IT WAS back the 4th of this month that Glasson Branch was closed.
This branch on the Lancaster Canal leading to the Lune and ultimately the sea was closed, the stoppage notice telling it was owing to vandals with Lock 5.
Yet last Thursday the real reason was given for the stoppage, when CaRT stated it was waiting for the equipment to clear the silt that is currently obstructing the operation of Lock 5!
So it was obviously blaming vandals—covering the real reason of the lack of dredging that would not allow a gate to be moved.
Someone obviously slipped-up giving out this last stoppage notice without consulting the first one!
It certainly gives the lie to the 'vandals' excuses. All too often 'vandals' is little more than a a cover-up for CaRT's own failures.
Which brings to mind one of the failures of Wood End Lift Bridge on the Peak Forest, when vandals were blamed for damage to the steel structure (pictured) that was totally impossible.
This bridge often fails but I notice 'vandals' don't get the blame any more, but instead various other excuses that sound better!
Mind you, it makes you wonder why it keeps failing, at one time closed for weeks while they—you've guessed—discover a method of repair!
Here today—gone tomorrow
DEFRA are making it somewhat difficult for continuous cruisers and their wood burning stoves with all its new regulations.
For not only are boaters limited for what wood they burn, should they burn wood, but also if using smokeless coal this has to be from a registered dealer, that could be awkward.
It's up to the local council to police it all and issue the fines, that could cause some problems as boaters are usually here today—gone tomorrow!
Here yesterday—gone today!
It really is a case of here yesterday—gone today, regarding CaRT's heritage that it flogged off without thinking of today when so short of cash.
One thing for sure in CaRT's scrambling for cash—I bet it wishes it had not flogged off most of its properties during its reign.
For they brought in cash—and continually, that would have come in very handy in these days when the government, I reckon, thought enough is enough after seeing its spending...
The reason why?
It certainly seems like it is the lack of cash that is causing such long delays in completing repairs these days.
This cill on a lock on Wigan Flight is still not replaced after eight weeks.
The culvert failure on the Leeds & Liverpool that will take 'seven to eight weeks' to repair.
Then there are two stoppage that are not caused by such as lack of maintenance but by Storm Babet:
The bank on the waterway and towpath on the Leicester Section that was washed away that it is told will take 'months to repair'.
And the bank that was washed into the Worcester & Birmingham that will have the navigation closed 'for a couple of months'.
So a warning, especially for continuous cruisers at this time of year—take great notice of stoppages when intending to move—especially the long drawn-out ones.
And those boaters intending a late cruise, be particularly vigilant.
Victor Swift—telling tales for 23 years