David: Congratulations due

Published: Monday, 07 May 2018

THIS is probably giving a hostage to fortune.

But we have just completed a five week cruise from Napton to Llangollen via Birmingham and then back to Autherley, taking in the Montgomery as well. During that time the only defect we came across was a single non-functioning paddle (the rack was removed), every thing else was working as it should, so CaRT are due some congratulations.

Less amused

I was less amused to have to divert in Birmingham to avoid the closure (now finished) of the New Main Line below Factory Locks and I only knew about this because I saw the empty canal from a train.

I had received no stoppage notice about it and I only found it listed in the Winter Stoppage list, with a finish date much later then all the others and I had overlooked this. When I reached the turn off point for the diversion to the Old Main Line via Brades Locks there was nothing to show that the canal was closed further on.

needs a fenderHad I not seen it from the train a few days before I would have cruised on and doubtless had to reverse a long way as a result. I have moaned before about CaRT's total reliance on the internet for closure notifications and failure to indicate on the ground. Similarly there is no notice at Hurlestone Junction to say that the Middlewich Arm is closed (we didn't go to Barbridge) and I heard several stories about boaters, including hirers, who did not know about either of these stoppages and had their schedules disrupted. Perhaps the Department of Silly Notices should try putting up a few sensible ones.

New logo

I have already had a go about this in my last piece, but having since seen the thing on narrowboatworld, words (almost) fail me. I could not have come up with a more boring and irrelevant logo if I had thought about it for a year. Perhaps CaRT's marketing department felt that a discarded tyre was appropriate to fender off all the paint-scratching bent piling and protruding bolts (pictured above). I can only hope that when it is 'launched' at Crick those present will give it the welcome it deserves.

Nene guillotineGood News

Michael Pearson has produced a new Canal Companion, which includes the Nene, not covered in the series for about 20 years. It's called'"Leicester Line and River Nene' and as well as the waterways named also includes the Trent as far as Cromwell lock and the Erewash. Fully up to Pearson's usual high standard, it gives all the information that boater, walker or cyclist could need. On the Nene it marks the moorings provided by the Friends of the River Nene in recent times, which meet a long felt need. It also gives the characteristics of each lock, especially whether the guillotine gates are mechanised—only six manual ones are now left, if this has been putting you off that lovely river.