Victor reckons it's now 'quick-fix' time!

Published: Saturday, 27 April 2024

I REALLY must congratulate Canal & River Trust on its new repairs system.

And that's fixing stoppages rather quickly—even the same day and at most a couple of days. It really is 'quick-fix' time.

It is quite obvious it has its own local teams on the job, without the contractors and their everlasting excuses of how to first discover how the job has to be done.

This week alone on Thursday a beam snapped off Lock 42 on Marsworth Flight, and yesterday, Friday, the issue had been resolved and the navigation open.

And the same again with the repair to the head gate on Ashton's Lock 9 that failed on the Thursday and re-opened, it being repaired by the Friday.

Yet still another one day job this week on the Huddersfield Narrow that was closed due to water levels on Wednesday and a team quickly responding and the navigation reopened the following day, Thursday!

This has been building-up over the past weeks, with obviously teams that know what they are doing being brought straight in and the job done, which such as trees falling on the waterways now cleared the same day as the one that closed the Trent & Mersey between between Tattenhill Lock & Branston Lock. What a difference when it was left to contractors and their befuddled decisions of what to do.

Looking back over the past weeks many such quick fixes have been undertaken, that surely shows the trust is making an effort to keep the navigations open for boaters. Something alas, that contractors with their Monday to Friday workings have never managed.

Silly buggers!

Yes indeed are the members of the planning department of Llantarnam Council attempting to bring an enforcement action against the owner of land  for putting up a fence that was once part of the Mon & Brec Canal.

The council then found out that he was in possession of a certificate confirming its legal use, so the council could not enforce anything as it legally belonged to the fella they were enforcing against!

All it achieved was to upset him by such heavy-handed action and someone who is now in a position to hang on to the property that actually forms part of the Mon & Brec Canal, that this same council now want to claim, to restore.

Someone should have had the sense to discover who actually owned the land on which the fence was being erected before jumping in with such enforcement action.

TwoThamesBargesEnvironment Agency getting tough

THE Environment Agency is certainly getting tough with over-stayers and un-licenced boats.

One boater who ignored all the stickers on his cruiser on the Thames telling it was not licenced had the shock of being taken to court and clobbered for £2,316!

But this paled into insignificance by the case of Alistair Trotman who had his two large 25 metre barges moored for six months, (pictured) breaking the byelaws affecting use of the Thames for navigation.

In 2022, he was fined £800 by Staines magistrates’ court for breaking navigation, safety and mooring byelaws. He had rented out rooms on houseboats Rhythm of River and Kupe, moored in largely the same spot for six months from October 2018.

But he decided to appeal which really pushed up the costs, as he lost—it costing him £10,907!

Before this the Environment Agency successfully brought civil trespass proceedings against the ten owners of other boats moored continuously on the Thames at West Molesey for several years.

Living in a shack

Since the article appeared in narrowboatworld about our Thomas allowing people from the Chesterfield Canal Trust to have more snowdrops out of his wood, social media has had a field day, with literally dozens of people pointing out that our editor lives in a 'shack in the woods', and is the 'hermit in his wood cabin' and other silly things of the same ilk, from idiots who know no better.

I wanted to include a picture of his 'shack' to show them the error of their ways, but as Thomas never reads these things anyway he is not in the least bothered, telling let them make fools of themselves if they must, sensible people take no notice anyway..

Victor Swift—telling tales for 25 years...