Interview 5 - Bruce Hegearty

Bruce Hegearty, author and Oxford Canal narrow boat resident

Interviewer: Maria Parsons
Editor: Emma Coombs
Total recording time: 40 min : 56 sec


  • Bruce was interviewed in the Jericho Living Heritage Trust office in the Jericho Community Centre
Access available in Oxfordshire History Centre and Libraries only

Click on track number below to play

Track Content summary Length
5.1 Bruce’s decision to acquire a narrowboat on the Oxford Canal in the late 1990s was triggered by desire to leave the rat race, secure somewhere affordable to live and enjoy relaxed life style. 5 min : 13 sec
5.2 Bruce found the community that he joined to be very supportive with mutual help being forthcoming for most problems. He remembers the fun of parties, bonfires and barbeques and cruising with friends to the WOMAD festival at Reading. 9 min : 27 sec
5.3 Bruce traces his personal journey of community activism from one of direct action in the Castle Mill Boatyard occupation to a formal role as one of the Directors of the Jericho Community Boatyard Ltd (JCBY) championing community interests in response to development plans for Castle Mill boatyard site submitted by Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF). 9 min : 6 sec
5.4 Bruce reflects on changes on the canal. The population churn amongst boaters suggesting that rising costs have resulted in more professionals securing residential mooring places. 3 min : 49 sec
5.5 Bruce voices his concern about the Canal and River Trust’s position on residential mooring. He notes that C&RT appear to be continuing the same policies as British Waterways in bringing all boat moorings into line with the latest sale that determines ‘market rate’. Mooring fees are currently £1600 and £800 for licence fees. Discussion on the opportunities and challenges of the Jericho Boatyard plan, and reflecting the needs of boaters. 0 min : 0 sec
5.6 Bruce considers the balance between boaters having the right to privacy on the canal and the public having a right or walk or cycle past the boats, and other neighbours such as St Edward’s School not taking boaters’ needs into account. 8 min : 13 sec
5.7 Bruce finishes by returning to an earlier theme and being thankful for his experience of boating camaraderie. 27 sec