Narrowboat sinks on moorings

Published: Saturday, 20 March 2010

The other day I went for a wander around Fradley Junction, and above Shadehouse lock, at the far end of the 14 days moorings I came across something very sad, writes Ralph Freeman.

The narrowboat Flycatcher had sunk whilst moored up. Seeing a boat on the bottom is always a distressing sight, but what made the sight particularly poignant for me was the fact that I recognised the boat. Flycatcher normally moored between Bridge 68 and the Trent aqueduct on the Trent & Mersey Canal near Rugeley.

I do not know the owner of the boat well, only the fact he is, I would guess, in his late seventies and lived on board. So this chap has not only lost his boat but his home. I met him a couple of times in locks and we exchanged pleasantries particularly as we are both single handers. There aren't that many of us about!

Flycatcher is an old boat which appears to be constructed entirely out of wood. Whether this was a factor in it's sinking I don't know. There is a 'parking ticket' on it from BW, but whether that was applied before or after the boat sank I've no way of telling. With two feet of water in the cabin Flycatcher is on it's way to the scrap yard that's for sure. I just can't help wondering what's happened to the old fellah though?