Victor: Make of that what you will

Published: Sunday, 01 November 2020

THE Atherstone chaos had certainly created contradicting reactions.

AtherstoneChaos400One thing for is for certain—the lock gate definitely fell into the lock, but when is the question!

Canal & River Trust tells that it was vandals removing 'pins' that caused the lock gate to fall into the lock chamber.

But alas (for CaRT) boaters witnessed the lock gate breaking away when it was being lifted and then falling 'upside down' into the lock—as Dan White's photograph shows. 

But it is boater Charles Pearse whose photograph below has solved the problem.  It could have been vandals who released the securing 'pins', or whatever they were, but the gate did not fall into the lock, it simply hung there, as is clearly shown.

So it was later when the engineers attempted to hoist it—with insufficient equipmentthat the gate actually broke free and fell down into the lock, as can be seen above.

All rather clear don't you think?

AtherstoneGateLeansThe 'reasons'

Alas, CaRT just could not stomach having to take the blame for inadequate equipment.

First a stoppage notice of the 21st October told 'The gate at Lock 2, Atherstone has been knocked out of place'

The following day we were informed the flight would be 'closed for over a week'.

Then CaRT told the Press "Once on site our operations team found that the lock had been vandalised.  Pins that hold the lock gate collar in place and keep it in the correct position within the lock chamber had been removed.

"This resulted in the lock gate becoming dislodged and subsequently ending up submerged in the canal.”

Yet Charles' photograph clearly gives this the lie, as the gate is securely wedged—it had not ended up submerged in the canal.

It came to be 'in the canal' when it broke free from the inadequate lifting gear, as boaters witnessed and now also shown on social media.

It is really all rather clear...

A bit late

 After the big lockdown earlier in the year there was a rush for canal boating holidays. This prompted the claim that hiring had increased by 150%, though with those that had cancelled now rebooking and an interest in canal holidays as there were no flights abroad at that time, that was to be expected.

The Daily Telegraph made the most of this pointing out the many routes available to hirers, though a couple were a bit of a risk owing to stoppages.

ReplacingSign400But now, the end of October and the end of the boating season, when many of those waterways will close for winter maintenance, the Daily Telegraph has seen fit to regurgitate the very same article!  Telling of all the wonderful routes available—including the Leicester Ring through Atherstone...

Oh yes?

All you boaters out on cruises recently must surely have seen the multitude of new blue notices scattered around the waterways, for which CaRT tells: 'We will only be replacing signs as and when required'.

Which prompted Brian D Garrett to remark—Obviously, the black & white one was worn out!

His picture showing the well worn black & white sign that had of course to be replaced with the blue one.

Victor Swift