Friday, March 09, 2012

Steam powered boat President report amended?

Nope. I’m currently in negotiations with Staffordshire County Council to amend their report on the grounds that steam powered boat President is not QUOTE: “the world’s only surviving steam powered narrow boat” as they profess…

*** 10/03 Update: See bottom of post… *** 

I believed their report to be true at first, & did a blog post about it on 23rd of February. Which I later amended thanks to Lucky Duck Amy, who gave me this link to a list of 15 other steam powered narrowboats still going strong…

Being a bit of a perfectionist (really) I sent an email as follows to Staffs County Council later the same day, to inform them of their gaff:

“It appears the crew of President like to quote that it is the only steam powered canal boat still working in existence. This is not true, it is not unique, it also appears that your researcher didn't do his homework & took their word for it.” [And I submitted Amy’s link as proof] 

I’d given up on a reply, then yesterday (2 weeks later), this landed in my inbox:


Thanks very much for your feedback. This is something we were advised by the crew of President but as you say isn't strictly true. We've altered our web information accordingly and will feedback your comments to the Friends of President crew.

Thanks lots for commenting”

[Bet not]

Notice how the sentence “we’ve altered our web information” is written in the past tense. So I checked it this morning & well, if you’ve already clicked on their link at the top of this post – you’ll have picked up on the fact that as I write this nothing’s changed…

This irked me somewhat, so I replied this aft with a bit more assertiveness & without a bunch of roses attached:

“Hi Emma,

Could you give me a link to the revision please? I have previously highlighted your mistake on my blog (23rd Feb) & just checked out your original report - nothing has changed on there, so you haven’t altered your web information at all. It’s obvious that President is based in your area, so I’m beginning to wonder if the content of your report is for the general public to marvel over – when it isn’t true. You’ve had ample time to correct this, you’ve agreed upon the truth of the matter & apparently done nothing about it.

My own report plus a copy of your email about this deception will go live tomorrow – I’ll delay it for 24 hours till I get a link to the truth. After I originally reported about your incorrect story, I was going to demonstrate (today) that you’ve been true to your word. But you haven’t. A lot of boaters are not very happy about this, perhaps you don’t realise just how many...

I look forward to being able to report your same link as amended, or that the original report be taken down & a new one created.

Heather Rowsell”

(Canal boating blogger)


As you can see I haven’t waited 24 hours because afterwards I thought sod it. I’m not waiting another 2 weeks for a “write you off” reply, blimey the flotilla will have floated into the sunset before this gets sorted…

*** Since I wrote this yesterday, the link has been updated to read correctly...! ***

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