THE erstwhile editor, Damian, of Boaters' Update has really lost it in blaming vandals.
He would have us believe that vandals have broken away the massive steel collar holding a gate allowing it to fall off, with a picture to show the results.
Hardly, my friend. How on earth would vandals prise a lock collar from a wall? what has occurred, and what occurred in another instance is that the collar was unseated simply through lack of inspection and subsequent maintenance and had broken free from its mountings.
This occurred at Lock 6 on Farmer's Flight on the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal with Damien telling the bottom end towpath side gate had been broken by vandals and was leaning up against the offside gate, with a picture.
Yet the picture shows the collar still fastened to the gate! It doesn't look broken just broken free from it's mounting! If it could come adrift so easily then it was obviously failing already! And did not need vandals as Damien would have us believe.
As to the 'other instance' we arrived at the lock, pictured, where both gates had come away from their mountings and both with the collars still attached. There was a fella making sure no one interfered, telling that boaters had attempted to open the gates when they fell off as it had not been noticed how worn were the mountings.
Methinks a similar occurrence to the above...
I've lost count
Anybody out there remember how many waterways are either closed or have restrictions? I'm damned if I can! They are coming so fast and furious these days, with the lack of rain really adding to the mix.
I well remember long hot summers of the past, before the climate-changers took over, and even before getting involved with boating was an avid reader of the boating magazines and just do not remember anything like the catastrophe of the stoppages and restrictions of today.
In the 26 years of actual boating it is only in the past few years since there has been such disruption caused by a few weeks of no rain, with this year being absolutely ridiculous in it showing such lack of control over the system and the effect it is having on the poor boaters attempting to cruise.
Not much hope for those two
A new notice from CaRT I'm afraid telling that there is not much hope for the reopening of either the Peak Forest or the Macclesfield whose locks are out of action as no improvement in reservoir holdings that supply the two waterways.
A bit of sense though, for while the navigations remain closed the trust has been repairing locks on the Bosley Flight that were cancelled from the winter works.
And while Rome burnt...perhaps as a smokescreen, CaRT has decided on a census of all its boaters. Asking all means of questions, but not including a single one concerning the state of its waterways. Clever, eh?
But well knowing it propensity for 'embroidery' I for one won't bother, for could not trust the results as it will not be a third party that will decide what the answers show, but CaRT itself.
Something really different
And really different is narrowboat insurance, so let me tell you of our own experience.
Launching our present boat 22 years ago we searched through lots of policies comparing what they covered and what they cost, but one shone out about all others for the cover it gave and the price being a very reasonable £99 comprehensive, so we went for it.
Luckily, over the years we have had no claims but have asked for advice on many aspects and received unbiased answers, being most satisfied and reading the company's literature so have many others especially at the speed it settles claims to the satisfaction of its customers. And ner a bad word.
Over these years it has been noticed more insurance brokers come—and go, and even today see insurance policies being offered at many times of what we pay and not always for the same cover, for yesterday our new yearly policy arrived. At exactly £99!
The company: Newton Crum Insurance Agents Ltd, Droxford House, Charles Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN38 0JU. Telephone: 01702 710041. Email:
And that's the first time I've so recommended a company in the last 25 years of narrowboatworld...