Here is an email I sent to Steven Holder, CRT solicitor, on 15th September (2014).
We have to come to an agreement over compensation due to me for the destruction of my boat. You can repair it and return it to me but I doubt that that is feasible. The boat would need a lot of work as patching up damage to the bottom of a boat that has considerable wear is not practicable as the old planks would dry out and the bottom would also need re-caulking. A new bottom would be needed and then cleaning out, re-lining and refitting.
Then, of course, you have stated that I have to remove the boat from CRT water. What am I supposed to do with it?
You 'seized' my boat unreasonably and unlawfully, transported it unnecessarily and unreasonably and damaged it in the process. You claimed an amount of money to cover the cost of this unlawful and unreasonable action. Creating a 'debt' where there was none, with VAT added twice.
You refused to negotiate how I get my boat back, didn't tell me it had sunk, although, I'm sure you were aware of it. You then did not respond to my emails, asking for an acknowledgement that it had sunk, until I said I had passed the details to a solicitor.
You then said I have to pay you the, so-called, 'debt' to get back my damaged and sunken boat which is 125 miles away.
I have no doubt whatsoever that the attack on me is malicious and nothing was going to stop you taking my boat in such a way that I could not get it back. There is plenty of evidence of this from the perversion of the court proceedings plus events prior to the court action and the circumstances around the seizure of my boat.
This is all about to be exposed.
At the very least you owe me the cost of a replacement historic boat. I have had legal advice and I am assured that that is your obligation. Or are you prepared to spend more public money pursuing your malicious and unlawful attack.
A reply from Steven Holder.
Your latest email contains the same allegations which, for the same reasons previously explained to you by my colleagues and I, are denied in their entirety. A suggestion you are owed compensation is similarly unfounded.
Another case, against Tony Dunkley, has been dropped. It was a case concerning the required movement of boaters who have a home mooring. It has been generally accepted that if you have a home mooring you do not suffer from the absurd and punitive rules for those without a home mooring.
The Judge declared, in the case against me, that if I had a home mooring I could moor as I chose and need never use the home mooring. He said that was a way I could remain on the waterways and CRT had to give me my licence back. He made them agree to this. They, of course, were not going to allow me to get away with that as they were determined to steal my boat and make me homeless. It was, as I say, a malicious and personal attack.
They therefore looked for someone whose mooring and movement practices could be challenged in court. They pursued someone in the Wigan area, usual victim profile- 60 to 70 years old - forcing him to move on to the Bridgewater Canal (different authority). They probably went after a few others and are left with the one who is prepared to challenge them, Tony Dunkley - 70 years+.
They, then, came and took my boat anyway.
Information from myself and others was used by Tony to create a defence. It was discovered that, yet again, they had wrongly used a Part 8 procedure to mislead the court.
In challenging the privileged position of those with a home mooring CRT were, of course, upsetting those who support their enforcement and persecution against those without a home mooring who are abused by the unlawful rules of 'continuous cruising'. They, therefore, met with a lot of opposition from their allies, among whom are several solicitors and barristers.
They dropped the case.
I had had my boat taken anyway so was no longer as much of a problem. I, of course, as I challenged the unlawful rules of 'continuous cruising' and the abuse of innocent and vulnerable people, did not get the same support. Why should some boaters, because they have a home mooring which they require as they don't live on their boat - their choice - be subject to different rules to others who don't need a home mooring and which, if available, are illegal.
Some see the case as a victory. It is up to a point. The point is no-one should be subject to absurd, punitive and unworkable rules, determining where they go and what they do with their 'licenced' boat', which bear no relation to the reality of being on/living on a boat. Whether or not they have a 'home mooring' is irrelevant. You have a mooring, if available, because you need one. 'They' - CRT, the Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs, the Association of Pleasure Craft Operators (hire boats), et al - want you to pay for a mooring whether you have one or not. (Stated objective of AWCC and aim of a petition by APCO).
The absurd rules of 'continuous cruising' are the 'punishment' for not 'complying'.
