Victor wonders if that 'winter works' list was for real?

Published: Sunday, 12 November 2023

Every year now we have a spectacular list of winter works that Canal & River Trust is to undertake.

And very impressive it is too—but is it for real, or just to impress?  After all, putting a long list of works out can't fail to impress, so it can't be accused of doing nothing.

PurtonYpperSwingBut then before very longthe 1st of November in factit starts cancelling, with six of those so called winter works already biting the dust.

In the case of the Purton Upper Swing Bridge cancellation on the Gloucester & Sharpness the trust even telling it's in a poor state of repair! And with the one on the Tinsley Flight on the Sheffield & South Yorkshire with both top and bottom gates needing replacing on Lock 12. Both Cancelled.

Then an interesting cancellation on the Leeds & Liverpool of the work on an embankment near Blackburn. 'Following a review of project methodologies' to stop the leaking!

No doubt there will be more to come...

Good news

I have to relate that I am most pleased to learn that the Wood End Lift Bridge on the Peak Forest is 'properly repaired' at last, as a friend moored up that-a-way keeps us 'entertained' at being stuck on one side or the other of that 'damned bridge'.  But his remarks being too hot to include!

With his first time being at the stoppage on the 11th of August then having the misfortune of being stuck again on the 'wrong' side after its long closure.

So let's hope that 'properly repaired' actually means properly repaired!

Getting there

The stoppages that are being worked on and showing progress are the landslide that blocked the Birmingham & Worcester, were Keith reports good progress is being made with several trees having been removed, and workers on site clearing a channel so boats can get through. And it seems the Harecastle Tunnel on the Trent & Mersey that had to be closed after the rescue boat had its rudder snapped will be open this coming week.

Though still at the repair yard, it is told people are working hard to get it fixed.

Palace2In the meantime boaters are  asked not to attempt to make future bookings through the tunnel until the boat is back, as it cannot be reopened until the rescue boat is on site.

That's what it is

My regular readers may remember I was going to investigate the 'Palace' at Mercia Marina, so grabbed our guide Mary (her photograph) and off we went.

What I discovered was a rather grand floating building that at certain times of certain days was inviting boaters to gather and partake of refreshment and have a natter with like-minded people, with a collection box to help provide the fare.

It is particularly aimed at the sole liveaboards, of which there are many, to meet-up with others. A great idea thought I.

This is run by the two people that reside in the Palace.

Can't understand

For the life of me I just cannot understand why only four boats a week are allowed through the stoppage, near  Kings Lock on the Leicester Section.

This was caused by the Soar flooding into the canal causing considerable damage. But if the trust can allow some through the section, why only four? And if it can be done one day, why not a couple of days, giving boaters more chance?

Late news

Late news, but alas not good news, with our Keith telling the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union is closed by a boat sunk in Cholmondeston Lock (4) yesterday evening.

An inspection has shown that nothing can be done at this time apart from the lock closed off as there is a great deal of fuel pollution contained within the lock. The situation will be assessed this morning.

Most likely caught on the cill that could easily be prevented by a blue sign telling to keep boat forward when lowering. And why!

Victor Swift—telling tales for 23 years