Victor discovers CaRT is getting rid of the rest

Published: Sunday, 13 November 2022

I HAVE to agree with Kelvin Alexander-Duggan who thought that CaRT had already sold everything not nailed down, years ago.

But not so, for he tells CaRT is now even having sets of lock gates and beams up for auction in a clear-out sale running to a catalogue of 159 pages!

On Instructions of the Canal & River Trust there is a Sale of Surplus Work Craft, Contractor's Plant and Grounds Equipment—See auction catalogue at

This includes ‘Virago’ Patrol Boat,‘Chubb’ & ‘Tame’ Workboats (No engines), Ramped Hopper 15.8m Length, Hopper Pontoon, Range of Wide & Narrow Hoppers, Marina Walkway, Lister, Perkins & Deutz Engines. Composite Lock Gates.

Grounds and Woodworking Equipment including:Grove Coles ‘AP415’ Mobile Crane (Similar to Iron Fairy)
Atlas ‘AK3006B’ Hydraulic Arm, Range of Hydraulic Grabs, Kubota ‘KLS180’ Backactor Attachments, Godwin ‘CD100’ 4” Pump.

Balmoral Welfare Units with Whispa Generators, Wadkin Bursgreen ‘DM’ Chisel Morticer, Wadking Bursgreen ‘24BSW; Saw Bench,Wilson Planer Thicknesser 18” x 8” Capacity, Large Quantity of Oak Beams(various sizes), Extensive Range of Chains, Slings, Hoists, Tirfor Winches and Shackles.

But what I believe is worst of all is hand tools such as electric drills and circular saws and the like that are the everyday tools of the 'teams' that attend so quickly to stoppages, so saving the exorbitant costs and delays of employing contractors.

The reason why

Perhaps DEFRA having already defaulted in making a decision on CaRT's future funding by July 1st 2022, then reneged on its new undertaking to make a decision this Autumn, and yet again having failed to say when a decision might be made, as Allan Richards revealed, has caused CaRT to sell all it can to get some cash in its coffers?

But without the means, does this herald the end of the 'teams' that will then have so little to work with to get stoppages back in working condition so quickly? Meaning that they too follow in the footsteps of those much  missed lengthsmen, lock keepers and such?

If so, it will be rough for boaters if contractors are completely in charge of stoppages with each job wanting five days to complete—and sometimes much longer...

A new 'season' for boating

After the bad publicity from NABO and narrowboatworld concerning Canal & River Trust attempting to create a 'season' for boating, it has come up with a new definition!

We now have a 'main boating season'!

This is all to do with it wanting to bring in 'season'. Then it does not look too bad if there are extra stoppages during the 'other' season, but as we all know its winter works have been taking place all the year—with so many of the official winter works being cancelled and undertaken in the summer. Then the next winter's works having to be brought forward into the summer as they have not lasted until winter!

But when all is said and done there cannot be any sort of season for boating, as the stated 5,500 continuous cruisers have to cruise as do many private ownersus included.

The new term of 'main boating season' was slipped in with the navigation closed notice when we were informed about the repairs to Lock 52 on the Stratford Canal when CaRT stated  ...'and we want to make sure this is addressed well ahead of the main boating season'.

But what does it mean?

As to the closure of that Stratford Canal that CaRT has renamed the South Stratford Canal, it relates that the navigation will be closed for three days from Tuesday 22nd November until Thursday 24th November to investigate the cause of the gate bowing.

Then it confuses this by telling it wants to get it fixed before the main boating season (as it is now called), but that is five months away!

Surely it won't take that long?

Victor Swift