Emergency stoppages are worse

Published: Friday, 09 June 2017

IF I MAY I would like to suggest that David Hymers is mistaken when he remarks that he remains unconvinced that the problem of emergency stoppages has become worse than it was say, 20 years ago, when it was paper based stoppage notices that were sent out, writes Bill Jenkinson.

I have been boating now for well over 20 years, and the 'green men' as the then British Waterways personnel were known as, each had a section of waterway to cover, and so it is obvious they saw a possible stoppage well before it became an emergency, and there were staff available to do something about it. So stoppages were not worse as there were less of them.

deepestwaterRepaired the following day

If anything untoward did occur there were people soon on the scene.  I well remember when I first met the two from narrowboatworld with the boats held up by a broken cill on the Atherstone Flight  [Coventry Canal].  I was there when it was reported in the afternoon of one day, yet the pound was drained and it repaired the following day, and staff were put on the flight to help gets the boats away.

[The picture was actually taken that day as the pound was being filled, with a 'green man' telling a member of the narrowboatworld boat's crew that the deepest water is not in the centre of the canal as many publications tell, but nearer the towpath as can be seen, and I can confirm what Bill says is correct, that the repair was completed the day after the cill broke—Editor.]

Five days or more

If that happened now it would be a matter of waiting until the contractor inspected the failure, then the conference with Canal & River Trust, then eventually the contractors doing the job—with the waterway closed for five days or even more, as many of us have experienced.