activities on the river. We enjoyed our time on the Great Ouse, and used several of your moorings. We were most appreciative of the work that GOBA does, and wish you all success in the future. If we ever make our boat’s ‘home’ on the Great Ouse, we shall certainly take an active part in GOBA.

e Photo by Tony August

Martin Walden NB Quantum Leap

Leaving a mark In my very early days at Buckden Marina, I thought the seat in the ladies’ room needed freshening up, so I gave it a coat of green paint, allowing time for it to be fully dried. Two days later a rather irate lady came up and said, “Mr Carter, I have some green paint on my bottom.” I replied “Well madam, everybody says this place leaves a mark on them.” Brian Carter GOBA Founder Member Ed: Brian also makes a very generous offer to GOBA members. His CD “A Teenager’s War” vividly describes how as a 15 year-old in 1939 he heard the announcement of war and later watched the Battle of Britain in the skies over London. As soon as he could, he joined the Royal Navy, was commissioned in 1944 and was ordered to take a landing craft across the channel for D-Day, eventually making 14 landings on the beaches. It’s a fascinating and poignant story, narrated brilliantly by Brian himself, with some very amusing anecdotes about his early boating adventures. Above all, it serves as a reminder of just how much we owe Brian’s generation and is also a unique and valuable resource for World War II studies for our children and grandchildren. Professionally produced, the CD also includes a booklet with 8 personal photos of the D-Day landings. The CD normally sells for £8.50 but Brian has offered to give one FREE (while stocks last) to any GOBA member who sends just £2 in stamps to cover postage and packing. Brian Carter is at: The Stilts, Meadow Lane, Hemingford Abbots PE28 9AR or email for further details.

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Photo by Tony Auguste

GOBA News • Spring 2012

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Cambridge Motor Boat Club As I write the days are just beginning to get longer. It was nearly daylight when I drove to work this morning but still a couple of degrees below freezing. By the time you read this the season will be underway and the days much longer. Let’s all hope for an excellent year. At Cambridge we have a full program for 2012. We started by seeing in the New Year at the club followed by a very successful Burn’s Night. About ninety members enjoyed excellent Haggis plus all the usual pageantry and, of course, a wee dram or two! After our AGM on 26th February and our Fitting Out Supper on 17th March will come the Easter Good Friday event. We have the Open weekend at the beginning of May and a Summer Event in June. Many other varied events including a Rock night and our Sports weekend, alongside some boating activity, will hopefully make it another good year at CMBC. This year CMBC is also hosting the GOBA AGM on Sunday 29th April and we extend

a warm welcome to GOBA members at our super clubhouse and grounds at Waterbeach. Steve Fell ‘Dreamweaver’

Pike and Eel Boat Club With 2011 behind us, we find ourselves covered in the white stuff and supermarket shelves full of Easter Eggs, pretty much reminiscent of this time last year. Spring is nearly upon us, which means for us fair-weather boaters the ‘closed’ season has ‘opened’ and the boating season will soon be starting. We hope that the Pike & Eel boat club members are eager to start the season and support the club by joining in the many events the committee is putting on this year. The 2012 Calendar, as in prior years, has plenty on the Agenda. Thanks to all the hard work and continued efforts put in by our committee members I think you will find there is something for everyone. We start the 2012 boating year with Dave Mole (Latest Flame) handing over the role of Commodore to Dave Lindley (Narnia), who is supported by Mike Webber in the role of Vice Commodore (plus myself of course as his ‘devoted’ wife or should that be sidekick!) Dave Mole continues on the committee in the role of Rear Commodore. While on the subject of the Committee, we welcome new members, George & Sally Chandler. Our Events calendar starts off on the weekend of ( 2nd ) 3rd & 4th of March, with a number of PEBC members going away for a long weekend to a new venue for the club, Gunton Hall, Norfolk. The Boating calendar kicks off with a combined pre-season lunch and Commodore’s Welcome on Saturday 31st March at Olivers


