Victor: When did you see otherwise?

Published: Sunday, 27 September 2020

I WAS not at all surprised to learn that Canal & River Trust is acknowledging the Black Lives Matter campaign.

But would not have thought CaRT would have been so enamoured of them after the mob at Bristol tipped its statue in the basin and it is having to hastily protect others.

The problem is CaRT is being well left behind with its support of that particular community, though it does feature its people in its web page publicity.

But alas, as we are very well aware, narrowboating is a white middle class activity.  When did you see otherwise on a narrowboat?  We didn't on our recent cruise...

A very bad idea

Whoever now churns out Boaters' Update went to great pains to flog the safety of the tunnels, and we all know why of course.  CaRT's dangerous plan to have volunteers  operating Harecastle.

To my mind, and seemingly that of many others, a very bad idea, and surely putting us at such risk is not worth the small amount saved in wages.

It's a killer tunnel and no matter about sounding your horn if in difficulty, as the writeris it still Damian Kemp?suggests, it would hardly be heard near the end with the massive noisy fan. 

With 28 volunteers swapping times and not bothering to turn up it will be too easy for someone to get the number of boats coming through wrong, and with one hanging back—as we have been told they often doletting others in whilst one still coming through!  Crash! 

And volunteers without any real authority whatsoever means anything canand surely willhappen.

A very bad idea indeed.


Damian, or whoever, tells 'to keep to a moderate speed' when passing through the tunnel'wrong!  Such speed will have the boat ricocheting off the narrow walls as 'way' is lost is this very narrow tunnel.

Which brings to mind the hire boater we were following in the tunnel who was crawling though all over the place banging the walls.  One of us went on to our bow to tell him if he went quicker he would be able to keep in a straight line, and he did.

He even thanked us for the information when we exited, telling us it was much better and getting no more complaints from his crew, and it would be a good idea if boaters were given this information in the literature they hand to you.

The people in charge

We all must realise that those at CaRT don't know too much about the canals, but this takes the biscuit.

It has a problem knowing the Leicester Section from the Trent & Mersey!

A notice on Friday telling boaters of a stoppage on the Leicester Line (as it now calls the Leicester Section) but is at lock 27 on the Trent & Mersey!

Little hope is there if CaRT people are unable to tell one waterway from another.

The stoppage?  Normala lock has given up the ghost, with perhaps temporary use, but no hope of a repair until the 10th of October.


Should you care to look up the number of 'chiefs' at CaRT these days you would be forgiven in wondering what is their purpose.

External contractors do canal maintenance. RCR does the tricky recovery operations following incidents. Tree surgeons remove fallen trees. Licensing is also outsourced.

So what is left for CaRT to do?  I knowPR!

No luck

Our Thomas has been attempting to discover if it was a lock keeper or a volunteer who allowed that stranded Ribble boat out on to a 9.9 metres spring tide.

But alas no luck so far.

Victor Swift

[Just had a peep at tomorrow's headline article—Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear!]