That BMF boat show statement

Peter Nash is editor of Boating Business
Peter Nash is editor of Boating Business

There are times when I am presented with conflicting stories. Like the BMF saying its roots lay in an association called The Boat and Yacht Builders’ and Proprietors and Allied Trades Protection Association.

And Portsmouth Poll’s first story in her January column pointing out the BMF had the wrong association name and the wrong date for its proposed Centenary of the BMF.

The source for the first story was the BMF. The source for Poll’s story was the author who researched and wrote the BMF centenary book published in 2000.

Both sides insisted they were right and the other wrong.

The author’s carefully researched book clearly states the first trade association in the emerging leisure marine industry was the Thames Boat Builders Protection Association.

When the BMF published a press release claiming The Boat and Yacht Builders’ and Proprietors and Allied Trades Protection Association was the forerunner of the BMF, the author contacted Poll and told her the BMF was wrong with its dates and association name.

Assuming the BMF wouldn’t have printed 4,000 copies of a book with incorrect information, Poll wrote the story that appeared in her column in the January issue of BB on page 24.

The story provoked an enormous reaction from the BMF. I was shown a statement from the BMF that said BB had ‘chosen’ to publish a ‘wholly inaccurate article’. The use of the word chosen intimates I, as editor, had elected to run an untrue story.

This is quite simply, wrong. No journalist would choose to run an untrue story.

I told the BMF its statement was wrong and I had spoken to the author that day and he remained insistent the BMF was wrong and he was right.

However, the BMF ran its statement in Wednesday’s London Boat Show News and followed that up by emailing the statement personally to every BMF member.

I had also told the BMF it was not up to BB to decide whether it or the author was right or wrong. I suggested the BMF talk to the author and decide on a mutually agreeable story. Boating Business would be happy to carry that story, I said.

The BMF and the author eventually talked on the final Saturday of the Tullett Prebon London Boat Show.

The result of that meeting saw the BMF and the author agree the forerunner of the BMF was The Boat, Yacht and Allied Trades Association that was founded in 1913, the Centenary of which will be celebrated this year.

For my part, I am happy to run that story. I also emphasise Boating Business has never and will never knowingly publish an untrue story - regardless of any statement you may have read from the BMF.

Finally, BB wishes the Thames Boat Builders Protection Association a happy 113th anniversary.

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