Victor: Then there were three

Published: Sunday, 30 April 2017

IT WAS a cold and windy Monday with very few boats on the move, yet there were three volunteer lockies at Sawley Mechanised Lock, all just to turn a key!

A pity they were not at Kegworth Deep (sorry, it's now re-named Kegworth New—mustn't frighten the hirers!) as the bottom paddles are still extremely stiff, no doubt helped by the lack of any lubrication over the winter.  But can't risk the volunteers having to work too hard, can we?

There were two ladies really struggling with of course the fellas taking it easy on the boat, but at least one lady had the advantage of a Yorkshire Windlass, that luckily had enough space to rotate.

Kegworth sign3They haven't a clue

The old staff of British Waterways certainly knew what they were doing, but not this lot in charge of the waterways today, as a short cruise up the Soar and back clearly showed.

We all know of Cart's love of notices, and there are a couple of new ones at Kegworth Lock,  telling of the number of hang-ups on the cill in the lock over 12 months.  But whoever though it up just hasn't a clue.  We all know that boats get caught on the cill descending, and though this particular idiot told that we should use the blue riser wires, missed out the important bittelling of being safe at the front of the lock.

Some newcomer could easily take the notice seriously and secure their boat at the backand still get caught on the cill.

There is not much point in telling boaters about hang-ups if they are not going to actually tell how to avoid them. And really, tying a boat when descending, when we all know it just stays still, is a bit stupid. But I don't expect whoever thought up the notice would realise that the turbulence is when ascending.

Would not work anyway

Good idea for those afraid of the lock to fasten their boats to the wires when ascending. But one little problem however. Four of the wires were not even connected and were flapping about—they had broken off at the bottom!

Wonder if those who erected the notice had even checked?  Obviously not. Perhaps they will be repaired during the next 'winter maintenance', as they have obviously missed the last one.

 Weir sign ZouchThis one is dangerous

Most of us will have read David Hymers often quoted Cart's  Department of Silly Notices, but the one at the end of Zouch Cut on the Soar is not only silly, but downright dangerous.

This notice, shown, is situated at the top end of Zouch Cut approaching the weir.

But the particular idiot who thought this one up really should be sacked, as it tells boaters to beware of the weir, with a warning sign of a weir and an arrow by its side pointing to the left, obviously pointing to it.

Why is it dangerous? The weir is on the right!  So this notice is particularly foolhardyand dangerousas a boater keeping 'away' from the weir that isn't there and keeping to the right could actually be caught on the weir!  So how stupid is that!

New excuse

Can’t discover what this new reason 'to reduce water loss' for closing locks to navigation is all about. We have had four now, and still only at the beginning of the boating season.

They seem to be confined to part of the Grand Union Canal, so perhaps the waterway manager for that area has come up with a new excuse for lock closures.

Surely it would be betterand certainly more acceptableto tell boaters the real reason for the closures instead of that silly phrase, that tells us bugger all.

Good one Linda

Linda Andrews of Cheshire Cat Narrowboat Holidays tells us of a new video to promote inland boating:

'Dad is steering, mum is in the galley'how sexist can you get?

Less cluttered

There have been lots of emails about the new design of the site, and only a couple that were negative, so nearly all in favour, but as our Thomas is stuck with his 'self praise is no recommendation' theme, none have been published.

But I will tell you the general opinion is that you think it less cluttered and very easy to negotiate, with the absolute minimum of clicks. With no few telling of those others that need a multitude of clicks should follow suitor words to that effect. Good, eh?

And now for the bad (perhaps) news

No more regular updates for a couple of weeks as we all take off on our usual May cruise.  Though I expect there is a possibly that yours truly may have a word or two to pronounce during our travels.

Victor Swift