Victor asks who is kidding who?

Published: Sunday, 21 October 2018

DURING the maintenance season, we are told that lock repairs will be open to the public to see how the locks actually function.

All of course to give the public an interest in the waterways, which is no bad thing. But I really do object to the phrase by Canal & River Trust Chief Executive, Richard Parry, who tells:

“Our waterways are an amazing historic legacy and the Trust works year-round to keep them open and safe for everyone to enjoy, which requires a huge amount of planning and investment as well as a wide range of craftsmanship and expertise."

Works all year round to keep them open?  What, with 12 closed in one particular week? All the major northern canals closed over the main holiday period? Such as the Middlewich Branch since early in the year? The Marple Flight and Macclesfield closed time and time again, as in fact they still are?

And we could not get to the end of the Caldon on our cruise as it was closed. So I certainly don't agree with the implication of the all year to keep them open statement. Do you?

Done in three weeks

Bollington Burst

As to the breach on the Middlewich Branch, way back in February 1912 what was known as the 'Bollington Burst' was a breach in the Macclesfield, draining the the canal from the top of Bosley Flight to Whaley Bridge, Chris Potter tells us.

With no machinery, as of course there is today, plenty of men were employed and it took just three weeks to repair.

Somewhat different to today's lackadaisical attempt at repairing the breach, even with machinery, on the Middlewich, that—if we are luckywill take nine months.

Mustn't forget

Must not forget indeed, as our Keith tells, that the Leeds & Liverpool Canal is finally completely open.

Ten days before the end of the boating season.  Which was another that certainly was not worked on all year round to keep open.

No chance

There is no chance indeed that people, and particularly children, will feed the ducks such as cabbage and peas as has been suggested. As we always have salad at lunchtime when cruising, we have offered the ducks such as lettuce, but they turn their noses up at it. 

All they want is breadand plenty of it!  So I'm afraid the idea of cabbage and the like is a non-starter.


I see that one, Ralph Rhodes, was enticed into visiting the Standedge Visitor Centre after reading it had 50,000 visitors a year, but he and his children were somewhat disappointed.

The poor sod obviously believed the statistics.  Which reminds me that in the bumf from Cart about the locks being open for inspection by the public, there was not the usual statement that the canals had 440,000,000 visits a year  It was just 'enjoyed by millions of people'...

Has it finally realised just how ridiculous the figure is? 

Victor Swift