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Victor: Bridgewater closed
Sunday, 08 January 2017 09:26

I HAVE always had the impression that Peel Holdings, that operate the Bridgewater Canal, have little concern for its customers—the boaters—and closing it for four months to erect a bridge is a prime example.

It should really take a leaf out of Canal & River Trust's book that always seems to manage to get a few 'windows' in any bridge replacement, to allow boaters through, for surely any bridge building is never continuous, and no matter in what state, it is hardly likely to fall on a passing boat.

But alas, Peel don't want the hassle, so bugger its boaters, and those of the Trust too who will have no western access to and from the Leeds & Liverpool Canal until half way through the summer.

Out of my way!

The feature we published about trip boat operator Peter Jones taking advantage of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct gaining World Heritage Site status, being busy with his two trip boats over the aqueduct, has not been too well received by some boaters.

For he has the reputation of being somewhat abusive to any boater who happens to get in his way. One boater, Alan Glass, was attempting to turn his boat close to the trip boat base, telling us he was verbally abused by Peter Jones for holding up a trip boat.

He attempted to explain that he was only turning his boat at the marked winding point but was treated as if he was trespassing.

Another boater, David Holmes, remarked that he was hassled by someone on the trip boat from the base when he was taking his boat slowly along the aqueduct, his crew admiring the dramatic view, and yelled at to 'get a move on'.

So beware when crossing the Pontcysyllte.

A record?

The news that the broken paddle at Wood End Lock on the Trent & Mersey Canal was to be at last repaired, has aroused comments about other paddles on the system that have been wrapped up in plastic.

But surely the worse offender must be the paddle at Lock 3 at Lapworth on the Stratford Canal.

As you will read in the news, this paddle was out of action and wrapped in plastic when Mike Spick passed through on his boat Aurora way back in February 2013, and with the plastic being regularly replaced is still out of action—after four years!

Surely this must be a record!  But what a poor reflection on maintenance.

I don't believe it!

Would you believe that after being told the plan for the Daventry Arm to bring the Grand Union Canal into the town was dead and gone, it is yet back again.

Once more we are told it is up yet again for approval. I really have lost count of how many times those people who so want the Arm have pushed for it, yet have been pushed back, yet here they are again.

The fact that a vote by people in the town was very much against it, agreeing that money would be best spent on the town itself, does not seem to matter to those people who really cannot understand the word 'no'.

Better gone

My news of the demise from narrowboatworld of Allan Richards, has raised no few comments from readers, with every single comment acclaiming—to put it bluntly—that we are better off without him!

His constant harping about Canal & River Trust, I don't think our Thomas realised was doing us more harm than good, as boaters were obviously getting fed-up of it, and simply no longer reading narrowboatworld. And discovering that he had bombarded the Trust with 100 Freedom of Information requests, as one boater told us, was really well over the top.

Our refusing to publish some of his more outlandish offerings was obviously not to his liking so he has joined up with a seemingly other Trust hater, to publish even worse anti Trust features.  But somehow, we really don't think it will be that popular with boaters, who can see straight through it, as exactly what it is—sheer spite.

Victor Swift

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