Victor finds water, water, everywhere

Published: Saturday, 22 September 2018

THE heavens opened on Thursday with it pelting down with rain from the morning onwards leaving the small meandering Trent like this by the Trent & Mersey near Sandon.



Where is our field? The cows forced onto a narrow strip of land by the side of the canal.

No 'walkies'!

BridgeFloodedEven Rusty lost his walk, as on the way out we walked over the now submerged bridge seen in the distance then the area to the right, but alas not today as none of us fancied swimming.

What of course is now worrying is that all this water that stretches for many miles crosses the navigation at Alrewas, and there seems very little likelihood of it being cleared over the next few days, that can only mean we will be stuck again. But this time hardly the fault of Cart.


Even on our normal tick-over past moored boats, we always seem to get one who believes we are going too fast, and this time it was the obvious resident in Priscilla Queen of the Canals who yelled at us to 'slow down' at Trentham!  Yet he was moored offside in a very narrow section that meant any boat passing could not help but move that boat, especially as it also wasn't very well tied-up either.

Surely as so obviously resident in the boat he ought to make an effort to secure it properly. But hold on, his licence had expired in February so should he have been there anyway?

Plume and FeathersMethinks it was our regular early start that upset him, as it was only just after 7am!  For again we were taking advantage of the clear skies before the rains came.

That's why

We were somewhat perturbed at the lack of boats on the moorings by the Wedgwood factory, as again there were just two over its whole length.

But then on the way back the 'penny dropped' when we reached Barlaston for there were 11 boats all congregated around  a  pubsomething rarely seen in the pastwhich meant the boaters where all partaking in Neil Morrissey's Plume & Feathers.

One thing for sure he has certainly created a bit of interest along that part of the waterway.

Still there

Though we reported to Cart that the boat Ormiston left on the lock moorings in Stone was creating a hazard for boaters using the lock, it is still there nine days later. Part of the boat is on the lock moorings whilst part is on the signed 24 hours moorings and its licence expired in January—so illegal on three counts!

BoatYardLockYet Cart has obviously done nothing whatsoever about it, caring both little for the problems it causes for those using the lock or the boat's lack of licence. Which causes me to believe the statistic about having solved the problem of unlicenced boats is some more fake news.  Especially as on the Caldon I saw a number of unlicenced boats with one proudly displaying a licence dated 2014—four years out of date!

Couldn't make it

Then at a lock we met another hire boater who was rather upset, for again it was one thwarted by the machinations of Cart.

It was a Anglo Welsh hirer who had booked the boat for a fortnight with the intention of getting from Middlewich to Llangollen, but was then told he could not make it as there was a breach on the Middlewich that prevents any navigation.

I am afraid I further poured on the agony when he asked if it was a recent occurrence and I informed him that it had breached early in the year, but nothing had been done about it, and we would be lucky if it was repaired this year.

HaywoodWelcomeTo which he was not at all pleased, asking why it had not been repaired, to which I must admit in having pleasure in telling that at the moment many canals are either closed or have restrictions but Cart is just not bothered, as alas us boaters are way down the list of priorities.

One of its very wasteful priorities is sticking 'Welcome to'  banners all over the place, and poorly designed as difficult to read with light blue text on white.  This particularly one in case you cannot make it out, reads 'Welcome to Haywood Junction'! Why welcome anyone to Haywood Junction I have no idea, just wasting our cash.

 Not so good

We managed to call at the new Marks & Sparks by the bottom of Star Lock in Stone and were not at all impressed. Poor Thomas, though appreciating that his long awaited cappuccino was correctly made found it so weak it had little taste.

Plenty of goodies in the shop but everything was its own brand and rather expensive, so will not be calling again.

Victor Swift