Victor: Give yourselves extra time

Published: Sunday, 05 July 2020

SO AT LONG last the waterways are fully open, give or take a couple.

Let's make use of those that we can.  I know many complain of so many stoppages and restrictions these days, as there are rather a lot of them, but one thing I will say for the workers—mostly they fix thing rather quickly when they are able.

So really it's just a matter of giving yourselves extra time, we certainly will.

If they can't be fixed...

As the stoppage caused by the rotted lock on the Watford Flight shows however, if a problem cannot be promptly fixed it is bodgedno other word for it.

As the lock gate, that had obviously had its day, was removed and somehow braced took three weeks, surely it would have been wise to replace with a new gate.  There is no way the gate in its present condition will last.  Perhaps we can hope for a 'winter' replacement?

b foxton top locksFoxton open four hours a day

As to restrictions, Foxton Flight is being severely restricted, being open for only fours hours a day, from 10am to 2.15pm, with no explanation.

As usual it is a first come first served basis through the flight, with the information there will be no extension if too many boats, as they will have to wait until the following day.

One thing for sure we will not be amongst them, as had too many hold-ups on our last two ventures that-a-way.

Better at Cromwell

A longer time span at Cromwell Lock on the Trent however, that is now manned every day from 8am until 4pm, but needs 24 hours notice to book a passage.

sout cromwellIt is not a matter of just turning up as this is the start of the tidal river and so entry is very much dependant on the state of the tide.

You need to leave Cromwell on the ebb and coming out of Torksey up river you definitely need to be with the  incoming tide to take you up to Cromwell or you will really struggle.

Boat movement data awry

It was on Friday that we received the third complaint that the boat data movement collected by Canal & River Trust is somewhat awry, when John Howard told us that he checked his official boat movement data showing he had cruised in London, yet he has never been further south than Leighton Buzzard on the Grand Union Canal, telling CaRT:

"This does not fill me with confidence regarding your boat movement data, and I will be filing your email as evidence of such in case I need to contest any CaRT action regarding my boat’s alleged movements in the future."

The other two boaters were worried about their names being published, but one was supposedly on the closed Leeds & Liverpool though he is disabled and so does not cruise broad lock canals they being too difficult for him and his wife.

The other told us he was logged in Birmingham though at the time he was having repairs to his boat in Stoke!

Sounds like 'normal service', eh?

Back to the boat

One thing about our Thomas being in self isolation was that we had an update on Tuesdays, but now that he has crept out of lockdown and again having that day on the boat. this will end.

That was one good thing (for most!) that came out of it all, and really the site did very well out of the virus when all is said and done, as there was plenty to tell—by narrowboatworld anyway.

Victor Swift