Victor reckons a simple lock will do the trick

Published: Sunday, 24 September 2023

ONCE again Canal & River Trust is moaning about vandals opening paddles on the Erewash Canal.

Thus draining the pounds around Ilkeston, that is occurring all too often.

erewash anti vandalPaddles are repeatedly being opened and left in that state at several locks along the canal, and it wants any boater who sees this to report it to the local police.

Yet I have repeatedly told, over many years, that it needs the many broken anti-vandal locks replaced, and I am pleased to report that at long last this could happen, and CaRT tells it will work with Erewash Canal Preservation and Development Association to install some new anti-vandal locks to try and deter any further issues.

But why on earth can't it do this itself?  I get the feeling it's just 'passing the buck'—getting others to do it. And even perhaps to help fund it.

willoughy cuttingNthOxfordThe mess that is grass cutting

The Boaters Update gives a most convoluted excuse why grass cutting is in such a mess, going into the most muddled reasons for its present state, and eventually blaming the new contractors that has 'resulted in a turbulent 18 months' it tells.

It then goes into great detail of the new cutting specification, that I'm buggered if I can understand, and wonder if any one else can.

All I know is that mile after mile of waterway we recently cruised, there was no vegetation cutting whatsoever leaving absolutely no place whatsoever to moor, and the remaining places where you could being packed with boats.  The picture shows the North Oxford, and guess which side is the towpath?

A walk on the wild side

So back to Mercia and our guide, Mary, helping us to continue the exploration of the marina, taking us away from the boats into its nether regions.

After all, we have 77 acres to explore, so off she took us.

TourWoodsSeatThis time it was a climb away from the two parks, where dogs can run free, onwards and upwards and to paths giving a view of the marina in the distance, then it was a real walk on the wild side into the woods, that we didn't even know existed.

Though we hadn't a clue where we were heading, at least Mary did, as itafter a fairly long waybrought us out right near to our moorings, and a well-earned rest!

Surely there can't be any more to explore?

FloodSawleySome good

Though I have in the past been somewhat unkind to our former Sawley Marina, what with the continuous noise, those difficult broad locks and flooding, I have to relate there were some things in its favour that we are missing.

There was no fumbling for your key fob to open the main gateat Sawley it was all automatic.

You simply gave the office your car index number or that of any one who was visiting, and hey! presto! the number is  recognized with the gate swinging open when you approach from either side. (Sorry, but can only find a picture of the gates in a flood.)

Another thing it had going for it was you could make a telephone call with a code to switch on the boat's power together with your heaters, thus having a warm boat when you arrive. Now alas this will be greatly missed as winter dawns... Unless we can discover an alternative!

Victor Swifttelling tales for 23 years