Victor: Scotland has its bridge problems too

Published: Sunday, 24 June 2018

THOUGH Cart swing and lift bridge failures have been most prominent on narrowboatworld recently, Scotland doesn't do so well with its bridges either!

This year there have been eight failures including a couple of lift bridges.

On the Caledonian Tomnahurich, Laggan, Fort Augustus, Aberchalder and Muirtown swing bridges have all failed for one reason or another.

On the Crinan  Ardishaig Swing Bridge also failed

And on the Forth & Clyde Twechar and Bonnybridge lift bridges gave up the ghost.

So obviously Cart is not alone.

Ivyhouse Road Lift BridgeThe latest

Which brings me to the latest of Cart's bridge failures—the Ivyhouse Road Lift Bridge (11) on the Caldon Canal, that gave up the ghost yesterday, Saturday, and is waiting the attention of contractors.

Meaning of course that if you are boating on the Caldon you are stuck. So how many closed waterways does that make? I've lost count!

Keep 'em in or keep 'em out?

We all must know of the somewhat strange stoppage notices from Cart these days that are difficult to understand, and the one about constructing a fence around a reservoir to keep the otters away from wildlife is yet another example.

The notice actually reads: Contractors will be erecting perimeter fencing around the circumference of the reservoir to protect small wildlife from otters.

Our esteemed editor took it that as wildlife in on the land, then the otters will be fenced in the reservoir.  But could it be that the fence is to keep the otters out of the water?  Mind you there was no mention of protecting fish...

It is a pity Cart doesn't employ someone who is capable of explaining the stoppages correctly instead of the waffle that more often than not is either so misleading that it cannot be understood or is definitely wrong.

StanleySkupenStealing a medal is more important than stealing a boat

You many remember the fella who picked up a contestant's medal who had dropped it as he collapsed toward the end of the London Marathon, grabbed the collapsed contestant's number then running through the finishing line claimed he had actually competed in the race accepting the certificate of completion though of course he had not. 

Stanislaw Skupian, was prosecuted and has been jailed for16 weeks for his deception.

He then went on to steal a narrowboat  (London Marathon cheat steals narrowboat) but was caught having attempted to repaint it and wrecking the inside of the boat and the engine as well by pouring petrol into the diesel tank For this he was not prosecuted.

Make of that what you will.

Changed for the worse

In the past we had visited Stenson boatyard often, for blacking the boat's hull or other things, and had always appreciated the café there, so a visit last week by vehicle meant a repast at said café where a tea for one and a cappuccino coffee for the other was awaited in anticipation.

Oh dear, oh dear. Being presented with a cup of hot water and a tea bag in its saucer did not bode at all well.  (Where was the teapot?) And so it proved. Poor Thomas was presented with a cup full of coffee, that rather tasted instant, with a very thin layer of froth topped with a sprinkling of chocolate. A cappuccino—and at a cost of over two quid—it certainly was not.

I expect many of you know this type of coffee, but for the uninitiated it is a third of rather strong coffee usually made from beans ground for each cup then milk is frothed (usually skimmed) resulting in a third of milk and a third of froth topped with a sprinkling of your choice.

Poor Thomas considers himself a bit of an expert with coffee, even having his own equipment for the making of, so there is little chance of a return visit to that café at Stenson.

SawleyVegNot a hope

In the days gone by before the advent of Cart, there was a national 'Best Lock'—or whatever it was called—competition, with the twin locks at Sawley under 'Bob' achieving three awards, with finally the one for the national 'Best Lock'.

Passing through one of the locks last Tuesday our Alan Tilbury took this photograph, that shows one thing for certain, that under volunteers there would be no hope in a competition now.

In fact I should imagine that it was soons realised that there is little chance for any lock winning a competition these days, which was perhaps the reason that under Cart the competition was soon stopped.

Victor Swift