It was moored in Greenland Dock, Rotherhithe, by the River Thames in London.
There were some very amiable squatters living in the boat, putting on monthly performances. They had been there for several months.
Suitably anarchic slogans adorned the sides of the boat.
Today, while watching the annual Pantomime Horse Race in Greenwich, I got a message from Evening Standard comedy critic Bruce Dessau telling me that the squatters had been evicted; the Wibbley Wobbley had been towed away from its berth and would be broken up.
Bruce asked me for a quote which he could add to the news item he had written on his Beyond The Joke website. I gave him a quote but suggested he should just make up a much better one and claim that I had said it – something of which I think Malcolm would have approved.
Alas, he just quoted the load of old cobblers I had thought of:
“I thought 2016 was bad enough with Bowie, Prince and Manuel from Fawlty Towers dying, but this has really pissed me off.”
It’s not a great quote, is it?
The moral to this part of the story is:
If someone or something snuffs it, don’t ask me for a quote.
After the Pantomime Horse Race finished in Greenwich, I went to Greenland Dock in Rotherhithe, where the Wibbley Wobbley had been moored and where Malcolm had drowned in 2005.
The boat was, indeed, not there.
But I spotted it in the adjacent South Dock Marina.
Coincidentally, before he bought the Wibbley Wobbley, Malcolm had lived in another boat in South Dock Marina and, ironically, I had fallen in the water there and almost drowned, myself, while carrying Malcolm’s vacuum cleaner onto the boat.
As always, it is better not to ask for too many details.
The banners which had been adorning the Wibbley Wobbley two weeks ago had, tonight, been removed.
But the boat itself looked perfectly OK; not ready to be scrapped.
As I left, I heard two people connected with the dock talking about the Wibbley Wobbley.
“The thing is,” one said, “if you get rid of squatters, they’ll just find somewhere else.”
A bit like memories, in that respect.
The Shipping Press account on Twitter posted an image of workers removing the Wibbley Wobbley from its original berth in Greenland Dock with text which said: “So called pirates left #wibbelywobbley after trying to sink her! They converted upstairs into 7 bedrooms-and left a big mess.”
Leigh Miller replied: “How did this happen without notice? Admiralty Writ necessary- did anyone investigate?”
Cockney Rebel: “Don’t know yet. LBS very good at smash & grab doing what they want & abusing rule of law…to please developers!”
Leigh Miller: “There must be a worldwide shortage of brown envelopes by now….”
Cockney Rebel: “…mountains of used empties in every Labour/Tory Town halls also rumour has it massive stash at GLA/County Hall!”
THERE IS AN UPDATE ON THIS STORY HERE.