Victor goes anti

Published: Thursday, 12 September 2019

ANTI-CLOCKWISE around the Leicester Ring, that is.

I have given our esteemed editor the warning that this is a bad idea as we will be arriving at the Leaky Leicester Section late September—and we all know what that means.

BurtonMooredHowever here we are at Stenson once again, and a volunteer, even in the rain, though this time of no use to us, as we were just taking delivery of our boat that had been blacked and were heading Burton way.

It was Hands On Marine Ltd, at Stenson Marina that blacked the boat and the fellas there made a very good job.

Plenty of boas

We soon found that there were plenty of boats about, especially in Burton, but alas, not moving boats but moored.  Even Shobnall Fields, where a boat that had been left had been trashed recently, was packed solid, and the normally empty space towards Jannel Cruisers was crammed as the picture above shows shows.

BranstonHousesIt was in Burton where we managed to get an all too rare meeting with our Keith Gudgin, who has kept us well informed over the yearsthank you Keith.

Great deal of activity

Then on to our normal overnight 'away from it all' at Branston Waterpark, that alas is not 'away from it all, any longer, as there has been a great deal of activity over the past few months—with a complete housing estate having sprung up!

At the moment there is just a show house that is occupied, but before too long the many other dwellings stretching away into the distance will surely be taken and the Branston moorings never again the same.

BagnallLockHousesVillage extended

Not only are houses springing up around Branston, for further on at Bagnall Lock out of Alrewas, houses are being built with the village extended even further along the Trent & Mersey.

And of course needless to say those struts that were attached to the bottom gates to prevent them swinging open before boaters reached the top gate paddles, have gone. So once again, unless you open a top gate paddle before attempting to close the bottom gates they will not stay closed. Which does not say much for the maintenance that was carried out a while back.

FradleyMarinaSameMind you. the fact that struts had to be deployed to hold them shut doesn't really say much for the standard of maintenance, anyway, eh?

Fradley Marina

And so to Fradley for a nice easy day, but alas the new 60 berths Fradley Marina by Common Lock does not seem to have progressed at all since we last passed in July, everything being at a standstill.

It's webpage is no longer shown, and no one in the village seems to have any knowledge of the reason. Mind you, a new marina at Fradley, in between the massive Mercia, Barton and Kings Bromley doesn't show a great deal of sense.

FradleyLockRopeWith even speculation of yet another marina under a mile away from Fradley above Bagnall Lock!  Crazy,


This time we had volunteers at Fradley Locksfive we were told, and the one working Hunt's Lock certainly had plenty of nous, having the sense to have a rope tied between the two bottom gates, to enable him to close the far side one without having to go over, as there is no bridge with this particular lock.

He made sure the paddle was down before opening the lock so all he had to do when on the opposite side was give the rope a yank, and hey! presto! the gate was closed.

PaintedFradleyGateAs the picture shows it is quite a simple arrangement, yet I have never seen it in operation in over two cruises a year for over 20 years. We congratulated him on his endeavor.

And here's an unusual picture for you, one not seen too often these daysa lovely well painted lock gate!

No water for deep draughted boats

I can tell you that you will get no water from the water point at Fradley if you have a deep draughted boat!  No chance whatsover.

FradleyWaterStuckHere we were moored opposite the water point by CaRT offices and there was a fella in an obvious deep draughted boat who was well and truly grounded in the silt two feet off the water tap where he was attempting to moor to fill up.

Full throttle

He attempted full throttle forward and full throttle backwards, and even stood on the path leaning right over in an attempt to push it.

Mind you, that was a daft thing to do for had it moved, he stretched out like that would have fallen straight in!

CoventryNoLicenceOur Jan yelled at him to get his pole and push the bow away, but he kept on giving it plenty of welly, all of course to no avail.  Then he did get the pole out and pushed the bow over, and off it glided!  But alas no water for his tank.


So on to the rather overgrown Coventry Canal, and though these days I don't take too much notice of boat licences, of course believing what CaRT tells us that nowadays 98% of them are licenced, but just could not help noticing those unlicensed on this waterway.

Dropping down past Hopwas they were becoming very familiar, with a clutch of six (some of them pictured) with no sign of a licence amongst the lot of them. That causes something of a query for as they are not abiding by the rules should they be on CaRT waterways? Which begs the questionshould we be slowing down when passing?

FazeleyWaterTapNo water

I see the water tap at Fazeley Junction is following the trendit's out of action. Just wonder if boaters are told where the nearest is, but more to the point, on past information will it be the correct information?

Why is it that so many boaters don't know that when turning into a blind junction they should sound the horn to let any boater in the vicinity know their intentions? And how many of you know it's one blast for turning right and two for left?

The boater who just missed us turning onto the Coventry from  the Birmingham & Fazeley in a 70 footer obviously did not know, but only our quick action saved a collision, the steerer being completely unable to see for the length of the boat.

Do boaters nor realise why a horn is compulsory?  It's to use.

Victor Swift