Lodge in St Ives, a favourite venue for our club members. The May bank holiday brings our usual trip to the edge of the River Cam, where we all moor up, Five Miles from Anywhere! This is normally a well supported event with everyone enjoying the weekend, dare I say it, especially when the sun is shining! This year we intend to do our Sunday morning dinghy trip up the Cam, rather than to Burwell. There are those among us who will not miss the weed and the swan attacks. Mind you, we may need to change the ‘master plan’ in light of the news of charges to be levied on the Cam. June brings us to our Headline event, the Regatta weekend, with the theme for this year being ‘Back to School’. We have tied this event in with the extended Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday and the fact that our friends from the Upware Boat Club will be in St. Ives that weekend, hopefully making it easy for them to join us. We look forward to the usual fun, games

and friendly competition. Over the past few months we have seen work commence on the lock at St Ives. I personally, probably like many others, am not a big fan of going through locks finding them just a necessary evil. Weird though, if the sun is shining and we have all day, tempers tend not to get frayed. Umm, perhaps there should be a law against going through locks in the wind & rain - oh happy days! However, I will be really interested to experience the upgraded St Ives facility to see if it makes my life any easier but that may just be wishful thinking on my part of course. I am sure each Club has a packed schedule planned for 2012, so I wish everyone a good season and look forward to catching up with you all during the course of the year. Julia Lindley Assistant Secretary

Pike and Eel Boat Club – Calendar of Events Summer 2012 May 5th – 7th

Cruise to Upware including Dinghy Trip – River Cam

June 1st

Commodores Cocktail Party-Chalet Bar (Blazer & Tie Function)

June 2nd & 3rd

PEBC Regatta Weekend - Back to School Theme

July 21st

Fishing Competition / Social & Barn Dance

August 18th

Hemingford Weekend, BBQ & Dinghy Trip

September 8th & 9th

Cruise to Ely

GOBA News • Spring 2012

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The Seamaster Club – Fens & Great Ouse With Spring surely being not far off the horizon, we will all be waiting for warm weather for first outings or “back in the water” days and many days out throughout the coming year. Our last event in 2011 was the Seamaster Christmas meal held at the end of November at the Riverview Inn at Earith, where our members enjoyed a lovely evening of food, wine, good company and much laughter (and the breakfasts were very filling according to the members who stayed overnight). Our first event this year is a pre-season Luncheon to be held at The Wheatsheaf, Tempsford on Sunday 25th March; menu choices have already been sent out to members and, as usual, a good response is expected. Our first afloat rally will be held over the weekend of the 9th & 10th June at the GOBA moorings adjacent to The Lazy Otter. Following this will be our annual garden party in the grounds of members Sylvie & Mike Chase’s home on the banks of the Great Ouse at Little Paxton. Upon their return from “wintering” in New Zealand, Sylvie and Mike will be able to supply a convenient date for this much anticipated and enjoyed event and I will relay details when available. Our second afloat rally will take place later in the summer (August/September); venue and date tba. Following this we will again host a pre-Christmas meal for everyone to wind up the 2012 boating year – date and venue tba.


As you will see, the Seamaster Club is a very sociable organisation and any Seamaster owners who have not yet joined us would be made very welcome at any of our events. Please come and join us. The Seamaster Club was formed in 1992 for owners of Seamaster boats. The principal aim of the Club is to help owners enjoy their Seamaster boats and to this end Christmas at the Riverview Inn. they can provide advice able to get 10% discount on boat insurance with and assistance to owners with problems. The Haven Knox-Johnston. More details are available Club can answer technical queries, advise d-i-y to members after joining the Club. If you would owners on maintenance and repair of their like further information or would like to consider boats, through the technical support they have becoming a member of the Seamaster Club then available which also includes boat reports please contact Brian Rowland, Membership for all Seamaster models dating from 1953 to Secretary tel: 01689 824531 email: brian@ 1981 and information on engines, gearbox and Further information is also wiring diagrams, etc. Members also receive available from the Seamaster website: http:// regular copies of the Seamaster magazine which includes useful information and data for Seamaster owners. It also encourages members I hope you will all enjoy another lovely season. to meet each other and exchange experiences. Throughout the UK the Seamaster Club is split Sandra Woodham into regions. Among the many benefits of Area Co-ordinator joining the Seamaster Club, members will also be

