Victor wonders what happened

Published: Monday, 20 September 2021

THERE was one incident on our recent cruise that has me wondering.

That is the plight of the two ladies we met at Dallow Lock at Burton, who had just purchased a narrowboat the day before and were well and truly dropped in it by not being given it seems even the slightest bit of instruction, as the lock was obviously completely alien to them.

A couple of us made an effort to show them how to work the lock, but I don't think it really sunk in, as they were of the impression that when they purchased the boat then they—in their own wordssailed it to Manchester, their destination.

However they had been informed there was a tunnel, but it was plain there was no tunnel light on the boat, and no wiring was obvious.

Surely anyone selling a narrowboat, you would think, would have the decency to give at least some instruction to buyers who obviously knew nothing. But did they get to Manchester?

Not only hirers

Which brings me to T. Lang's remarks about it not only being hirers that engage in 'some alarming activities', but private owners too, as it is obvious people purchasing a boat having either no previous experience or proper instruction can also engage in such activities.

Just thinkhow will those two ladies fare?  And what about the oh so windy private owner, such as he coming up Stenson Lock, we had the misfortune to meet, together with two others waiting and waiting, until he gently came up, and would you believe opening the ground paddle when the boat was about six inches from the top.

And a crew member holding the boat with the middle rope whilst it did, could have had no effect whatsoever in that deep lock.  Even the volunteer locky, who are usually extra cautious, was showing signs of impatience, as were the boaters behind that one and those waiting to go down.

He obviously had no idea of where to position his boat for the least turbulence, just the fellow on top attempting to hold it in the middle.


Had the chance to peruse other waterway internet sites recently and was surprised to see the last news entry to Canal Junction was way back on the 21st June.

So I think we can take it that it has bit the dust.

Then on to Pennine Waterways, that long established and most informative site of the northern waterways, published by my old mate Martin Clark, whose last news item was on the 26th of March.

Mind you, with the three main waterways of the area he covered so often being closedincluding one for the summer, there would not be a great deal to report.

Not so hot

If your choice of food is the established brands, then that new Marks & Sparks below Star Lock at Stone is not much good for you, for it is packed with its own brands, and I mean packed.

Not even a bar of chocolate that was not M&S. And its crisps were all little bits, and not a patch on Walker's.

But I have to admit some rather delicious cream cakes!

That's why

If you too have noticed fishermen and members of the public using toilets, water taps and the like, there is a simple reason.

For just £3.39 you can buy the waterways key, that fits all the locks, from Amazon!  Which is a lot cheaper than purchasing officially!

Victor Swift