The diminution of the Canal and River Trust’s (C&RT) permanent paid work-force, the sale of their tools and the subsequent reliance on outside contractors to deal with an increasing amount of maintenance and repairs may make life easier for the accountants running the waterways but to many this seems short-sighted. Similarly, whilst it is a fact that it was enthusiastic volunteers who saved the canals from closure in the middle of the last century, the cynical use of non-paid volunteers by well-paid politicians and managers grates somewhat. There is an increasing amount of non-paid labour being used to carry out tasks previously done by the paid work-force. To my mind this is little more than a Con trick. Assurances that volunteers would do ‘additional work’ rather than the work done previously by paid employees seem to have been conveniently forgotten. While we see many volunteers painting lock gates the locks themselves are deteriorating rapidly and only seem to demand C&RT’s attention when a canal closure is imminent. In 2019 I re-wrote a couple of verses. This came about after the near collapse of the reservoir dam above Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire. This potential tragedy clearly revealed the stupidity of transferring the running of the waterway infrastructure to a poorly funded charity primarily concerned with public relations and image.