Hugh Jaeger of FOXCAN writes in response to my post Bill Leonard’s canal fixation. As always, he plays Mr Leonard’s erratic balls with a straight bat. Like me, he is curious as to Leonard’s motives in opposing the Oxford Canal Terminal so vehemently.
Mr Jaeger’s last sentence puzzles me, implying as it does that Mr Leonard has never met the promoters of the scheme which he opposes with such bitterness. FOXCAN’s door is, I am sure, open to both supporters and opponents of their plans (if indeed there is more than one opponent – there may be some sceptics on technical or commercial grounds but it is hard to see why anyone would actually oppose the exploration of the ideas).
If Leonard had devoted more time and energy to discussing his objections with FOXCAN, and less to pouring out bile in the public press, perhaps one side would have been able to convince the other by now.
Mr Jaeger’s comment is:
Mr Leonard’s arithmetic in his letter of 15th June is colossally wrong. Even if he bungled his conversions from feet to metres that still doesn’t explain it.
In the 1870’s the Ordnance Survey published beautiful 1:500 street plans of Oxford, Abingdon and Banbury. The wonderful Centre for Oxfordshire Studies has of course a set of these plans that anyone can ask to see free of charge.
The sheet of the Oxford survey that shows Hythe Bridge Wharf is detailed down to the individual cranes on the wharf-sides. This sheet has two scales: one in feet, the other in chains and links. A link is about 8 inches and a chain is 100 links. But even muddling up those two scales doesn’t tell me how Mr Leonard got his research so wrong.
Mr Leonard wrote the guidebook “The Oxford of Inspector Morse”. I am sorry that Morse is no longer with us: is Inspector Lewis up to the task of working out the motive that drives Mr Leonard not just to oppose the canal terminal, but to hurl such resentment and derision at a group of canal supporters that he has never met?
Other Oxford Inciter posts on the Oxford Canal Basin
Oxford Inciter posts on the Oxford Canal generally (including the Basin)