Victor is shocked—very shocked!

Published: Sunday, 14 August 2022

SHOCKED indeed by what can only be described as a ludicrous list of senior people needed to operate the Canal & River Trust.

There are directors, heads, managers, controllers, partners, advisors and even lawyers—four of them in fact plus a Senior Solicitor Advocate, whatever that is.  But what on earth do they all do?

After all, coming down to earth it really is only a two-bit charity looking after just 2,000 miles of waterway—and not very well at that—and certainly not a massive conglomerate as such a list of senior bosses would suggest.

And I wonder how many own a narrowboat? Live on a narrowboat? Have had a holiday on a narrowboat? Or have even seen a narrowboat? Or are like the recently appointed new chairman who admits he walks the towpath!

But what the hell does the trust need four lawyers and an advocate for?

British Waterways only had a fraction of such 'heads' and suchlike. Perhaps that was why the system was in such better condition in those days, leaving money to spend on maintenance, that is certainly lacking now.

A new silly excuse

There have been three incidents reported by CaRT, that all have something in common—a brand new excuse!

These concern the Stainforth & Keadby Canal, New Junction Canal and the Don Aqueduct, with CaRT stating that should there be any problems its people will not be attending!

The 'reason' given in all three cases:

'Due to ongoing anti-social behaviour and threats towards our staff we are asking our customers to plan their journey’s to avoid this area from 12 noon to 9pm.

Canal & River Trust staff will not be able to attend these sites during these times for emergencies.  This notice will run until the end of August, these measures will be reviewed frequently during these restrictions'.

How ridiculous is this? That part of the system is miles from anywhere and never had any 'anti-social behaviour and threats' reported in the last 20 odd years narrowboatworld has been published!

Regular readers will know that the swing and lift bridges are regularly giving trouble so is it just an excuse not to attend?

Anyway. if there were threats why weren't the police called?

Tap KeithThey don't have a clue

Our Keith pulled in to get water from the tap located at Fazeley Mill Marina towpath water point, to discover it had been 'repaired' by contractors, as his photograph shows.

Obviously the contractors don't know what a tap is really for, as the photograph clearly shows, it is hardly much use for getting water, with Keith remarking:

"It has a 1/2 inch BSP fitting only, without the normal addition of a 1 inch BSP fitting. I only have 1 inch fittings on my hose, the same as most boaters so could not connect to it, I suspect over 90% of boaters will not be able to connect to it either!  Also, I could not find anyway to turn it on?  Contractors!

"Checking their web site it seems that they are good at pouring concrete and laying pipes, but it remains to be seen how good they [new contractors] are at fixing wooden lock gates and Victorian ironwork!"

Not so good I reckon if this effort is anything to go by!

Letting the television companies know

Since BBC News included the story of the people affected by the many closures on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, readers are telling that they too are informing the television companies of their ruined holidays on the waterways.

Particularly to Channel Four, attempting to bring to its attention the real state of the canals as an investigative program, in contrast to the pretty images portrayed by two well known celebrities featured frequently on its channel.

Eventually, as more and more private boaters and those taking holidays on the canals have them ruined through stoppages, more of the television people will realise the problem and bring it to light.

A fine example

A fine example indeed of 'waiting until it breaks'—causing the closure of the Severn at Bevere Lock.

It being discovered that the difficulty in operating the lock gates was caused by them dropping off their mountings, with joints also failing and even the cills buggered.

Simple prior inspection as in the days of British Waterways would have seen the problem way before the situation became so bad it would now take more time and expense to rectify.

And not have the river closed until November.

Victor Swift