Victor: Re-opening the waterways

Published: Sunday, 30 September 2018

THE boaters in the North, and those considering a late cruise on the Leeds & Liverpool will be relieved.

For at long last the waterway has been re-opened for navigation from Leeds to Wigan after the rainfall, our Keith Gudgin tells us, but still with restrictions of varying times through the many flights which would prompt contacting Cart to discover these times.

Not at all sure about either the Huddersfield Narrow or the Rochdale canals, somewhat conflicting reports from Cart.

Why the hell?

Is there anyone capable at Cart at making a sensible decision about the Macclesfield? It tells us that come the end of next week the Macclesfield will re-open with the Bosley Flight unlocked, though just in the mornings after 8am.

Then would you believe a month later it will close to allow work on locks 1 and 12!  To which one and all of you will be asking 'why the hell did they not do this whilst it was closed?'

Because, my friends, they have not that much sense. 

Looking back

Taking the opportunity to look back on our latest cruise to (not to) Froghall, which those who followed our exploits will know again that we were thwarted by one of Cart's many closures, closures that prompted many, many complaints from the boaters we met at locks, and this though we no longer have the name of the site blazoned on the boat!

If we had, from past experienced I reckon we would have been swamped with more complaints!

Complaints of course about the many closures and about the time it is taking to rectify, particularly the Middlewich Breach, with absolutely nothing being done, just a 'loose' promise that it could be repaired by Christmas, to which many asked my 'which Christmas?'  And meant it.

Fake news

One thing, nearly everyone we spoke to liked was our revelation that newspapers (we quoted the Telegraph) did not fall for the fake news that a boater had opened both top and bottom gates on the waterway and so caused the breach. 

BranstonMachineryIt was our Thomas (a former newspaper editor) who was one who alerted the Press to the ridiculous statement, proving it could not be true, to which the newspapers instantly withdrew the fake news from their internet publications, they realising what they had been told was impossible.

No moorers

Approaching those most popular moorings at Branston Water Park on the Trent & Mersey we were amazed to see so many boats moored Burton side of the road bridge (of which there are now two) and none anywhere near the pub, that is usually thronged.

But the above picture tells all—there was massive machinery at work the other side of the hedge!  And before too long there will be houses along the length over both sides of the canal, with a virtual town in the making right back to Branston Lock.

BranstonLowLakeAlready a new school has been constructed way in the distance, and a new road installed from the A38, so Branston, like alas, so many other places, will become a cruise between buildings.

Not so popular

Branston is one of our favourite mooring places, as there is a decent walk over the offside of the waterway through fields, woods and paths and back in to Tattenhill Lock then back up the little used towpath to the boat—greatly enjoyed by Rusty, but alas not the rabbits!

There were very few visitors to the park, even during a fairly pleasant day, then a look at the lake showed why, for as man-made it is entirely reliant on rainfall—and there hadn't been any, with the whole lake very low and covered in scum, so not at all inviting, as the picture shows.  Not helped by many notices telling not to swim and keep children and animals out as dangerous.

Back to normal

So the site is back to normal, and  I'm told to tell you not to  forget to use it to air your views, but must include your name if an article. Though this will not be included if simply giving information. And remember we never have and never will give out your personal information—or email addresses—to third parties.

Victor Swift