Victor: And it came to pass...

Published: Saturday, 12 June 2021

AS THE flutterfetti was released at the opening of the rebuilt Anderton Boat Lift all were cheering.

an flutterfetti400At that time we were interviewing one of the contractors who helped rebuilt the lift, who told us that it had been a near impossible job matching the old Victorian engineering to the modern demand for safety devices and that the lift would need 'a bloody good deal of maintenance to keep it working'—as our 2002 notes revealed.

It came to pass even on that first day, as the Press, television people and chairman of British Waterways and staff all boarded the boat at the jetty on the Weaver, that moved into a caisson then rather juddered its way to the top for the boat to turn on the Trent & Mersey Canal.

But to the sheer embarrassment of the British Waterways staff the gate onto the canal refused to budge!  And after a great deal of scurrying about by the engineers on duty it was decided nothing could be done, so back down we all went.

AndertonEarlyThat contractor's prophesy has certainly come to pass as time and time again the lift fails, today's failure announcement telling the lift is to be closed for nearly a fortnight at the end of this month. And as for you boaters who have booked a passage—tough luck!

With the trust admitting the present problem was due for attention during next winter shows it obviously knew of the problem, so why wasn't a bit of maintenance undertaken last winter?  Alas we all know why.

But 12 days to make a seal.  Must have a long drying time!

But I must admit I was surprised at CaRT actually admitting 'We understand how frustrating and disruptive this is for our customers, with the number of other stoppages in the region'.

'Frustrating' hardly covers it.

More frustration

More frustration indeed, when so many locks and tunnels have to be booked 24/48 hours in advance.

Just can't see the point of having to book a passage when the times that volunteers are in attendance are clearly shown, so why can't we just turn up and go as in the past?

OtterFishIf the lock or tunnel is manned surely there is no need to book in advance.

Not a good idea Mercia

I have to admit I was appalled to read that Mercia Marina was encouraging otters to its waters.

So whilst the local angling associations are spending thousands of pounds surrounding their lakes with expensive fencing to keep mink and otters away from their fish stocks, here we have Mercia encouraging these fish eaters, introducing a 'family' of them to breed!

The image shows a very expensive anti-mink/otter fence around a lake by the Trent & Mersey Canal. I wonder what those people think about the marina now breeding otters?

OtterFencing400And what about the small angling associations that can't afford such fencing.  Or come to that the anglers on the Trent & Mersey after the otters take their feed of Mercia's fish then take to roaming the canal?

Not a good idea at all, methinks.

They must be stopped

I was most pleased to see that Ralph Freeman had brought up the dangers of those time trials that take place on our towpaths.

With one cyclist recording a speed of 34mph on the Coventry Canal towpath how can Richard Parry telling our editor 'we will educate them' solve the problem?

Our Thomas was pointing out the sheer danger of excessive speeds by those cyclists on the towpaths at a Press consultation some years back, but for all the 'cut your speed' painted on the towpaths and such 'education', nothing has happened, as the time trials are still regularly taking place and are downright dangerous for walkers and particularly children.

Common sense surely decrees they must be stopped.

StensonBlueSignsKeep 'em coming

The blue sign brigade have been busy at Stenson!

In addition to the many blue signs along the waterway and the lock there, they are not forgetting the crossing over the road for a few more.

Though people have managed all those years without them.

A little cruise

We are hoping to manage a little cruise on Sunday evening until Wednesday morning up the Soar and back so not too sure about any updates over the next few days—though of course I may have something or other to relate!

Anyway, getting out of the marina and hoping to moor across from the boatyard at Redhill for a quite relaxing evening, always providing of course there is any space at the three mooring sites on the river there.

The last time we attempted to moor the sites were mostly taken up by the boatyard's own boats, at which we complained to CaRT.  So we'll see if it had any effect, eh?

Victor Swift