Victor: Not looking good

Published: Sunday, 21 April 2019

FOR many boaters this week-end is the start of their boating season, but alas, things are not looking too good.

Canal & River Trust managed to get the North Stratford and Macclesfield canals open just in time, but alas failed with Gloucester Lock, so there is no access to or from the Severn to the Gloucester & Sharpness, until we are told yet another re-opening date—the 28th of the month.

Then of course is the problem with the Wolverhampton Level locks limping along on a single pump, with we are told the locks chained up overnight to save water. As most boaters want to get a mooring, they usually finish early, and certainly do not move overnight, so as our Keith Gudgin tells—like closing the stable door after the hoss has bolted!

But alas, there is worse, with the news yesterday that both the Regents Canal and Lee Navigation are both closed, both due to lock failures.

I can't understand the closures of City Lock on the Regent's as it is stated that this is due to a broken paddle. We must all have come across a set of gates with only one paddle working, and it is of course open, so  this must mean that the City Lock had only a single paddle working—at the start of the boating season!

So much for winter maintenance, eh?

Break the record?

Most of you will surely remember the new record set last year when a total of 12 navigations were closed in a single week.

Will it be broken this year? The way things are shaping I would not be in the least surprised.

RenfeSpainTake to the trains

One thing for sure, though this is the time we usually have our first two weeks cruise, we are not going to risk it. Thomas and Jan are once again taking to the trains instead—the fast ones.

A regular passenger on the TGV's on the continent, there is an even quicker one in Spain, with an operational speed of 220mph, that has proved too much of a temptation for Thomas, it giving a two an half hour journey between Barcelona and Madrid that originally took eight hours by the old 'normal' track.

I wonder what George Stephenson, our inventor of the railways, would rate his country's railways now—their being amongst the worst in the world...

Take your pick!

Mentioning railways, brings me to another stoppage 'Cartism', this time concerning the Rochdale.

CaRT tells us that there is a navigation restriction by third party workers from the 7th to the 10th May, with boaters advised to slow down upon approach to the a railway bridge. It starts at Railway Bridge and ends at Railway Bridge.

But alas, something missingno mention whatsoever of which railway bridge!

More sensible

I was pleased to notice that the coroner, Nigel Meadows told at the inquest into yet another drowning in the Rochdale Canal in Manchester, that 'fencing off all the canal would be impossible'.

A sensible change from the usual cries for the waterways to be fenced off, he obviously realising it is the person's responsibility for his/her own safety.

Victor Swift