Canal boat owner is left homeless when his 100-year-old vessel sinks

Canal boat owner is left homeless when his 100-year-old vessel sinks after being ‘moved without permission’ amid filming for Netflix crime drama Top Boy

  • Anthony Beanlands, 46, lived in a 100-year-old canal boat moored in London
  • Partially sank two weeks ago and Mr Beanlands blamed a production company
  • Claimed his boat was moved without his permission to aid filming by the water
  • Said he was contacted by people claiming to work for the production company 

A canal boat owner has claimed his 100-year-old vessel partially sank after it was ‘moved without permission’ during the filming of a Netflix series.

Anthony Beanlands, 46, was homeless before moving into his canal boat in Hackney Wick, London, and lost everything he owned when it started taking on water two weeks ago.

He had been living with family while renovating the boat and received a message from a friend telling him it was underwater on Thursday, November 19.

Mr Beanlands said his boat was a ‘national treasure’ which had been his home for the last five years. He claimed a production company filming the Netflix show Top Boy moved the vessel without his permission.

Anthony Beanlands, 46, was homeless before moving into his canal boat (pictured, sinking) in Hackney Wick, London, and lost everything he owned when it sank two weeks ago

He had been living with family while renovating the boat and received a message from a friend telling him it was underwater on Thursday, November 19. Pictured, Mr Beanlands

‘I found out on the morning of the November 19. A friend of mine sent a photo saying “Anthony, I’m really sorry but your boat sunk. [Someone] moved it without telling you”.

‘Someone said it started sinking or looked like it was leaning over one or two days before. No one told me anything and they hadn’t got my permission. They just moved it.

‘They moved loads of boats and my boat was squashed in amongst them all. When big boats went past, they were smashing together.’

Mr Beanlands was later contacted by two people claiming to be members of a production team, who asked him to sign a contract so they could pay him.

British crime drama Top Boy began life on Channel 4 but was revived by Netflix with the involvement of rapper and singer Drake. It is believed the fourth series is being filmed in the area. Pictured, believed to be filming

‘A lady and man phoned me so far. Firstly, the guy told me Canal and River Trust gave them permission to move my boat, but when I called them, they sent me an email to say no one had given them permission.

‘They’re only allowed to move a boat under certain circumstances, so that was an out and out lie. The lady called me up and was trying to get it sorted out for their benefit.

‘If I’m going to get anything done, it’s going to be done properly through legal procedure and through their insurance. They were trying to pay for it cheaply so no one hears about it.

‘I said “this is going to cost a lot of money”. She said “if this is going to go on the insurance, would you be happy to sign a contract so we can apply for the insurance?”.’

The canal boat is pictured as it was towed to Hackney Wick a year ago. Mr Beanlands said his boat was a ‘national treasure’ which had been his home for the last five years. He claimed a production company filming the Netflix show Top Boy moved the vessel

British crime drama Top Boy began life on Channel 4 but was revived by Netflix with the involvement of rapper and singer Drake.

It is believed the fourth series is being filmed in the area but the production companies involved and Netflix failed to reply to requests for comment.

Mr Beanlands received an email from a woman who claimed to be a ‘location manager’ discussing his ‘salvage quote’. The woman’s Instagram shows she is working currently on Top Boy. 

After receiving the text, Mr Beanlands rushed to the scene and saw his home ‘tipped right over’ in the water (pictured)

‘I’ve lost everything I own – including my home,’ he said. ‘I’m disgusted. [Some people] just see them as boats but they’re people’s homes.

‘It’s like if someone didn’t want your house there, so they just brought a bulldozer and bulldozed it over. That’s the same thing for me.

‘I’ve lived on there for five years and that brought me my peace back. Doing music and living on that boat has given me my life back. I can’t get my head around it really. How dare [they], disgraceful people.

‘They’re a law onto themselves. They’re causing damage to people’s property. It’s like they don’t care about anything.’

Mr Beanlands had been homeless when he managed to buy his boat, lovingly named Shalom, with the help of kind friends. 

The musician said the damage was probably caused by other ‘metal, heavy boats’ crashing into it. Pictured, the boat on its side in the water

He said: ‘Everything was fine and I’d started repairing inside of my boat. I had to redo the flooring and we’d taken the kitchen out and taken the floor up between March and June.

‘I’d been going back every two weeks to make sure she was okay. I went there a couple of days before it was moved. 

After receiving the text, Mr Beanlands rushed to the scene and saw his home ‘tipped right over’ in the water.

He added: ‘I can’t even believe it. Everything I own is in there. There’s water inside there and it’s probably destroyed everything.

‘It’s tipped right over. I have a generator in there. I work in the boat. I went back the other day and took some photos showing it tipped and from the side showing how far out it is.

The Canal and River Trust said they would not grant permission for someone to move a third party’s boat. Pictured, a production crew are believed to have filmed Top Boy there

‘Apparently people were on the front and back of my boat when they were moving it.

‘My boat’s over 100 years old. It was a life boat and it’s a national treasure. It’s a historic boat. I don’t know if we can refloat it. It’s just going to be a salvage mission just to scrap it, which would be terrible.’

The musician said the damage was probably caused by other ‘metal, heavy boats’ crashing into it. 

‘They didn’t even tie it up properly. They tied it to a little plastic boat in front of it and one behind. It was loose as well,’ he said.

‘The damage was probably done by the boats around it crashing into it – metal, heavy boats. It could have been the concrete shelf smashing into it because it wasn’t tied properly.

‘It’s kind of strange that they think it’s alright. I’m a bit all over the place at the moment.’ 

The Canal and River Trust said they would not grant permission for someone to move a third party’s boat.

Mr Beanlands said his boat was not properly moored and was instead tied up to a plastic boat in front of it

Pictured, crew believed to be filming on the bank of the canal. The Canal and River Trust gave the production company a licence to film on the canal, but did not give permission for any boats to be moved

A spokesman said: ‘When a production wants to film on our waterways they have to come to us for permission and we carry out a risk assessment. 

‘We would never give permission for a production company to move someone’s boat, that would be akin to a production company filming on a street and deciding they wanted to move someone’s car. It’s just not something we would allow. 

‘If the company wanted boats to be moved they would have to arrange that with the boat owner.’

The trust gave the production company a licence to film on the canal, but did not give permission for any boats to be moved.

The spokesman added: ‘The company had a licence to film on the canal but we are not aware of what happened in terms of the boat sinking. It’s obviously a very sad situation. We understand the company is in contact with the boat owner.’  

Netflix were approached for comment.

The woman who identified herself as ‘location manager’ was also approached for comment.  

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