Victor tells of a brand new closure record

Published: Sunday, 06 June 2021

I'M AFRAID that the wait for the poor sods to get out of Ripon Marina in 12 weeks will not be a record.

AireCalderBreach400The Aire & Calder Navigation breached way back on the 20th December, 24 weeks ago—twice that time—and still no date of a repair.

The navigation, that was a very much used commercial waterway from Goole Docks, is in use no longer with obviously no urgency to get the breach fixed.

In fact CaRT reckon it will take £3 millions to repair.  So it's going to be a long time yet.  So no access off the Trent or the Sheffield & South Yorks to get up onto the northern waterways—or get back.

See how fast I went?

It is rather obvious that putting speed indicators on the towpaths to slow Lyca Louts down has not been properly thought out.

Do they not realise that what they have done is give them a means to see how fast they can go?

It will not slow them down but bait them to go faster to beat their mates with the display showing their fastest times.

Not a good idea.

Via the Thames

It's okay in remarking that there is a way around the stoppage of the swing bridge before Oxford of going onto the Thames via Duke's Cut then back up the Oxford Canal.

Forgetting one thing—you will have to fork-out for a Thames licence, and by my reckoning a narrowboat around 60ft will cost £70 or thereabouts, depending on how many square metres, for a short term licence.

No thanks

Thinking of staying off for the night in Glasson Dock when cruising the Lancaster?

No fiver mooring fee here—it's £17.50 for a one night stay irrespective of the boat length.  Want power?  That's extra.

So as one boater tells—"Well. that's Glasson Dock off my cruising plan!"

It doesn't match

Once again using the Guardian, CaRT tells us:

Record numbers are spending time on Britain’s rivers and canals, according to the Canal and River Trust. Such is their popularity that the charity, which manages 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales, says: “There are more boats on our canals now than at the height of the industrial revolution.”

Strange—when lock usage is dropping as much as 27% in one instance...

The Wild West

It was in late May that the offside head paddle frame become detached from the wall of Lock 13 on the Rochdale Canal, resulting in the paddle no longer being held in place therefore making this unusable.  So the lock was closed.

Then came the stoppages notices with one on the 28th May telling that though the temporary repair had sealed the paddle chamber, however unfortunately the lock was still inoperable.

But for the May Bank Holiday there was assisted passage for certain hours, then the lock was closed until the 1st June when a dive team was on site and replaced the paddle frame in it's enclosure, then waited for the sealant to set.

Unfortunately no one thought of measuring the paddle and frame, and guess what?—it would not fit!  However there was a promise to sort it out.

But alas, it was not to be so, for on the 2nd June it was discovered that the wedge holding the paddle frame stuck out too much.

But now it's all back in place and the Rochdale re-open, until—and I tell in all sincerity—the next stoppage on that navigation...

Victor Swift