David: Bad communication

Published: Monday, 07 June 2021

I AM currently tied up at the bottom of Bosley Locks on the Macclesfield.

I knew that there were some restrictions on passage so was not surprised when I was told by a boat coming down that the locks were shut until tomorrow. The bottom lock 12 is not padlocked but the next one up, out of sight round the corner, is. There is no indication at the bottom lock that the flight is closed, nor was there any advance warning at the stop lock at Harding's Wood. When will CaRT realise that not everyone checks the internet obsessively for stoppages and restrictions, especially long term ones? They must use paper notices as well to warn people.

LeekTownCentreIn any case their internet information is not very reliable. I checked the details for passage through Harecastle Tunnel and was told that it was only available for booked passages. Then I noticed that this was dated 2020 so I had to ring up to find out that this year there is free passage in the morning and bookings are only needed for the afternoon.

Talking of misleading information the pictured signpost has been erected at the west entrance to Leek Tunnel on the Caldon (a lovely mooring). From there it is at least two miles into the centre of Leek, a distance which only Superman could walk in 15 minutes. We caught the bus.

Coventry clean up

On a recent trip down to Coventry Basin I was impressed by the lack of rubbish in the water, not the usual state for this stretch. Only later I realised that it must have been done for the City of Culture event about to take place. I do hope that Walsall will be a City of Culture sometime and that filthy stretch will get a clean up.

CoventryBasinThe basin was sporting this shiny new notice; not at all clear what it means. There is room for a lot more than two narrow boats, while a wide beam would have a job getting through the bridge into the basin as it's only 7ft wide and the Coventry is a narrow canal. Is there anyone in Cart's Silly Notice Dept who knows anything about canals?

New guides

Michael Pearson has been busy during lockdown. Updated versions of two of his Canal Companions have appeared, for the Kennet & Avon (which includes the Thames below Oxford) and Welsh Waters. I can only hope that recent events don't render a lot of the copious information about pubs, shops and museums out of date. So far, though, everything we've passed seems to be functioning.

David Hymers