Victor: That does it!

Published: Sunday, 12 August 2018

THAT does it indeed, we shall not be going on our planned September cruise after all.

We had settled on another trip on the Caldon as 'our bit' up to Alrewas fed by the Trent is fairly safe and the Trent & Mersey seemingly free from stoppages.

This time we planned on dropping down through Hazelhurst locks to Froghall, as we have only ever done this once, but here comes our Keith telling us, 'no chance' as those locks are now securely closed 'until further notice'—and we know what that means.

So perhaps it will be a trip down the Trent and back then up the Soar and back, that should be fairly safe, providing we don't go past Leicester on the Soar, where there are of course stoppages.


But what if we get heavy rain come the middle of September and the rivers flood. Being caught twice on the flooding Soar, is that out of the question too?

Are we going to join the endless people who are telling us they have had enough and packing it in?

There is one thing that is certain, the already suspect number by Cart of 34,000 boats on its waterways is rapidly decreasing. After all, what's the point of a boat if you can hardly go anywhere?


And I now hear from friends coming up the Oxford Canal—recognised as the second most popular on the system—that it is deserted.

Mind you, with so many trapped on it this year, who can blame the boaters?

What a week

What a week it has been for waterway restrictions and closures, they coming in fast and furious as the lack of rainfall takes its toll.

Even the Regent's not escaping, with the Grand Union, Lee and Hertford Union canals too in London suffering closures.

At the moment they are just period closures, but how long before they join those in the North and suffer their locks being chained up?  And even that Cart 'jewel' the Bingley Five Rise is under restriction. But with all the flights now closed on the Leeds & Liverpool I shouldn't imagine there will be many boats wanting to use it.

Now you know

Like many of you, one thing we have never done, is go through locks in the dark, but a couple of boaters set off at 3am from the top of Derwent Mouth Lock, sneaked in to the entrance to the marina there to turn, then locked down onto the river in total darkness heading for Sawley Marina. Who? Our esteemed editor and Jan would you believe!

However a damn good reason, for Thomas had taken very seriously ill, and there was no way to get an ambulance there, so there was little option but to make it down to the marina, no doubt disturbing a few residents on the way past, but the lad was finally in a hospital.

So now you know why there were no updates last week. But very pleased to report he is 'repaired' and the site will be back tomorrow.

Victor Swift