Victor asks if Canal & River Trust is ashamed of boats?

Published: Sunday, 24 July 2022

YOU would think that an organisation whose business is boats would want to take the opportunity to show them off to prospective visitors.

Oh! no! Not Canal & River Trust, who don't want to take advantage of the visitors on its towpaths to show-off its boats when the Queen's Baton Relay is carried on the towpaths of Birmingham!

It has banned all moorings of boats along the towpath route!  They must not be seen!

Any moored boats that are already moored along the route that includes around the Mailbox and Sea Life Centre, Birmingham New Main Line, Salvage Turn Bridge to Aqueduct 6, Holiday Street on Worcester & Birmingham Canal, Bar Lock Footbridge and Gas Street to Brewmasters Bridge, have to be moved away on Wednesday 27th July.

And to make sure, these navigations are closed for the duration—obviously no boat must be seen!

Why ban boaters? 

In reporting the ban, our Keith had his own view on the matter—here it is:
Are CaRT ashamed of boats, if not why ban mooring? They're not running on the canal so why ban boaters?
They're running on the towpath but they don't ban cyclists or pedestrians, they just request cyclists to dismount (fat chance of that happening). Seems to me a very biased and discriminatory ruling.
The boats won't get in the way or is it that they want to show that there are no boats on the canal when the television cameras show up to televise the baton run?
I've had a lot of notices from CaRT banning mooring along the baton run route. So one has to wonder why, what's the ulterior motive for a ban? Are they trying to get video evidence that the canals are not being used?
We pay most to use the canals and are the first to be banned when anything interesting comes along. Discrimination or what?
Make their own keys
Mooring just a mile away from the Erewash, we have cruised it many times, and each time had noticed that the anti vandal locks were fewer and farther between as the vandals obliterated them. The more knowledgable vandals however did not use brawn but brain to conquer the anti-vandal locks.
They quickly realised that could replicate the keys in their metalwork lessons, as after all, unlike the Birmingham anti-vandal locks that had the BW key, all the Erewash had was a T key with a socket from a socket set to fit that was easily replicated.
And so the paddles were opened and a gate too, with the other leaking gate soon draining the water away over the bye-wash.
The result—'Navigation: Closed'!
As yesterday it was the pound from Potters Green Lock to Potters Lock that had been drained we are told due to 'tampering with the water levels'—and that's a new one!  But sheer experience over many years leads me to believe it's all down to leaking locks, and don't they just?
Yet the present regime still waste continuous man hours filling the drained pounds instead of simply installing such as the old BW anti-vandal system to protect the waterway.
I see that the excuse of 'planned reservoir works' is part of the excuse for closing the Ashton Canal, as it was for closing the Macclesfield and Peak Forest canals.
Planned reservoir works in the middle of the season?
Which reservoir? I ask. Surely not the one at Whaley Bridge that lack of maintenance emptied?
What rubbish
This really is rubbish, that I discovered after reading an 'expert' magazine article that was passed on to me.
The article concerned planning a new boat, that left me in little doubt that the writer named as 'our resident correspondent'—whatever that means, had little knowledge of planning a boat, so little wonder there was no name of the writer!
He/she commenced by telling that the first thing to do is to decide on the length of the boat.  Wrong!  the first thing you do is decide the length of the required interior, otherwise with varying stern and bow spaces from different boat builders you could end up with anything!
The writer is obviously no 'traditional' believer as the phrase 'you need lots of windows to make an airy boat' would hardly be suggested.  All of you with lots of windows would most likely have likened your boat to a greenhouse in the recent heatwave!  And curse all the cold air coming in during a cold spell!
Another crazy suggestion was 'have the windows matched on each side to give the boat a balanced look'. As if anyone can see both sides at the same time!  Surely the windows want to be matched to the interior, to say a dining area, a saloon or the galley and not 'balanced' on the outside.
Then the choice of exterior colour was a nice bright red—the worst possible, that unless automotive quality of paint and application would fade to a dusky pink within the year, being the least 'fast' of all colours in the sun.
What really made me believe this person hadn't a clue and most certainly had not designed a boat for real was the shown image of the boat's heating system having a diesel heater to power radiators and calorifier yet the engine to heat nothing. All it wanted was the heater and engine hot water systems simply connected so providing hot water when cruising without the waste of running the diesel heater, plus the advantage of a calorifier full of 'free' hot water at the end of the day's cruising.
Other things too clearly showed a lack of knowledge, but I reckon you get the message...
Victor Swift