Only mad dogs and Englishmen

…go out in the midday sun, allegedly. Well, I’m sorry, but I have to disagree because it seems that almost everyone in England and Wales made their way to one of our Canals and Rivers last weekend to enjoy the glorious weather and then kindly decided to call or e-mail us about their visit. We do love to hear about the great fun you’re all having whilst we’re stuck here in the office, honestly.

Okay, so it’s reasonably unlikely that literally everyone was there and I’m probably being a little dramatic (not for the first time in my life, I’m sure) but we were absolutely run off our feet on Monday, Tuesday and again today.  But, you know what they say, “the Devil makes work for Idle hands”…so we’re all pretty safe in that respect.

What we have seen an increase in are some of the more unusual, and sometimes very wacky, enquiries.  We do love these, they brighten up our day no end.  So, we wanted to tell you about few of them just so that you can share in our enjoyment.  Here goes:

  • Zorbing ball – one individual wanted to use this mode of transport to commute to work, he assured us that there were no locks to navigate.  Have you ever tried Zorbing?  If you have then you’ll understand why it must be near impossible to do a full day’s work after a five mile commute in one of these airless, plastic, floating ‘hamster wheel’ balls.  
  • Can dog poo be discarded in the canal?  After all the ducks poo in there anyway.  Errr, no.  Absolutely not!
  • Are we the right people to call about licensing a caravan.  Hmm, does it float?!
  • One individual wondered whether it would it be possible for us to brick up the section of canal at the end of their garden in order to create a pond.  We’re not often stuck for words but this one definitely had us.
  • What type of licence is required for a bathtub, oar powered not engine powered, of course.  We passed this one over to our colleagues in the Health and Safety team, thankfully.  In fact, in a similar vein we’ve also been asked about licences for snorkelling and rubber rings (as person-transporting craft, obviously).

Even the wildlife was conspiring against us at times.  We had cows wandering loose around the Montgomery Canal, ducklings stuck in a lock on the Mon & Brec, some very messy pigeons nested in a bridge on the Leeds Liverpool (taking aim at unsuspecting walkers) and just Geese in general – these seem to be the most troublesome of all our birdlife!

Our colleagues in the boat licensing team took part in the Leeds Waterfront Festival Dragonboat race…and emerged victorious.  We’re ever so proud of them and understand that their many minutes of training and strict pre-race diet of cheeseburgers secured this victory, now that’s some proper teamwork!  Though they might not thank us for sharing their photo…

Last date edited: 10 July 2013

About this blog

Sarina Young

Sarina joined us in 2008 as our customer services co-ordinator. Among other things, she manages our national customer service team, complaints procedure and requests for information made to the Trust. She says that the most important thing to her is to be able to go home and feel as though she’s achieved something, however small that might be. Her job is hugely satisfying, widely varied, full of deadlines, immensely interesting, sometimes challenging and no day is ever the same, although some are surprisingly familiar!  

See more blogs from this author