Victor: What a con!

Published: Sunday, 11 August 2019

THE 'Barging Around'—or whatever it is calledtelevision programme kept my interest for a while last week.

HattonEmptyBut left me thinking that the programme about a number of 'personalities' new to boating crewing a couple of narrowboats was somewhere abroad and certainly not on the Hatton Flight as we were led to believe.

It certainly did not appear as it did to us when we tackled the flight as our photograph shows, but was brimming with water throughout. But the real shock were the volunteers!

I counted five altogether, virtually working all the locks, and giving the definitely wrong impression to viewers that locks are worked by volunteers. We were not lucky enough to get even one of the many hundreds—or is it now thousandsthat we are told abound throughout the system.

Then another shockfour more volunteers painting a lock! Ye Gods, they had really piled it on. I can't even remember seeing a lock being painted by volunteers.

And the '2,000 miles of waterways' had metamorphosed into 4,000 miles!

It was all of course totally misleading but well up to the ambiguous standard of CaRT's new 'better by water' offensive, we are all having to suffer.

Leave it to the Germans

The news that Canal & River Trust will have to rebuild Toddbrook Reservoir must have brought a shudder to many.

Its recently history of repairs—or perhaps, with Wheaton Aston Lock cill in mindthe lack of them, it's spokesman telling a meeting it could take, and I quote, 18 months, two years, three years, who knows?, the vision of CaRT actually rebuilding a  reservoir is completely unthinkable.

Perhaps it would be better to cast CaRT aside and bring in the Germans to rebuild it, for as our Keith Gudgin reminded me, it took the Germans just six weeks to rebuild the Eider Dam that was knocked out by Barnes Wallace's bouncing bomb during World War II.

Mind you they wouldn't have been hamstrung with all the rules and regulations would they?

Commercial spin

I see the contractor, Keir, lost no time in putting its commercial spin on its work on the reservoir, telling how its 55 strong team help the RAF in repairing the damaged dam and getting the residents back to their homes.

Boasting how fast it had the first water pumps into service and have been able to pump water out of the reservoir quickly.

Ignoring, of course, that it was the fire service that was there pumping out the water well before Keir even put in an appearance.

Telling how it is

Excellent comment indeed from Mrs. Hartley a resident of Whaley Bridge giving a bit of truth at last about the condition of the dam, having walked her dog there daily for many years.

As an eye witness she really told the facts of the complete lack of maintenance and control, and even reporting the deluge of water rushing over the spillway to CART, with needless to say, nothing done until the following day.

After all the expected excuses from CaRT, there is nothing like an actual eye witness telling how it is.

Watch out when stepping off your boat

At a cost of £2 millions, more miles of the Leeds & Liverpool towpath is to be upgraded to a cycle track.

Work has already  begun on the project to 'improve' almost seven miles of towpath along the waterway between Skipton to Gargrave and Bradley to Kildwick.

 Canal & River Trust, sorry, it now wants to be called 'Canal & River Trust waterways and wellbeing charity'  has secured funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development with further support from Craven District Council and the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership.

All it needs me to add is to warn boaters not to step off their boats without looking for the all too often speeding cyclists whizzing past, especially if taking part in those time trials that CaRT doesn't appear to discourage.

Make of it what you will

A 'Notice Alert' from CaRT about Anderton Boat Lift, last Wednesday, I just could not understand.

It told its contractors had been on site during the week to carry out repairs, but unfortunately, couldn't complete the repairs on their initial visit so will be back on site with additional equipment.

And that was it!  What were the repairs? Was it closed? Was it open? We could only guess.

And a final question

As to this much proclaimed 'Better by Water' campaign, has anybody asked what the residents by the water of Toddbrook Reservoir who had to leave their homes think about it?

Victor Swift