Interview 14 - Mike Stanley

Mike Stanley, former skipper, Venturer narrowboat, Oxfordshire Narrowboat Charitable Trust

Interviewer: Pete Ledwith
Editor: Charlie Henry
Total recording time: 34 min : 6 sec

Access available in Oxfordshire History Centre and Libraries only

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Track Content summary Length
14 Mike Stanley has been running trips on the Venturer narrowboat for 20 years, ever since it was acquired by the Oxfordshire Narrowboat Charitable Trust and adapted to take groups of people with disabilities and older people amongst many others on cruises up the Oxford Canal from its mooring in Hayfield Road. He describes the huge variety of passengers who have enjoyed trips including nursing homes residents and young people with learning disabilities.

Mike describes how at one point the Venturer sank and had to be raised and repaired. He has some strong views on the politics of Agenda 21 and whether this has helped or hindered equity in terms of the balance of residential to visitor moorings especially in terms of what he sees as the monopolisation and capitalisation of selling moorings with boats.

Mike also reflects on the privatisation of British Waterways and its replacement by the Canal and River Trust. Given that Mike retired at the end of 2014 and the Venturer was taken out of commission, Mike did not get his wish that the Venturer’s work continue if housing development takes over the site of her mooring. However with an MBE awarded for his outstanding charitable work on board the Venturer on the Oxford Canal, Mike is clearly proud of all he has achieved.
34 min : 6 sec