Bedford Boat Club The new year is now with us so our thoughts once again turn towards the upcoming season. How long it seems since the end of last summer! 2012 will once again see the Bedford River Festival, an event always keenly anticipated at BBC and this year will be no exception. The latter part of last season, naturally, saw the Laying Up Supper which as usual was well attended and the food was as good as ever! This is the prize giving event of the year and the secrets were as well kept as usual! Jan and Dave Bouttell walked off with the Boat Handling trophy whist the Treasure Hunt version went to Jackie and Steve Browning. The Fishing Competitions were split with the largest catch going to Gary Pugh and the biggest fish trophy to Bryan Adams. Not being a fisherman, I do not feel qualified to relay to you or comment on some of the tactics allegedly adopted on this day but I’m sure most know that there are no prisoners taken in fishing matches - unless you count those that wind up in the keep net! That population was, as always, quite small. The Commodore’s Rose Bowl was awarded

to Tony Pugh for his efforts around the club throughout the year. On November 26th came the annual Dinner Dance, as usual at the Addison Centre in Kempston. This, as many will know, is one of the highlights of the BBC year and this year was no exception. The meal was excellent as usual and despite having to find a replacement band at very short notice because of illness, the dancing went on. The traditional entertainment by members to promote the raffle ticket sales was of the usual high standard. This year the theme was a line dance which was well received by all. Christmas approached and this was marked by the fancy dress party in the clubhouse on December 17th when a splendid buffet was enjoyed by many of the members and a few guests. The winter “closed” season is always a sad time of the year at any club. The grounds are never at their best; there are fewer people around the club grounds and little or no boating activity. It’s a time to look forward to a new boating season once the spring

approaches. This year the club was further saddened by the passing of Gwen Lain. Gwen was, for many years, a keen and active member of the club and is deeply missed. One indication that a new season is on the way at BBC is the AGM at the end of January, this year on the 29th. It was the biennial committee election year. On this occasion there were a number of changes to the line up. Principally we have a new Commodore, President and Vice Commodore in the persons of Dave Bouttell, Graham Lincoln and Paul How. Congratulations to all of them on their elections. Some others remained, some in new roles and some in the same posts. We were also fortunate to recruit some “new blood” onto the committee too. We wish the new committee well and pass on thanks for their efforts to those who stood down. As always, do keep an eye on our web site at: John Hodgson 01234 344884

GOBA News • Spring 2012

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This winter, so far, has been very mild compared to the last two, which is very good for all our boats. But as I write this article, the weather forecast is saying snow is on its way. The winter had a sting in its tail for us after all. The club’s Laying Up Supper is our formal evening where the ladies get all dressed up and the gentlemen wear their jackets. The meal, prepared for the second year running by Sue & Roger, was excellent. Each year the number of bookings for this social has increased thanks to the great meals provided by our chefs. The evening was a great success and, as we had held more events through the year, there were more trophies to present to our members. Our Christmas dinners at Denver are very special; the standards of catering over the years have been very high even with just a four-ring

Denver Cruising Club and single oven cooker. For this year’s dinner we had both a new chef to cook the main meal and our new range cooker. Chef Brian had been ‘volunteered’ for the task in his absence by his wife. He made such a good job, we think he should do it again this year. To round off, the Christmas puddings and trifles were also excellent. John & Elaine had surpassed themselves, once again. For the New Year’s Eve Social the forecast was not too good, with everyone saying that it would snow. Unfortunately, many of the members were taken down with the winter cold bugs. The evening still went ahead but with just a small group of members seeing in the New Year. When I have been talking to our members at the moorings they have been saying spring is just around the corner and we should be getting ready for our new boating season. There are canopies

to repair from the wind damage and we must carry out all those other jobs which should have been done last year! We are all beavering away in the back ground, looking forward to a good 2012 boating season. Our club’s new season of events starts with a Valentine Supper on the 11th February. The club’s Social Secretary, Sue Heard, has set the menu and made all the arrangements. All we need is good weather, so our members can arrive safe and sound, to have another enjoyable evening. If you are passing the Denver Cruising Club this year, please call in. You will be made most welcome. Carol Warburton ‘Captain Simon’

