Those 'winter works’

Published: Friday, 05 April 2024

Like yourselves I too was boating in the time of British Waterways who certainly had a different perspective as to ‘winter works’, writes T. Lang.

In those days I well remember lengthsmen going around the waterways examining such as locks making sure they were up to scratch during the winter and reporting any discrepancies.

These days there is a list of the things that are seemingly in the worst condition that will be attended to in the ‘winter works’.

Near breaking point

This method however just leaves the rest without any examination, and obviously near breaking point as the six stoppages show since the start of the season on Good Friday. Something that never occurred in the past.

But I expect we will have to put up with it now that those most important lengthsmen have been discarded, and it left to us boaters it seems to report problems and then the contractors to get involved with their usual Monday to Friday working, no matter how long the work would really take.

It’s a right mess, particularly as it gets worse every year and so much money spent on the most unusual 'office wallas' who have nothing to do with the actual canals.