Victor asks who is kidding who?

Published: Sunday, 29 August 2021

THOSE of you who receive stoppage notices will have noticed a distinct change.

CaRT, instead of telling when a stoppage is cleared, is busy sending out virtually daily updates of 'progress' that I see are little more than excuses for dragging them on week after week.

And on the extremely busy Bank Holiday week on its most popular canal—the Llangollen—we are being told that  the 'navigation is closed whilst our teams seek a method of repair'.

Fancy admitting they don't know how to repair Lock 1 that simply has a gate lifted out of position! So there is no way onto or off the waterway at the busiest time of the year, whilst contractors admit they are having to seek a method of repair. It's tragic.

Rochdale too

The poor Rochdale Canal is still suffering too, as we are told that though the gates have been successfully lifted which has allowed the team to dewater Lock 13, there's a leakage from the lock floor.

The answer to that?—'inspections will continue'!

So there goes another week.

The Town Bridge

Another date confirmed to start on the repairs for Town Swing Bridge on the Weaver Navigation to restore the guide rails, which will begin on Monday 6th September—taking, would you believe, four weeks.

Mind you it's been out of action since July last year, so what's another month, eh?

Luckily narrowboats can get under it, but pity the large craft that use the navigation, they are going nowhere.

This new breed of stoppage notices certainly gives plenty of reasonswith a bit of praise thrown inof not completing the works, but it's blatantly obvious that a little common sense would have it done the job in hours, as they did in the past, and not weeks or months...or now even years!

Another long job

There's damage we are told to the heel post and sluice on Tinsley Lock 12 on the Sheffield & Tinsley Canal.

This time it will take over a week to repair, starting on the Monday 20th September and ending on Tuesday 28th September.

So the contractors are pinching an extra day!  What I don't understand is how on earth do these people know just how long the repair will take?  Or perhaps the time is taken up with seeking a 'method of repair'.

Good news

At least the repair to the cill on Johnson's Hill Lock (63) on the Leeds & Liverpool has been repaired, this time taking two and a half weeks, but at least open for the Bank Holiday Week.

Those awards

Even when CaRT give out awards it's obvious that it's fixed to give them the most publicity and praise.

For instance, when were you last asked to vote for who you thought were the best 'volly' lockies, won by those on the Rochdale?

None of us have, and asking around I was unable to find anyone else who has.


Today, Sunday, we are away on the boat for two weeks picking it up at Middlewich later this afternoon.

But where to?  We are going up the Trent & Mersey then returning to Middlewich to decide on either returning by the Trent & Mersey or around the Shroppie.

It all depends on what Keith tells us about stoppages!


It was very sad indeed to learn of the death of Alan Tilbury, a stalwart of narrowboatworld, providing us with such a variety of news concerning the waterways, of which he obviously had great interest.

After all those years since our early days, he will be sadly missed, not only as a contributor but as a great friend of Jan and Tom and such a welcome visitor to so many of our cruises.

Victor Swift