Victor asks what will Easter bring?

Published: Saturday, 20 March 2021

GOOD Friday, the start of the Easter holidays is the usual boating season starting day, but what will it bring for us boaters?

That date, Good Friday the 2nd of April, alas brings no definite plans for recreational boating on the waterways, only that the government advises its next relaxation of its Road Map tells the 'stay at home' rule will become 'stay local'.  That doesn't do much for us.

Easter Monday

Then for Easter Monday, the 5th April all we are told is that at least four people from two households can meet outside, more shops can open and outdoors non-contact group sports for 12 to 17 year olds can resume.

Which is not much help either, but when the next relaxation comes perhaps we may be lucky.

However we then have to rely of Canal & River Trust's 'Canal' Map, that, I am afraid is still non-existent.

A bridge?

There has been no navigation through Derwent Mouth Lock on the Trent & Mersey from the 1st to the 17th of March.

We are told this is because of a 'repair'.  But then comes the bizarre bit.

This is confirmation 'the bridge installation at Lock 1 has been completed ahead of schedule and the navigation will be fully re-opened by 12 noon on Wednesday 17th March'.

A bridge at Derwent Mouth?  Where? Why?

Can't wait to get the boat out and have a look, for this just can't be real!

Depressing updates

It would seem that at the moment we are having to suffer a preponderance of updates, many simply repeating themselves as little is occurring.

Alas, they seem rather like excuses for the long delays. Here's a few examples:

After 14 weeks we are told that fair weather and hard work by contractors have allowed good progress on the repair works to the culvert at Bennetts Bridge on the Shroppie.

After a more recent one of only three weeks is Grimshaw Lane Bridge on the Rochdale that remains closed (for the second time) whilst investigations continue into the repair of the mechanical failure with contractor and hydraulic specialist.

After 10 weeks all we learn about the stoppage at Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge on the Weaver is that navigation restrictions still remain in place but a method of repair is being organised.

Also after 10 weeks there is the the Winnington Swing Bridge on the Weaver that suffered the same fate that now needs another contractor to attempt to rectify the problem.  This is a high one for ships but narrowboats are still not allowed under.

Don't lets forget the worst of the lot—the Aire & Calder breach that occurred way back last year on the 20th December, 13 weeks ago, with no intimation whatsoever when it will be repaired. Just strange updates.

And still they come

I see we have yet another 'No.1' publication!  They are coming like the hundreds of No.1 best seller books, where they cannot possibly all be the best!

The waterway ones are certainly not. Not whilst we are knocking the articles out as we are, though I have to admit it was a most unusually slack week last week for us, but at least we had other than their normal diet of just occasional CaRT Press Releases.

The number on the web address of our articles tells how many there have been since the last revision a few years ago—my article is number 12,966.  So both those other web publications that recently went over two weeks with no updates whatsoever will have to get a move on!

Any-road-up, as we say up here, why not this slap on the back for ourselves, especially as our esteemed editor doesn't allow it...

What rubbish

Just ready to load this and there's yet another canal programme on television.  This time with Sheila Hancock and Gyles Brandreth pretending to be newcomers on a 70ft narrowboat on the Caldon, and the most ridiculous ever. Both attempting to make it as dramatic as possible, and to any watching boater obviously failing miserably.

There was Sheila Hancock screeching that it was dangerous to go through a bridge that she thought was ready to crumble on top of their boat, that was obviously as sound has it had been for the past 200 years, and a further screech every time a boat passed, with the crews looking somewhat perplexed at her ridiculous performance.

Then Gyles Brandreth nervously telling that they were going through Harecastle Tunnel that would take 40 minutes and got lower and lower with only one boat allowed at a time, and both obviously pretending sheer terror!

What rubbish indeed.

Victor Swift—telling it like it is