Ouse Valley River Club Following our Annual General Meeting in November, we have a couple of new faces on our Committee for 2012 plus a new member of the social team and a new Bar Chairman (well done, Danny!) There were seven nominations for four places on the general committee so the competition was tough but it’s encouraging to see this level of interest in the running of the club. In addition, our Flag Officers have all moved up after two years in their roles so we have a new Commodore, Vice Commodore and Rear Commodore. I wish Dave, Brian and Dean all the very best in their endeavours this year. At the meeting, our members made one or two suggestions for projects to improve the club so the new committee has had to hit the ground running. They are working well together with the aim of reporting back to members at our Open Cruiser Meeting in March. That is our informal

general meeting where we kick off the boating season and run through our plans for the year. I am pleased to say that such meetings are always well attended and with our growing membership I fully expect the clubhouse to be full. I was sad to learn of the death of Sid Merry, the last Eel Man of the Great Ouse and one of the true characters on our river. I remember speaking to Sid several years ago and even at that time he had been working the river for over fifty years. On behalf of all members I have sent Shirley Merry our condolences and very best wishes. We have just enjoyed our St Valentines social evening. The clubhouse was at capacity and even though members had to brave well below freezing conditions the social team did a splendid job of keeping us fed and entertained. It was the first real opportunity to catch up with everyone this year but before you know it, we will be

opening our season. The slipway is fully booked through March, April and May so there are plenty of boating members poised with their brushes, rollers and polish. Personally, having made the decision to install a shiny new water tank, I have more than cosmetics to think about. Given that the tank on an Ocean 30 is located in the keel beneath the cabin sole, I am starting to think it would have been easier to go in from underneath! As always, we hope to see many of you as visitors to the Ouse Valley River Club at St Neots this year. However you spend your boating time this summer, stay safe. Martin Wilcox ‘Moonshine’

Upware Boat Club Our last year’s boating session came to a close with our annual AGM at the Five Miles at Upware, which was the birthplace of our club 26 years earlier. As usual the meeting was well attended and business was kept short. We had a couple of big hampers to raffle full of Christmas goodies and made up of donations kindly given by members. After the meeting we had our usual Christmas lunch in the restaurant and then we all exchanged cards and wished each other a ‘Merry Christmas’ knowing that the next time most of us would meet would be on our Winter Cruise in February 2012. For the second year running the UBC membership decided that Potters was where they wanted to go for our annual Winter Cruise. The theme was ‘Best of British’ which is in keeping with


the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Olympics. We all enjoyed an excellent weekend consisting of a traditional street party and the Potters Olympics which I might add was fixed. (Five Potters’ staff against approximately thirty guests and somehow they managed to win!) The food and entertainment was excellent and the staff were very polite and helpful. We held our own mini tournaments consisting of Ten Pin Bowling / Rifle Shooting and Archery. The snow was falling during the weekend which didn’t bother us at all until it was time to go home. We have a jam-packed exciting year of events on the river for 2012, starting with the Commodore’s Welcome on Easter weekend in Ely. It will be interesting to see the outcome of

Best of British.

the new proposed river licensing fees and how it affects us all. We look forward to catching up with you on the river, so keep your eyes open for the UBC flags “we are everywhere” and a very interesting article on our club’s history planned for the next edition of GOBA News. By the way, the UBC website is having a face-lift so please check it out from time to time. Terence Read, Commodore Sayonara

GOBA News • Spring 2012

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GOBA Spring scamp.indd 22

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GOBA News • Spring 2012

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GOBA News • Spring 2012

GOBA Spring scamp.indd 24


�������������������������� GOBA NEWS (WINTER 2011) 29 �������������������������� 22/03/2012 10:31


All you could want 92 acres of unspoilt, tranquil countryside Extensive cruising options 240 berths with new narrowboat moorings Secure site Full boatyard services First class facilities – wifi access, gym, pool, café & bar Just 20 minutes from Cambridge

GRP, Wood

River Great Ouse

and fitted Craft up to nal Marine e at your

For more information T: 01480 812660

28 GOBA NEWS (WINTER 2011) GOBA News • Spring 2012


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22/03/2012 10:31

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INSTRUCTION TO YOUR BANK ������������� � Ouse Boating Association Great Ltd ���������������������������� ��������� �������� OR BUILDING SOCIETY TO PAY PO BOX 244 ����������������������������������������������������� ���������������� BY DIRECT DEBIT Huntingdon ���������������������������������������������������������������������� Cambs Instruction to your Bank or Building Society PE29 6FE Please pay Great Ouse Boating Association Ltd Direct Debits from the

Name(s) of Account Holder(s)

account detailed in this instruction subject to the safeguards assured by the �������������� Direct Debit Guarantee.

