NEW PARLIAMENTARY HEAD
Chris White, Conservative MP for Warwick & Leamington (including Hatton Locks on the Grand Union) has been appointed to chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Waterways. He takes over from former Waterways Minister Richard Benyon, who continues as a vice-chair. The group has a new mission statement: “To consider matters relating to navigable (and formerly navigable) rivers, canals, estuaries and lakes in the UK; including the potential, social, economic and cultural impact of the regeneration of those waterways and extension of the system”.
‘WATER CABBIE’ RETIRES
One of the founding Spalding Water Taxi pilots, Ron Pannell, has retired after 12 years on the River Welland. Operations manager Anthony Grunwell said: “Over the 12 years Ron has met and carried many local people and visitors, sharing his wealth of knowledge of local history, wildlife and humour.” Ron isn’t leaving the water – he’ll spend more time with his wife on their narrowboat travelling the canals.
STIMPSON QUITS TOWERGATE
Specialist inland waterways insurance broker Michael Stimpson has left Towergate Insurance, 16 years after his company Michael Stimpson & Associates became part of Towergate’s predecessor Mardon Insurance Brokers. He said “I can now take up one of the many offers by other insurance providers that keep coming in and go forward”.
DON’T HIDE YOUR NUMBER
The Canal & River Trust has issued a reminder to boaters winterising their craft that if they fit tarpaulins they should ensure that the craft’s index number is still visible.
TO MARKET, TO MARKET...
A bi-monthly farmers’ market has been launched by Whaley Bridge Canal Group at the terminus of the Peak Forest Canal. It forms the next stage of plans to rejuvenate the basin and historic transshipment shed.