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Welton Hythe. Goodbye and Thanks for the Fish

Posted by PentargonSpringer on September 9, 2012 at 9:55 AM

It has been so much pleasure meeting all you guys and gals and sharing experiences. This applies equally to staff, tenants, gongoozlers and visitors. You will not be seeing me mooring at Welton Hythe any more and this is regrettable. It was my first choice of marina (even before I bought Pentargon) and with great regret I had to blow the management into the reeds last Saturday. I totally lost confidence in their ability to ensure security for my possessions when a valuable and irreplacable piece of electronic equipment (locked by me into the toilets at 10oc on Friday night with my BW key) was found to be missing at 8am on Saturday from a now UNLOCKED toilet.

Management suggested that all moorers and all staff members (even fishermen off t'cut) have access to the toilets via BW key and by implication tarred everybody as potential thieves. The much vaunted 'security' could be breached by any of my fellow moorers or any of the marina staff; this was the view of management and was TOTALLY out of step with my view of the users and staff as I knew them. There were NO moorers on-site overnight Friday, apart from myself. The only staff around arrived after 8am and assured me they had neither seen the device nor been near the toilet. I was left with no alternative but to go to the office (at 9am) and advise that I intended to proceed to Daventry Police Station to report the device as STOLEN. When it was suggested that I might delay reporting until they had a chance to 'talk to people' I gave them til 1oc to 'find' the device, while already knowing full well what had happened to it. Life is a game and if others want to play games I always have a ball ready to bounce. To while away the  hours I engaged in close-quarter manoeuvring within and outside the marina and up t'cut towards the A5.

Returning at 1230 I went to the office carrying my special AEG lamp with it's missing battery and showed them, carved into the lamp my house number and post code back in Essex. The charger was similarly identifiable and I told them so. They wanted to know why I had not sought permission to leave something in the toilet and that  was when I knew the smell I had suspected was a rodent was indeed a rat. I'd come down from Yelvertoft through Crick tunnel on the previous evening, I was by Watford Gap about 9pm letting myself down the stairs and at 10pm it was so quiet in Welton Hythe marina that no-one knew I'd returned. The thought of even considering knocking someone up to get  'permission'  to plug a lamp battery into an electric socket in a lockable toilet was beyond hilarious.

At the that point two things happened which changed the whole tone. It was suggested that 'maybe someone had removed the charger for safety because it had been placed on the water heater' and it was also suggested that there was 'some concern that I was staying on my boat for long periods'. It did not take a Sherlock Holmes to deduce that only the person who removed the charger would have known it had indeed been left in such an unusual position but I said nothing.

I was more shocked at the comment about staying 'on-board'.

I thought being able to stay on board for indeterminate periods was an integral part of having a mooring there. My home is over 120 miles away in Essex. The two reasons I was 'staying on board' was to complete internal adaptions and get the boat through it's Safety Cert without getting ripped off by bunglers and wide boys. The awful weather had slowed me down enormously in the achievement of both objectives. I was also 'accused' of plugging in devices in the toilet previously. Guilty: A rechargable toothbrush and a shaver. Did I mention that Pentargon is a 40yo Springer with no shore power or 230VAC inverter? Did I mention that it will not have either of these facilities, not ever. Not while I own it.

It's a 40 yo Springer FFS. Well it will be 40 sometime in 2013.

The toilet is a facility of the marina, which is why we all have (BW) keys. I pay £1500pa to moor and use what facilities are provided. I also pay CaRT over £750pa for a licence to float on the water. We won't mention why a standard three-pin electric socket is fitted to the wall of the toilet in the first place, but at other facilities accessable by BW key I have used what I found there to my advantage and apologise to no-one for that. At Hillmorton,  I have dried my wellies overnight on their wall heater. At Braunston, I've used the toilet and washed my hands (and some socks!). At this stage I pointed out that if they were unhappy with my tenancy I was even LESS happy and perhaps it should be terminated forthwith with an appropriate refund of mooring fees.

I went for my car to drive to Coventry to talk to the cops but just before leaving I called by the office to tell them my car was now leaving the marina premises and would not be back. The boat would be leaving later in the afternoon, as soon as I'd been to Daventry. I'm delighted to report that a white envelope was presented with a cheque and a statement. You have to give them marks for anticipation.

The cheque is -as I write- currently in the banking system and probably won't bounce. It better not bounce or the sh*t will really hit the fan. To my surprise and delight the long-planned voyage scheduled for late Autumn was able to start early and with a refund of £750 in my paw. When I returned to the boat at 1500, having left the car at Braunston and bussed it back on the good ole No.12, I started to tidy the deck for departure. To my delight, the charger had been placed under an inverted bucket on deck. The robbers had had a change of heart and returned my goods. And to this day I could never say with certainty who the robbers were.

As soon as my hands are better and I can type properly this whole matter will be subject to a blog, but meantime I'm safe at home in Essex recuperating and the boat is Finch-proofed down on the South Oxford near Napton. Don't even THINK of it Anthony Ernest Finch. If you touch even a fender I'll break every bone in your body before dumping you in t'cut.


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