Mr Hugh Jaeger of FOXCAN, the group campaigning for the reopening of the Oxford Canal Terminal, responds to my post Searching for the source of the Bile of yesterday. In it, I expressed surprise that Bill Leonard, the arch- (and, so far as I am aware, only) critic of the canal terminal concept, had not met FOXCAN to discuss his pressing concerns and explain his opposition to the plans.
New readers may need a “Last week in the Archers” -type summary. There are obviously various potential problems, technical and commercial, which may ultimately get in the way of FOXCAN’s plans, and there are some sceptics. Only one person actually seems violently opposed to the whole idea, filling the columns of the local press with comment ranging from the malevolent to the mathematically dubious.
Mr Jaeger says:
Thank you for continuing to take an interest in Worcester Street canal terminal and the mystery of Bill Leonard’s solo campaign against us.
I confirm that FOXCAN’s courteous chairman sent Bill Leonard a faultlessly polite invitation to meet a few of us to discuss the proposed canal terminal and access bridge. Mr Leonard replied not only rejecting our invitation but also heaping another helping of resentment and derision upon us and anyone who supports our canal proposal.
FOXCAN now has photographs of roadworks in 1990 that opened up the empty space under Hythe Bridge Street’s former canal bridge. These confirm our surveyor’s estimate of the height and width for the canal to pass under the street.
Mr Leonard’s imagination of a “tunnel” under the road so low and narrow that a narrowboat would never fit through it was always unfounded. However, it is now disproved as well. If he were wise he would now apologise both to FOXCAN and our hundreds of supporters. But if Mr Leonard were wise he would not have started his ill-researched attack in the first place.