Not prepared for Erewash anti-vandal paddles

Published: Wednesday, 30 August 2017

THE IWA should have told boaters heading for the Festival on the Erewash Canal that they needed anti-vandal keys for the locks, as many I spoke to, including myself, do not carry the special 'T' key needed on this canal, writes Yvonne Corder.

I understand that on some days there were volunteers on some of the locks, but not when my husband and myself attempted to enter the canal off the Trent in the evening, so we were stuck as the locks had to have a special key to open the paddles that was in the shape of a 'T'. and as we have never had to use such a thing in 12 years of cruising, we were stuck at the bottom of Trent Lock, spending the night with another boat in the same situation.

erewash anti vandalSocket opened it

However, my husband realised that a small 10mm socket, jammed on to a screwdriver shaft would fit into the lock and unscrew it, so we were able to then operate the paddles (that can be seen from my photograph are in rough condition) and move on early the following morning.

I don't want to appear a kill-joy, as the Festival, though not all that well attended was good, but boaters had to travel another four locks up the canal to be able to wind, as it is a dead-end canal, which of course meant a further eight of them to negotiate, that caused a deal of confusion as boaters attempted to get away.

I wonder if it was Canal & River Trust that persuaded the IWA to hold the Festival on the Erewash Canal to  promote it, but to my mind it is far from an easy canal to cruise, and a bit short on maintenance, and we shall not be doing it again!