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�������� I understand that this instruction may remain with Great Ouse Boating Association Ltd and, if so, details will be passed electronically to my ����������������������������������������������������� Bank/Building Society account number Bank/Building Society.


���������������������������������������������������������������������� Originators Identification Number

Branch Sort Code �

4 1 4 2 5 7 �������������� The Boathaven, Low Road, St. Ives, Cambs, PE27 5ET. Tel: 01480 494040

� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � �������������� ��

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Name and full postal address of your Bank/Building Society To The Manager Bank/ Building Society Address

�� ���� ���� � �����������

Reference Number.

Your membership number



� � �� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � �

The Boathaven, Low Road, St. Ives, Cambs, PE27 5ET. Tel: 01480 494040 Date Postcode

w w w. j on e s bo at ya rd.c o.u k

The Great Ouse Boating Association subscribes to the Direct Debit Guarantee scheme � �� ���� ���� � �����������

� � � � � � � �St.�Ives, �� � � PE27 � �5ET. � �Tel: �� � �494040 �� Cambs, 01480

26 30 GOBA News • Spring 2012 GOBA NEWS (WINTER The Boathaven, Low2011) Road,

w w w. j o n e s bo at ya rd.c o.u k

GOBA Spring scamp.indd 26

22/03/2012 10:31

Seamaster 28 from £52,000

Standard specification; Hot and cold water, full galley facilities, shower, cassette or sea toilet, 240V shorepower, stereo CD, folding windscreen, canopy. 6 + 2 berths.

Viking 20 From £18,995

Viking 24 From £29,495

Full Viking and Seamaster range available. Starting at £17,995. Prices correct as of 1/1/12 For further information and viewings contact;

Riverside Marine and Leisure Ltd

Pike and Eel Marina, Overcote Lane, Needingworth, St Ives, Cambridgeshire PE27 4TW.

Tel: 01480 468666 Email:

GOBA News • Spring 2012


GOBA NEWS (WINTER 2011) 31 GOBA Spring scamp.indd 27

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Kings Lynn Bouys

Moorings – conditions of use

• • •

The use of GOBA moorings is free to members and hirers of craft owned by members of GOBA There is a maximum stay of 48 hour. Boats take priority over fishing, for which you need a licence. Moor as close as possible to other boats and close up gaps if necessary. Help fellow members to find space or raft onto your boat at busy times. Keep children and animals under proper control. There are often farm animals where moorings are on fields Do not light ground fires. Pick up litter and dog mess. Do not tie ropes to GOBA mooring signs. Members are reminded that the use of GOBA moorings is at ‘own risk’ and you are advised to have third-party liability insurance.

