Victor: Not such good news

Published: Sunday, 29 July 2018

AFTER having to admit to the closure of the Rochdale Canal on BBC radio and television the word went out to Canal & River Trust's staff to find some good news.

But alas this proved a problem until someone pointed out that the Pocklington had had a section re-watered and had money spent on it, so it fed Yorkshire Television with the news, that duly appeared on its Calendar programme, with Cart of course proudly taking responsibility!

There was a spokesman from Cart explaining how it was extending its waterways, with the latest being the Pocklington Canal, but somehow managed to forget to tell that it was in fact the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society that had achieved all the work on the waterway with no help whatsoever from Cart. So even more fake news!

It was stated back in 2014 (£500,000 for the Pocklington Canal) that volunteers had restored most of the locks and a swing bridge that was back in action for the first time in 80 years. However there was no water in the canal as it needs badly dredging and other work that CaRT would not undertake, though it owns the waterway. 

Another disappointment for the volunteers was though the Heritage Lottery Fund had granted £500,000 towards the Pocklington Canal—not a single penny of it will go towards its restoration! The massive grant will only pay for surveys and to improve nature conservation including cutting down tress that are giving 'excessive shading' preventing vegetation growth!

But then Cart discovered dragonflies in the waterway that must be preserved at all costs, so the Pocklington had its dredging, but alas not for the benefit of the waterway but to  'preserve the life of dragonflies' that spends years under water as nymphs in the canal until they eventually metamorphosis as a winged dragonfly.

At which Cart dropped an almighty clanger by dredging the silt from the bottom of Pocklington Canal—'helping to reverse this decline and in turn see an increase in other wildlife such as dragonflies'—dumped the dredging on the land and in the process killed all the living nymphs of countless dragonflies!

'Silly sods' just does not cover it! It was plain stupidity brought about by lack of knowledge of nature.


Getting rather confused these days by the number of canals that are closed, 'temporary closed' or just unworkable, but see the Leeds & Liverpool now joins the queue.

Some rather strange instructions from Cart though.  It tells that all the locks will be chained-up and made inoperable, yet goes on to say that boaters should share the locks and ensure paddles and gates are closed—even though they cannot be used!

Then it tells that it is 'ashing' the gates to stop further leakage. Actually at last admitting that they do leak.


Anyway, no doubt all those boaters now stuck on those closed canals will be pleased to learn that at least, as Cart tells them, the closed canals can still be used by anglers and canoeists, and the towpaths will remain open for people—visitors and the local community alike—to enjoy.

LockBeamRogerStoppage in the making

Roger Fox warns boaters taking the the Southern Grand Union to watch out for a stoppage notice for lock 35, as once again it looks like a 'wait until it breaks' situation, as it is sure to be coming soon!

His photograph shows the state of the lock beam, that really should have been replaced before it reached this state.

Know no better

Beavers have been released near the Welsh Border in an undisclosed location, we are told 'in the hope they will naturally engineer the environment against flooding and help bring back lost wildlife'.

This was the doing of the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, who assisted in the release of the beavers, remarking:

“This release is a fantastic opportunity to develop our understanding of the potential impacts of reintroductions and help this iconic species, 400 years after it was driven to extinction.  The project is an example of our wider approach to enhancing biodiversity. It is another step towards our aim of leaving the environment in a better state for future generations.”

It is stated that their ability is to fell trees and dam watercourses to allows the formation of pools, wetlands, interconnecting beaver canals, coppiced woodland, and glades'.  Oh yes, and that they could bring back water vole...

And the ability to create havoc on the canals!

Another culvert

Tomorrow, Monday, sees yet another waterway under restriction by a culvert failure, this time on the Leicester Section of the Grand Union, that will continue until Friday.

We are unable to tell of the state of the culvert or even where it is, so is this yet another of those where a week's closure is given then later we get the information that the problem was worse than first thought?  Followed of course with months of closure—as happened with the Leeds & Liverpool culvert?

Victor Swift