Victor reckons these statistics need a pinch of salt!

Published: Saturday, 13 January 2024

I OFTEN wonder what Damian, he of the Boaters' Update, thinks about the articles he is instructed to include.

For this month's contents certainly needs a pinch of salt!

He telling that there is 'Maintenance, repair and restoration work' on 29 waterways this weekend!  In fact the list looks like nearly all of them!

And though it's the middle of winter and freezing he tells there is an increase in the number of visitors to  the waterways now up to 800 millions!

I notice there is never the information that this covers just 2,000 miles of waterway included, as that would surely give the game away with visitors doing a little calculation.

However, Damian has included a very good 'round-up' of the floods and how they affected the waterwayswell done.

Still the same

I notice the BBC, in reporting a lock gate repair on the Stratford Canal, is still quoting the trust as making a £50 millions spend on winter works.

Surely not. For what of all those winter works that were cancelled? It must be very well down from that published figure.

No alternative10th24one

So another narrowboat comes free of its moorings on the Leicester Section of the Soar and is jammed-up against County Road Bridge just north of Barrow Lock. (Pictured here.)

It was in March 2020 that a former narrowboat came free of its moorings on the same river and was pinned against the bridge, exactly like the present one, though that was safely rescued by RCR.

This former boat (pictured below) was rescued by RCR lifting it with a crane on the road bridge, but this took many days for the local council to arrange the road to be closed, for which there was no time in the present instance.

But this time the crowd prevented the company from using a steel hawser and a winch as people would not stand clear of the real possibility of the hawser snapping and killing, as it attempted to pull the very heavy boat away from the tremendous water pressure of the Soar in flood that was pinning the boat up against the bridge.

I mention the former rescue as that boat was not so precarious and the river not so high, so could wait until the local council could arrange for the road on  the bridge to be closed and the boat safely removed.

The present boat was in a very precarious position and in very high water so it was important it was removed quickly, that RCR obviously attempted, but all those people continually pressing forward into the danger zone made it impossible to winch and so an extra surge of water completely sank the boat, making the rescue then impossible.

Who's to blame? Those silly people who would not stay safe, and I wonder how many were moorers themselves?

Going for a record?

It's a month now since the culvert gave up the ghost on the Macc and yet no start on a repair.

All that has been accomplished  is the 'works to facilitate necessary investigations are progressing well'.

Sounds to me like nothing has yet been done, as only 'facilitating investigations'. So when the investigations have eventually been facilitated, I can only then gather work may start.

Hold onthen the engineers have to establish a 'suitable methodology' before they can actually start!

I give up. It all boils down to now over a month wasted and nowt done. I can see it being a new record for repairing a culvert.  My guess?—two months!

Victor Swift—telling tales for 24 years