Campaign grows to save Word on the Water, London’s only floating bookshop


London’s unique ‘Word on the Water’ Book barge has been refused a permanent trading mooring on the canal-side at Paddington, by the Canal and River Trust (CART), in favour of a huge property corporation called British Land who claim they want to branch out and start a floating coffee shop (there are already 13 coffee shops in the immediate area).

If this travesty goes ahead this popular bookshop will be forced to abandon the site and will probably have to close. As part of a growing campaign to save the bookshop a petition has now been signed by over 3000 people. The bookshop’s many fans and customers include Steven Fry, the actor, Tv presenter and outspoken activist.

A number of authors have lent their voices to the campaign including Elizabeth Speller, and Michael Bywater, who collaborated with Douglas Adams on the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

The Canal and River ‘Trust’ have responded on the petition page with a statement which can best be described as utter baloney.

After the Canal Trust’s lame excuses, see the brilliantly informative response from Michael Bywater which explains exactly why the ‘Trust’ response is so dishonest and unacceptable, followed by other comments.

There are also reports in the latest Private Eye (see below), the Evening Standard, Time Out, London Live TV (link to video), BBC London News, Narrowboat World, and various other media outlets.


For latest updates see the ‘Word on the Water’ Facebook and Twitter pages.

Please sign the petition. This is turning into a PR disaster for the Canal & River ‘Trust’. You can help make it even worse for them, then maybe they might start to see the error of their ways.

UPDATE: CART ignored canal users consultation to create this problem for themselves.


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