Victor brings a bit of good news

Published: Saturday, 17 April 2021

IT IS rather difficult finding good news concerning our waterways these days, but that the Anderton Boat Lift is free to use is good news.

an openingYes, my friends, there is no longer any charge for using the lift, and so you can once again take your boat to and from the Weaver without charge, as in the dim and distant past, but don't forget to book.

However it is only operating four days a week from on Monday and Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5.30pm.

Mind you, there is this strange notice—'Next available slot on the day is free of charge, however this passage is subject to availability, otherwise, charges of passage do apply.'

Perhaps you can understand it, buggered if I can.

Our picture was of the opening in 2002 when the Press was taken up the lift in a boat and the gates would not open to allow the boat out to turn on the Trent & Mersey, that rather set a precedent...

And another

Still another bit of good newsthe Rochdale will soon reopen. After being closed at Grimshaw Lane Lift Bridge—to give it its proper titlesince the 5th of March, it is hoped this Manchester bridge will be open by next Friday 23rd April.

rochdaleNewLiftIt was the need for specialist parts and equipment that has caused the seven weeks closure, but these have now been sourced and will be installed this coming week, Keith reports.

The failure of the bridge was the second in a short period and though engineers attempted in the first instant to repair the bridge, the repair only lasted a very short while when it was realised that a more permanent repair was required.

So hopefully no more stoppages.

Not so good

Not so good news is that the failure of Stanhope Lock at Middlewich closing the Four Counties Rring could have been avoided, as I am told that its problem had been known about and reported for at least 18 months.

Proved by the fact a CaRT notice appeared last summer instructing users how to shut the bottom gates to avoid leakage!

But of course it seems the usual policy of 'wait until it breaks then mend it' prevailed—closing the Four Counties Ring for 10 days.

Another tangent

So now we have another departure from maintaining the waterwaysCultural Heritage Advisory Group, that we are told will support the trust in combining effective conservation and interpretation of the built and cultural heritage of the waterways, with promoting their use, enjoyment and value for wellbeing.

How much this cost to set-up or how much to administrate we are of course not made aware, but one thing is for sure, it is yet something else taking the focus off the actual purpose of the waterwaystheir use for boating.

The meaning of Heritage—'features belonging to the culture of a particular society, such as traditions, languages, or buildings, that were created in the past and still have historical importance' is all well and good but has little or nothing to do with the actual workings of the waterways, which are falling by the wayside.

Surely it is better in the hands of the professionals—English Heritage—that was created for the purpose and not the dabbling of the trust that has much more important matters in its hands.

Keep the boats away

There is little wonder that boaters arranged a mass protest of boats at Broxbourne along the Lee in protest of CaRT's mooring 'Safety Zone' policy, that restricts or prohibits the mooring of boats and so reduces so many London mooring locations.

They have headed en masse to Broxbourne on the Lee to protest on Saturday 17th April, at the introduction of the Canal & River Trust’s new rules that restricts or prohibits the mooring of boats at many London locations.

It has been calculated that this will displace 550 boats, including 150 from sites in Hackney, Tottenham and Clapton in addition to Broxbourne.

Whilst it will no doubt make cruising easier, it will make it even more difficult to find mooring in the city, which is perhaps its purpose—keep the pesky boats away!

Victor Swift