Victor discovers it's 'Bless this bridge and all who sail under her'!

Published: Saturday, 23 April 2022

SOMETHING new—a procession to bless this bridge and all who sail under her!

The Thrupp Canal Cruising Club is holding a boat procession and bridge blessing between Shipton Bridge (220) and Sparrow Gap Bridge (223) at Shipton on the Oxford Canal next Saturday 30th April.

The stoppage notice concerning this does not tell which of the four bridges is to be blessed, who by or what for, only that the procession starts at Shipton Bridge at 11am and ends at Sparrow Bridge at 5pm.

Whilst the boat procession and blessing is taking place, the navigation will be restricted, but stewards will be on site we are told to provide advice.

So it's 'Bless this bridge and all who sail under her' as our Keith suggests, ending with a 'knees-up' at the Jolly Boatman pub.  Which perhaps is the real reason...

Now it's 'leaky dams'

Something else new—'leaky dams'!

Another new partnership has been conjured up, this time between Canal & River Trust and the drinks company Belu Water to provide 'leaky dams' on the Montgomery Canal.

We are informed that people and wildlife are set to benefit on the canal with this partnership, with Belu Water giving £10,000 to help the trust reduce siltation and improve water quality in the Montgomery Canal by building ‘leaky dams’.

Try as I might, I can't really see what this is all about or what this 'leaky dam' is, only that we are told water runs from feeder channels across farmland after heavy rainfall that reduces the depth of water for navigation and affects water quality that is important for the rare and important wildlife in the canal which is a Special Area of Conservation.

So 'leaky dams' slow the flow of water to trap silt before it reaches the canal we are told, with the dams acting (here it comes)—as a valuable habitat for wildlife, particularly invertebrates, with water voles also thrown in the mix—but as for boating, ner a mention.

I'll abstain

Looking back over the articles of the past few weeks, it's a sorry picture indeed as far as the waterways are concerned, with certainly not much good to report.

But for once I will abstain from adding more, it getting all a bit too much and so depressing.

Where to go?

This leaves us in rather a quandary as we will be off on our Spring cruise in a couple of weeks, but where to go?

We had thought of the Macc as it was a while since we last cruised the waterway, but lack of the wet stuff is causing problems so then we thought of the Ashby again, only to learn the flight on the Coventry is closed.

So blasted depressing indeed.

Victor Swift