CRT's more recent, since 2007, use of the CC rules, with increased 'enforcement' (harassment), is aimed at driving boats into marinas to encourage marina development, prior to BWML taking over all of them, (development by acquisition being their stated intent). Profit from BWML marinas rents, i.e. your mooring fees, does not go to the maintenance of the waterways. BWML is a private subsidiary of CRT.
All this is down to Sally Ash. Years of interference with people's lives and mind numbing, tedious, argument and the destruction of a 'way of life', and of 'goodwill' and 'community' on the waterways, which was always spoken of in relation to 'living on a boat'. Not any more. We now have division, hatred and persecution in the name of a 'remit to raise revenue'. All they want is 'rent'. We have to fit into their 'property portfolio'. We are factors in an economic equation. We might as well be livestock raised for slaughter.
Some see a victory in the 'empowerment of an incompetent, unimaginative woman of severely limited perception in a position of authority over something she knows nothing about and over people she doesn't like the look of. Another 'victory' for those who think women being in positions of authority is an end in itself, regardless of the consequences for the rest of us, particularly men who challenge them.
The case should never have been brought in the first place and people were wrongly threatened and harassed. It can be extremely distressing to be subjected to this kind of trumped up legal action. Fortunately Tony Dunkley is not someone to be intimidated. He has been on the waterways for 58 years and is more than a match for the lily livered, bully boy, cowards who do the dirty work for CRT.
(Also more than a match for the opinionated clique who hang out on the Canalworld Forum who see themselves as the arbiters of all canal related issues and snipe at anyone who has anything to say that counters their narrow view where , it seems, that anyone who doesn't have a 'mooring' is a 'freeloader' or 'pisstaker').
After dropping the case against Tony CRT admitted that they had put false evidence into the court. They did the same in my case, and lied in court, and forged a map in another case (Nigel Moore). They also lie in their responses, when they actually respond, to Freedom of Information requests. We could, and should, get together and pursue a claim against CRT, but as others seem to have a certain agenda and I don't, and I am more outspoken against CRT, I am a bit of a 'persona non grata'. All an inevitable part of the process which I include in my analysis of 'how they get away with it'.
Pearl is for sale on a brokerage website. The photograph used was taken on the day they stole my boat. The two people in the photo are the bailiffs.
You can see that the boat was in a good condition, painted and sign written, (therefore, not a 'traveller' boat as they are neither painted nor sign written. Not part of the 'culture'.). What Pearl has become now is a damaged and sunken boat (not mentioned in the sales information) thanks to the malicious and unlawful intervention of the Canal and River Trust - who 'care about historic boats' (see emails from Steven Holder and Paul Griffin).
I have it on good authority that Pearl cannot be moved by water due to the damage and is beyond economical repair. I could have kept Pearl going for years. It was in a poor state 24 years ago. I rebuilt it and lived on it all over the place ever since and it has never sunk.
I hope those of you reading this are realising what a despicable organisation CRT are. Don't give them any 'donations'. Don't think of living on a boat, or living in a marina (unlawful and not cheap and with restrictions and nothing to do with what is meant by the idea of 'living on a boat'). The days of living on a boat as a way of life on a low income as a refuge from a world you have tired of, are gone thanks to BW/CRT, boat clubs and canal societies and their 'friend' Sally Ash. Add to that hireboat companies and many of those with boats, for leisure use, in marinas.
The canals are not maintained, the locks are dangerous, the towpath vegetation is not cut - so you can't get off your boat and 'liveaboards' are pariahs who are spied upon and pursued like criminals by CRT and 'volunteers' ( many from boat clubs but also actively recruited 'dog walkers). Trust me, you won't believe what it's like.
