“I have seen grown men you wouldn’t want to mess with near to tears,” Marcus Trower, deputy chair of the National Bargee Travellers Association , told Mirror Money. “Their boat is their home. They have a family.
“One member is fourth-generation bargee. He has two kids and two boats. They were threatening to evict him over Christmas.
“I had one case where someone’s boat was taken out of the water and smashed up by sledge hammers.”
Many of us go down to Britain’s canals for a bit of peace and quiet. But unbeknownst to the dog walkers and bramble pickers, a turf war is raging. One where paid-for family homes and thousands of pounds are at stake, with mysterious and hard-to-appeal rules deciding their fate.
On one side stands The Canal and River Trust , which rules over the 2,000 miles of waterways weaving Britain’s cities together.
And on the other side are the bargees, who have made their homes and lives on the water.