• • • • •


12 7



10 10







1 5

1 3

1 2 3


3 2



St Ives


10 12







Denver Sluice 23


Downham Market






Stoke Ferry


River Wissey Hundred Foot Drain

25 26 24



Little Ouse (Brandon Creek) 22

22 21 18


Ely 9 14







Old West River





Judes Ferry

Wicken Lode 11 19


Burwell Lode

Reach Lode





River Lark



River Cam








24 23







GOBA Moorings

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

L: 97ft 5in W: 10ft 9in D: 3ft 7in H: 6ft 8in L: 93ft 6in W: 10ft 3in D: 4ft 11in H: 9ft 0in L: 96ft 9in W: 13ft 11in D: 3ft11in H: 14ft 1in L: 96ft 9in W: 13ft 1in D: 4ft 3in H: 13ft 3”in L: 96ft 9in W: 13ft 1in D: 3ft 11in H: 14ft 9in L: 85ft 4in W: 13ft 1in D: 3ft 9in H: 8ft 10in L: 103ft 4in W: 10ft 9in D: 5ft 2in H: 8ft 10in L: 107ft 11in W: 10ft 9in D: 3ft 5in H: 12ft 3in L: 100ft W: 11ft 1in D: 3ft 11in H: 8ft 2in L: 104ft W: 11ft 1in D: 4ft 10in H: 9ft 2in L: 100ft W: 13ft 1in D: 3ft 5in H: 9ft 6in L: 90ft 3in W: 11ft 11in D: 4ft 11in H: 9ft L: 91ft 10in W: 11ft 11in D: 4ft 11in H: 9ft L: 91ft 10in W: 12ft 7in D: 4ft 11in H: 9ft L:101ft W: 13ft 1in D: 4ft 7in H: 9ft 10in L: 100ft W: 13ft 1in D: 4ft 7” H: 11ft 1in L: 61ft 3in W: 14ft 1in D: 4ft 2in L: 97ft 7in W: 14ft 7in D: 4ft 11in L: 104ft 9in W: 14ft 1in D: 3ft 9in L: 104ft 9in W: 9ft 8in D: 4ft 5in L: 87ft 9in W: 14ft 9in D: 3ft 2in L: 40ft 6in W: 12ft 1in D: 4ft 5in L: 96ft 7in W: 17ft 7in D: 6ft 6in L: 98ft 4in W: 15ft 0in D: 6ft 5in H: 9ft 0in L: 62ft 5 in W:12ft 6in

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Bedford Cardington Castle Mills Willington Barford Roxton Eaton Socon St Neots Offord Brampton Godmanchester Houghton Hemingford St Ives Brownshill Hermitage Upware Bottisham Baits Bite Jesus Green Isleham Brandon Denver Relief Channel Salters Lode

33 Relief Channel


Midde Level


St Neots





Tidal Ouse

Fenlake Meadow Priory Marina (One night’s free mooring) Goldington Great Barford Little Paxton Pits Offord Mailers Meadow Brampton Hemingford Noble’s Field Ferryboat One Pound Pike & Eel Brownshill Aldreth Drain Lazy Otter Stretham Wicken Fen Reach Lode Waterbeach Railway Bridge Stop Lock Gentle’s Hole Santon Downham Whittington

EA Moorings 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Sovereign Quay Old Mills Great Barford Eaton Socon Offord Godmanchester Houghton The Dolphin – St Ives Earith Hermitage Reach Lode Burwell Hundred Acre Goldsmere Little Thetford Queen Adelaide Diamond 44 Toms Hole Farm Prickwillow Mile End Farm Sandhills – Littleport Black Horse – Littleport Brandon Creek Station Road – Littleport The Ship Little Ouse Brandon Brandon Town Windmill Denver Complex SIlt Fen Farm Hilgay Downham Market Stowbridge Wiggenhall St Mary Fidwell Fen

Useful Contacts General Secretary and general enquiries Alistair Reid – 01480 493582; 15 Willow Green, Needingworth, Huntingdon, Cambs PE27 4SW Membership and Treasury Mike Mackay – 01366 501365; Mooring – upstream from St Ives Stuart Turvey – 01234 303589; Mooring – downstream from St Ives Roy Wood – 01353 663585; GOBA News Editor David Mercer, 01480 469046;

Publicity Beverley Jenisis – 01234 296698; Bulletins John Hodgson – 01234 344884: Navigation problems and EA Liaison Alistair Reid – 01480 493582; River situation EA at Brampton – 08708 506506 Floodline – 0845 9881188 Cambridgeshire Boat Watch 0345 456 456 4

GOBA News is published by the Great Ouse Boating Association Ltd, which is registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act in the United Kingdom. Number 22120R. GOBA is run entirely by a committee of seasoned boaters, who volunteer their free-time for the benefit of the Great Ouse boating community. Opinions and statements of contributors and endorsement of advertisers published in GOBA News are not necessarily supported by GOBA. Reproduction in whole or part is strictly prohibited. GOBA is a registered data user. Application forms for membership can be obtained at most marinas on the Great Ouse; from our website –; by post – GOBA, PO Box 244, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE29 6FE or by email –

GOBA Spring scamp.indd 28

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GOBA News Spring 2012  

Boating magazine produced for members of the Great Ouse Boating Association

GOBA News Spring 2012  

Boating magazine produced for members of the Great Ouse Boating Association