Newark Works protestor Charlie Dancey found himself and his Dutch barge in the right place to help rescue a family of swans in trouble!. Their five young cygnets were being pulled over the Pulteney Weir by the current yesterday afternoon.
Four of them made it down the three steps of the weir but the fifth became trapped underwater and started to drown to the horror of onlookers on the banks.
Charlie managed a rescue from a canoe – used as a tender to his barge, the Northern Sun – with the aid of a fisherman’s landing net.
At first barely able to walk the young bird recovered after a few minutes rest and rejoined its family.
“They are not exactly bright parents, and I don’t think mum and dad realised one of their brood missing until I returned it.
The rescue was completed to applause from both banks.
The family of swans are daily visitors to the weir and are very popular with tourists and local boaters.
Charlie and his barge have been ‘anchored’ on the edge of Pulteney Weir – one of the most photographed spots in our World Heritage city – this week as a protest against the state of the old Stothert and Pit works which – he claims – Bath and North East Somerset Council are not protecting. It is a Grade 2 listed building he wants to see used for the community.
Meanwhile the leader of the Council , Cllr Paul Crossley, has been speaking about the Authority’s position.
“The Council has been very proactive in making the ambitions of the Bath City of Ideas Enterprise Area a reality, which includes regenerating Bath Quays South and the Newark Works building.
In November, we secured provisional funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership of £3 million to tackle the number one stumbling block to any redevelopment of this site (and others) along the River Avon – the absence of a strategic flood compensation solution.
We were also provisionally awarded £2.5 million to deliver the Bath Quays Footbridge to connect key development sites across the river from Bath Quays South to Bath Quays North.
“Bath Quays South will become a mixed use site, with a combination of employment, homes, and attractions that will help deliver greater prosperity for Bath and a more attractive location at the heart of our city.”