Stop eviction at Chess mooring

Sadie who skippers for the Pride of Batchworth and a local scout leader is under threat of eviction from her mooring at the Chess Basin by Waterways Heritage Limited for her boat not being ‘smart’ enough.
It started when waterways charity Canal and River Trust (CRT) which owns most of the England’s inland waterways leased the moorings to private company Waterways Heritage Limited.


Sadie was raised on her boat at the Chess Basin moorings. Sadie has been on the mooring for 34 years. It was her mother’s boat which was built on the mooring with the intention that it would stay on the mooring. In fact the boat is too high for travelling on the canal. Her boat is unable to be moored anywhere else.


Waterways Heritage Limited told Sadie that the mooring rent would go up from under £3000 to more than £8,500 per year. After much thought about how much less Sadie would have to live on per year, Sadie agreed to a new tenant’s agreement with Waterways Heritage Limited. However, Tim Woodbridge, the director of Waterways Heritage Limited, refused Sadie.


Within months of his lease of the Chess Basin, Woodbridge had cut down trees and levelled the environmentally friendly garden, replacing it with turf. Ahead of a new hotel being built on the old Travis Perkins site, he then issued eviction notices to Sadie and another tenant who has a narrow boat there.


Sadie has told us that:
“This has been absolutely devastating. I bent over backwards to meet every demand from Mr Woodbridge, but he clearly had his own agenda after taking over the lease from CRT.


“My mother had Hibiscus built here, and being here and looking after the boat and the garden is part of honouring her memory. I have no idea now where I will go or what I can do.”


Ali Rawlings was a resident at the Chess Basin moorings until she got a termination notice:
“I came into the basin 6 months ago as a temporary measure as I needed to sort some things out in my personal life. I was told I could have a permanent mooring when the improvements were made. My mooring was fenced, I was given a shed and a lawn was laid.


“Then out of the blue I was given a termination notice. I was told to pack up and leave within 6 weeks.


“I was told if I blacked and painted my boat and made it look smart I could reapply to go back. The cost would then be doubled. I will not be painting and blacking my boat as in my opinion it is not necessary.”


Please email Waterways Heritage Limited and ask them to not evict Sadie:
Also please email CRT to demand that Waterways Heritage Limited doesn’t evict Sadie:
If you want to be involved in this campaign to stop Sadie being evicted please email:


One thought on “Stop eviction at Chess mooring”

  1. I think this is worth taking to the papers – hasn’t CRT a duty to make sure any new lease holder retains the moorings? The shortage of moorings is bad enough as it is.


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