Let it all fall apart or fight to get rid of those who have destroyed the heritage and the 'way of life'. They should be removed from office and prosecuted or, in any other way violated and suppressed like they do to me and others. (There are not many cases like mine only because people give up at an early stage in the process as they know they can't win. I know several who have had to leave the waterways (actually there are hundreds if not thousands) as a result of the stress and uncertainty inflicted upon us by arbitrary rules, and their arbitrary enforcement, by ignorant bullying individuals whose remit is to harass and threaten people whose way of life they neither understand or appreciate. Lies, false accusations and entrapment are all encouraged in the pursuit of one who dares to challenge them. (July 2016. Witness evidence of two of them - an 'enforcement officer' and 'enforcement supervisor' is under the heading 'Cogs in the Machine'. The article on court transcripts is also interesting).
I carried on the fight so I could tell the story and expose what they do. Thousands of people are affected by this abuse.). Whether anyone takes any notice or not is up to them.
(If I, occasionally, sound like I'm 'ranting' that's because I'm 'ranting'. Nothing wrong with that. It's perfectly reasonable and justifiable - and unavoidable).
I have submitted a Freedom of Information Request on the What do they Know website about the use of Part 8 procedure. It has not been satisfactorily answered and is awaiting an internal review. It doesn't look like, as is usual, they are intending to answer it. I will copy it here.
From: geoff mayers
15 July 2014
Dear Canal & River Trust,
Is it common practice for injunction proceedings to be arranged
under 'Part 8' procedure? This is for a hearing where there is no
dispute of facts and no defence is to be filed. An 'Acknowledgement
of Service' form has to be included in the papers served to the
defendant which has to be submitted to the court within 14 days.
BW/CRT have wrongly served these papers with a view to misleading
the defendant and misleading the court when no agreement has been
reached regarding a 'no defence' response and not enclosing the
'Acknowledgement of Service' form.
This is a corrupt practice and an abuse of process. How many court
proceedings have been initiated in this way?
A defendant misled in this way would find he cannot speak at the
hearing and can offer no defence.
Dear Mr Mayers,
Thank you for your e-mail.
However, having read its contents several time I am still unclear about what information you have requested. You may find it helpful to read the guidance published by the information commissioner on their website here: http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public/officia...
It is designed to assist individuals in making their request for information and includes a useful table of 'Do's and 'Don't's for you to bear in mind when phrasing your request to us.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
Dear Information Request,
How many court cases for an injunction to remove someone's
boat/home from the waterways have been initiated using a Part 8
procedure, which claims that the case is not disputed?
In how many of these have the required documents not been served
requiring a submission to the court within 14 days if there is a
In how many of these cases has the defendant not been informed at
all of the court action?
Either you, or Shoosmiths, will have a record of this.
I hope this is clearer. I would not want to be in breach of
Dear Mr Mayers,
Thank you for clarifying your request for information.
We have now considered your request for:
1. How many court cases for an injunction to remove someone's boat/home from the waterways have been initiated using a Part 8 procedure, which claims that the case is not disputed?
2. In how many of these have the required documents not been served requiring a submission to the court within 14 days if there is a defence?
3. In how many of these cases has the defendant not been informed at all of the court action?
I am writing to let you know that Canal & River Trust does not hold the information you have requested.
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
Dear Information Request,
So you don't keep important records relating to your use of the
legal process to seize people's boats and make them homeless.
Neither do your, retained, solicitors. That seems very strange,
(actually it's a lie - yet another one) given that you go to great
lengths, and expense, to keep inaccurate records of the boat
movements of all people on the waterways for no good reason other
than to mislead the court in any future court case. You employ boat
checkers and enforcement officers and recruit, so-called,
volunteers from amongst those who think that other people's use of
boats is somehow detrimental to their own use, boat clubs etc., but
you don't have any records of the court process.
There is no such thing as a court action with no accompanying
records. You are lying. You should consider your position and your
I know its common practice to refuse to answer my questions but I
am not the only interested party. Nigel Moore has expressed an
interest and a concern for your integrity. Thank you, Nigel.
Shall we have an internal review , just out of interest ?
And for my records.
I think so. I request an internal review because you are not
providing information that you hold, or is held by your agents, and
is of great importance, and interest, to those who expect
accountability from organisations engaged in enforcement action
against individuals and are a public body, and in your case, also a