Victor is told it's a worry

Published: Sunday, 27 June 2021

FAR too many people are telling us it's now become a worry of where to cruise, asking us for advice.

Alas my friends we are in exactly the same position with our proposed late summer cruise—of where it is safe to go, and more importantly, getting back.

We did consider going down the Trent and on to the tidal and perhaps along the Fosdyke & Witham, one of the few waterways we have never cruised, but knowing of the seemingly never ending lock closures with breakages and silt along the non-tidal river, this really is a non-starter.

So all I can suggest to you boaters is take pot-luck, but bear in mind the Rochdale is closed more than it is open—it is closed now.  As to the other northern waterway, the Leeds & Liverpool and it's swing bridge problems, that nowadays seem to get repaired rather quickly though, but all it needs is a spell of dry weather...

Remember the summer of a few years ago with lack of rain?  Helped of course by its many leaking gates.

It's really is a matter of pot-luck.

Sign2BrianJNow it's cheap yellow signs

During his struggle down the Stratford Canal Brian Jarrett was amazed at the brand new CaRT sign near Nightingale on the waterway, that was certainly not the expected expensive metal blue one—it's cheap and nasty yellow.

Perhaps so much has been spent on the multitude of blue signs on our waterways that there is no money left for necessary warning ones...

Or perhaps there is still another change of colour, and as money for signs is now all spent, they have to be cheap and plastic.

And another

Another sign Brian Jarrett saw on the Stratford telling of moorings, but this time on a piece of scrap ply wood. What on earth are things coming to?

Obviously too many stoppages for the number of signs available.


Too much grass

OvergrownTowpathThere is far too much grass growing on the Oxford Canal, with warnings of restricted access on parts of the more rural towpath areas of the canal due to excessive grass growth.

Fountains, the contractor is charge of grass cutting, we are told is 'battling through the cut' attempting to get top-side of the growth, but alas the 'quality of the cut is compromised with a greater volume of arisings laying on the towpath surface'—whatever that means.

However CaRT assures us it is working with the contractor to meet the required specification and standards.

Don't get wet

With baffles restricting water on the top gates of the 16 locks of Audlem Flight on the Shroppie, rising boats can safely go to the front with no fear of water in their boats.

But for some unexplainable reason no baffle on one of the top lock gates so it is a very slow filler.  Possibly the contractors' either miscounted or lost one, so what is done?

StructureKeithA baffle found and then attached?  No such luck. To prevent a gush of water into boats the powers that be have simply locked the paddle so it will not operate. Problem solved—presumably forever.

Be careful

Be careful when cruising along the Trent & Mersey at Handsacre as there is a new trend of building over the waterway as the picture shows.

Not sure what it is or its purpose, but you can bet others will follow, protruding further and further over the canal to the detriment of boaters having to pull over when passing each other.

I just wonder if it will last until the end of the summer?  Doubt it.

Victor Swift