Victor wonders about the reliability of yet another survey

Published: Saturday, 30 March 2024

I DON'T believe it!—that Canal & River Trust is launching yet another survey!

After the predicament of its last survey when Allan Richard's took advantage of a Freedom of Information request to show the discrepancies in its finding, I would have though the trust would leave surveys well alone.

But no!—here comes another. This time it wants to know what boaters think about it!

I would have thought that was obvious, especially with at least 180 stoppages during last year's season and often taking a couple of months to put right, and the Peak Forest repair taking month after month and still going on.

So what's it all about? CaRT's reason for the survey, it tells: 'Knowing what boaters think about the Canal & River Trust is very important to us. Therefore, we invite you to please take part in our latest survey by clicking on the following link':

But alas the survey is protected with user name and password, though told a password is not needed. Anyway, try as I might, doing all it tells I still can't get the into the survey, so cannot tell if it contains any of the usual loaded questions, but on past surveys can guarantee there are some!  It runs until 17th April, should you want to attempt.

As to the results when published...!

Sort 'em out

I was perplexed with the notice regarding the Aire & Calder—The dredging team have been on site all week unfortunately they have been unable to remove enough of the significant amount the flood and siltation deposit for the lock to be operational, therefore navigation will remain closed. But at least this was eventually sorted out to make sense.

But the notice issued on the 28th March stating that the workers will be back to sort out the flood and silt deposits on the Selby Canal on the Tuesday 2nd March, will surely not take a year, as it implies.

Mind you, these days our Thomas is not above making a few blunders or two!

Time will tell

I thought it a good thing that our esteemed kept a list of the monthly stoppages of the last season, for then it will be an excellent denominator of how CaRT is doing this year.

So no need then for a survey from its boaters, as the number of stoppages in comparison will surely show how well it is doing or not doing.

Now they start

The first of the seasons' stoppages is on the Huddersfield Narrow, and keeping up with the misinformation!

DrekiLastThe heading telling that the navigation is open whilst the text tells it is closed, with a ground paddle frame coming out and broken, so the Lock 29E in Huddersfield is unusable.

Here it is

Here it is indeed, the illusive Dreki, that we eventually discovered in the larger of the two parks at Mercia, one of many sculptures dotted around.

It transpires it is a dragon present in Germanic mythology and wider folklore, where they are often portrayed as venomous serpents.  The one at Mercia can be seen coming up out of its retreat of a tower,.

The 15ft sculpture was created by Alister Farson from a hollow tree that stood in the park in 2019, he remarking that it was his best work so far, with two more around in the form of decorative benches, that I still have to find.

He spent around seven hours a day over two weeks carving the dragon out of the existing tree trunk using a variety of chainsaws, having been working as a sculptor for two years before the Mercia sculpture, he remarking it  being his best piece of work so far, he adding:

“I enjoyed carving at the marina as there's a great community atmosphere. The dragon tower carving was a bit of a tense challenge as the tree was hollow, I was worried I might remove too much wood and cut through into the hollow centre. Initially the marina was keen on a carving of Poseidon but on discovering the tree was hollow we had to come up with other ideas. The dragon tower has worked out well and I like that it loosely ties in with the marina's Viking archaeological finds."

I hear another sculpture is being organised to stand by Neptune at another part of the marina that is surely becoming a sculpture park in addition to a marina.

Are they thick?

With the constant rains over the past few weeks come the complaints of the water companies allowing their sewage into the rivers, and creating a stink—take that two ways!

Where we last moored we often had the stench from the treatment plant above Derwent Mouth Lock when it rained and the plant could not cope so into the river it went, so I should imagine the same occurred elsewhere where the rivers fed into the canals.

Yet thousands and thousands of houses, offices and works are being built throughout the country sending 'oceans' of water and what-have-you down into the drains that treatment plants can no longer handle—so off it goes into the rivers.

Instead of complaining, why not complain about the need for more treatment plants to solve the problem? For it is obvious that there are not enough of them.

A clear case of the  cart before the 'hoss' wouldn't you think?

Victor Swift—telling tales for 24 years