Victor: Winter wonderland

Published: Sunday, 15 November 2020

THE hire company Drifters is now offering boating holidays on the 'winter waterways'.

This came about the day that winter maintenance officially started, and the list of places it flogs I know for sure are due for stoppages.

Of course it paints the usual exciting picture of cruising in a winter wonderland, and exciting it will be, but alas not as was expected, with such as Atherstone springing to mind.

One thing I did notice, that of all the waterways listed ner a mention of cruising the Leeds & Liverpool, Rochdale or Huddersfield Narrow.  Been bitten eh?


Boaters on site saw it was the contractors who let the lock gate slip at Atherstone Flight—through lack of equipment I might add—but CaRT maintain it was vandals.

So as Richard Gibbs tells us maybe CaRT now class the contractors as vandals, lumping them in with the rest of us that use the waterways...


Aquavista, that took over BWML marinas, has reported residents with coronavirusour own Sawley being one of them, with three testing positive.

Mind you, It really had to happen with over 100 living so cheek to jowl, but we are informed they are self isolating and they are reminded not to use shared facilities with exception of the pump-out and the chemical toilet, which can be used with some restrictions in place.

The company has also appointed a Mark Wanless as the new Aquavista Operations Director whom we are told 'has many years of senior level operational experience in customer facing leisure businesses, focused on service improvement'.

Let's hope this one has the courtesy to answer his emails, and put his boss-man to shame, who did not bother.

Pleased to hear it

I was pleased indeed to read Andrew Fenton's article that he had a three weeks cruise of the waterways without incident.

And pleased that our esteemed included it, for as all us boaters know things can go right, and we can have a good time.

Is no news good news?

We did not get the expected follow-up notice concerning the leaking culvert on the Trent & Mersey that closed both the navigation and towpath last week.

This Northwich stoppage between bridges 184 and 185 needed dams isolating the area, a fish rescue then pumps to clear the water to allow inspection.

A matter of wait and see it would seem.


The garden planted on the Rochdale Nine to pretty it up is not being taken as was hoped—it is being used as a remembrance garden for victims losing their lives on that waterway through Manchester.

As may be remembered that in 10 years there were 22 dead bodies—mostly young menpulled out of the Rochdale Nine and Bridgewater canals, (Manchester Pusher) and relatives are leaving tokens of remembrance at the garden.

Certainly not as hoped.

Victor Swift