Islington Boat Club cast adrift by council

Current manager claims Islington Council wants to close the home of the 52 year old aquatic adventure site on City Road Basin by January.

By EC1 Echo

Young people on paddle boards in action on an urban waterway
The boat club in active times. Photo: Islington Boat Club

Islington Boat Club, set up by Crystal Hale in 1970 on the City Road Basin was conceived as a place for children to enjoy being in boats, like an adventure playground on water. It was successful for half a century.

Now after a period of neglect the place has been run down and the current manager Sarah-Jane Elvin, in post since last April, is in charge of trying to get it back to full working order. But she claims that Islington Council – which owns the building and claims it is a health and safety danger – wishes to close it.

“The council owns the building and used to inspect it and give us a list of recom-mendations,” says Elvin. “We then raised the money and addressed any concerns, but they stopped doing that.”

It was thought that the Boat Club would hang on for several more months but it has now been told that the lease will expire this January, and has struggled to get clear instructions from Islington Council on how it sees the club’s future. “Despite attempts, recent and over the past seven years, to negotiate an extension on the lease with Islington Council we have had no success,” says Elvin. “Our request is for a short lease extension or granting of site access of 18 months to allow us to continue serving the community and to look to our future.”

The Islington Boat Club is now urgently seeking support to lobby the council to grant an extension, allowing it to use the site and gain access to the water. It is asking supporters to write to the council before 8 December, when a meeting will discuss the issue.

Supporters should write to [email protected] or go through the website

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