1. I am the owner of the 34 foot narrowboat “Grandma Molly/Three Wise Monkeys”, which
at all material times was moored to private riparian property over privately owned riverbed
with the consent of the riparian owner of Farndon Ferry on the north bank of the non-tidal
river Trent near Newark, Nottingham.

2. Having previously bought; renovated; insured; obtained a Boat Safety Certificate [26
June 2010] and then a Pleasure Boat Certificate [8 July 2010] for the boat [then named
“Grandma Molly”], I sold it on 21 April 2011. Having noticed over the ensuing years that
the new owner was leaving the boat to fall into disrepair, on 9 January 2014 I repurchased the boat in its dilapidated state, with the intent of once more repeating the
exercise for a profit. This took the best part of a year.

3. Having completed essential work I obtained a fresh Boat Safety Certificate on 23 July
2014. Following that, I had welding work done; repainted it, had it sign-written with a new
name [“Three Wise Monkeys”] made canopies and awnings etc, but once completed, and
before I could re-license it for the market, the boat was seized by Canal and River Trust
[CaRT] and removed - in the face of my objections and offer to pay whatever they
considered owing - across country to Chester. That was on the 26 January 2015.

3. I understood the Enforcement Officer [Mr Stuart Garner] to say that they would hold it
for 6 weeks then sell or otherwise dispose of it. I therefore applied in the local County
Court for an Injunction [18 February 2015] to prevent them selling or disposing of the boat.


On later advice, I wrote to CaRT’s legal department offering to discontinue the

application if they would give an undertaking to not sell or dispose of my boat until the
amounts had been agreed and/or a Court had confirmed their rights to their actions. This
was rejected.


5. Having at least - after the prior ignored requests for confirmation that they were not
claiming title to the boat – being given that assurance on refusal of the undertaking, I
promised to discontinue the action and filed an application to that effect.

6. The Court having assured me that this was done in time, CaRT’s solicitors nonetheless
attended in my absence – the case having not been discontinued after all, unknown to me
– and succeeded in obtaining a Court Order for £4,500 of their alleged costs in preparing
a Defence to the Injunction application. This, I am in the process of appealing.

7. They then refused to release the boat until I had paid their claimed costs of removal
and storage; the labour costs for the presence of their Enforcement Officer and Debt
Collector; the alleged 4 years of arrears in ‘licence’ fees, and the £4,500 Costs Order.

8. On my suggestion that I pay under protest all but the appealed Costs Order, they
agreed, but once paid, they still refused to return the boat – even though I had given them
a farm address for delivery far from the river - unless I undertook to never return the boat
to ‘their’ water without their permission; otherwise they threatened to take me to Court for
an injunction to that effect and hit me with those further costs.


This demand that I not put the boat back in ‘their’ water, despite my being in

possession of a safety certificate; insurance; a place to legally keep the boat, and having
been compelled to pay licence fees up until the end of June this year, is ultra vires.

10. I put them on notice that I denied their right to s.8 my boat under the circumstances
prevailing, and denied their right to hold my boat as a lien upon debt beyond the removal
and storage costs. This they have “noted”, without substantive response.


11. The Defendant claims powers to demand toll for the keeping and using of pleasure
boats anywhere within the river Trent, which is denied.


The Defendant also claims powers to seize and hold boats perceived to be in

violation of that alleged requirement to hold their Pleasure Boat Certificate [alternatively
their Pleasure Boat Licence], despite the identity of the owner being known - and also to
hold the boats as lien upon debt; all without sanction of Court Orders and without
employment of authorised Court Officers. I dispute all their claims as to the legal
interpretation of the relevant legislation.

13. The Defendant claims that my narrowboat “Grandma Molly/Three Wise Monkeys”
was within the main navigable channel of the river Trent at Farnham, and was in arrears
of 4 years ‘licence’ fees. These are disputed facts.


For the reasons set out in my Statement of Case, I am asking the Court for

Declarations as follows: -

15. As to the meaning of ‘main navigable channel’ in the 1971 Act: -

* That the term “main navigable channel” bears the same meaning in both the
1968 Act and the 1971 Act;

* That the “main navigable channel” of the relevant BW waterways does not
extend from bank to bank; it is limited to the dimensions of a navigable channel the
authority is under statutory obligation to maintain suitable for such vessels as used
them in the 9 months prior to 8 December 1967.


* That neither Pleasure Boat Licence nor Pleasure Boat Certificate is required for
boats kept out of the main navigable channel of the rivers listed in Schedule 1 of
the 1971 Act, as amended in the BW Acts of 1974 and 1995.

16. As to the effect of s.8 under the provisions of the 1983 Act: -

* That s.8 is not intended for the taking of a lien on debts, whether as to licence
fees, payment of Court costs, or any other.

* That s.8 is not intended to be used as a punitive measure by way of taking
‘revenges’ against known individuals;

* That s.8 does not dispense with the need for a Court Order to take possession of
any boat belonging to known individuals;

* That s.8 for lack of “lawful authority” is not exercisable in any event, where the
owner is a known individual, unless and until the prescribed sanctions for
Licence/Certificate evasion have been applied without success.

17. As to “Grandma Molly/Three Wise Monkeys”: -

* That the boat was kept outside of the main navigable channel of the river Trent,
and so did not require a Pleasure Boat Certificate, such that seizure of the boat
was unlawful under the terms of the British Waterways Act 1971;

* That seizure of the boat was unlawful under the Statute of Marlborough
chapters (I); (IV), and (XV).


* That seizure of the boat was unlawful under the terms of the Torts (Interference
with Goods) Act 1977;

* That seizure of the boat was a violation of the Human Rights Act 1988; Articles
6 & 7 of the Convention Rights, and Article 1 of the First Protocol.

* That seizure of the boat was unlawful under the terms of the Tribunals, Courts
and Enforcement Act 2007;

* That seizure of the boat was a criminal offence at common law, being an illegal
denial of and interference with the common law rights of navigation.

* That for all the above offences in denial of statutory rights and obligations, CaRT
are guilty of the common law offence of Contempt of the Sovereign.

18. And the Court is asked to order refund of all monies unlawfully extorted, with such
penalties and compensation as it sees fit.

Leigh Ravenscroft
c/- The Croft
Moor Lane
NG23 5QD