Victor: This will be popular!

I KNOW of many boaters who swap marinas to get themselves a new cruising areas—especially summer liveaboards and those having just a couple of holidays a year, when distance from home is no problem.

So Kings Bromley Marina, that is offering a 20% relocation discount on some of its berths is going to be very popular indeed, as 20% is quite a dollop of cash off today's berthing fees.

And situated on the Trent & Mersey between Fradley Junction and the Coventry Canal and Haywood Junction and the Staffs & Worcs Canal, it gives lots of choice not only for going South but up on the Bridgewater for the North.

Better not

I was going to add the Macclesfield Canal to the list to get to the Ashton or Huddersfield Narrow, then remembered that the Marple Flight is 'closed indefinitely', so as there is no intimation what 'indefinitely' means in Cart speak, I thought—better not.

And of course there is still the Leicester Section that is another 'indefinitely' one, that we missed by the skin of our teeth in September.

Where to?

By now we would be making plans for our May cruise, but with so many problems and less and less maintenance, it really is best to wait, for there is just no knowing where other failures will be.

I reckon we would be better taking to the tidal Trent once again and perhaps to the lock-less waterway to Boston, but alas, She Who Must Be Obeyed will not have the tidal anymore after Thomas ignored the Trent Boating rules, took a bend too tight and managed to get grounded on a falling tide.  Silly bugger.

Very bad idea

I notice that Iain Jones and his good lady discovered how easy it was to work the manual broad locks on the Thames, stating they 'are correctly designed and balanced—let alone well maintained'.

Yet the IWA, who are supposed to have the interests of boaters at heart, want Cart to take over the operation of the river, and so bring its own method of maintenance to its locks.

And yes, Cart too of course wants to take the Thames under its jurisdiction.  So I have to ask—just how long will those locks be 'correctly designed and balanced—let alone well maintained'. 

If Cart's present methods are anything to go by, not very long at all.  Very bad idea.

Experience

I can state that about the locks on actual experience, for when we first moored at Sawley some 20 years ago, we often took the boat up through the broad locks of the Trent & Mersey, for a little cruise, and having a shorter boat in those days could turn above Weston Lock, with at that time the locks well balanced by the  British Waterways maintenance people.

It will take some believing now but Aston was a joy, the gates then having long metal beams and being very well balanced opening and closing easily and never swinging open. Then the 'traditional' jerks wanted 'real' wooden lock beams, but by then those maintenance people had gone and so they had their wooden beams, and all who have struggled through Aston know the result.  And since then none of the six are a joy to work with badly balanced gates and extra stiff paddles.

So why the IWA would want this sort of maintenance for its members on the Thames, I just cannot fathom. Unless of course Cart has exercised its influence...

Why?

Whilst on the subject of lock maintenance, I just cannot understand why it now takes exactly a week for lock repairs. There were four on the Leicester section all scheduled from Monday at 8am to Friday at 4pm.  And now the one at Bulbourne also taking exactly the same time.

I just cannot believe that every single repair—or whatever it was—would take exactly the same time to complete. Specifically a working week.  Something very fishy indeed.

Victor Swift