The other Middlewich breach

Published: Friday, 22 June 2018

IT IS not generally known, but in the past there was another breach of the Middlewich Branch—then known as the New Cut—but what a difference in their repairs, as Pam Pickett explains:

ChurchMinshullBreach1958Inordinate amount of time and money

Having read so much with regard to the breach at Middlewich and the inordinate amount of time and incidentally money being taken to repair it, I cannot resist remarking upon the contrasts between this current breach and another considerably larger breach that took place at Church Minshull on the 'New Cut' in 1958. Pictured.

This breach on a similar embankment and only a short distance away on the Middlewich Branch.

As a result of this former breach at Church Minshull, commercial traffic,much of it owned by British Waterways was forced to detour, adding an approximate further 80 miles to a trip. With time for those operating that commercial traffic being money, any delay plus the additional cost of fuel was definitely not appreciated,

Expertise and the will

Happily British Waterways at least had both the expertise and the will to deal with this breach. With no time being lost the breach was stanked off. Without the benefit of modern machinery now available to CaRT. Draglines and a face-shovel were deployed together with a drott and with materials now being delivered by boat, work on this breach was completed in just over five weeks. A far cry I think from both the cost and time being taken in respect of the current breach. Pictured.

Middlewich 400In 1958 no time or money was lost in seeking permission to install rolling roads to enable lorries and equipment to be delivered to the breach, the canal was instead used for its purpose—boats. Looking at the current breach one would have thought an area could have been drained and boats carrying materials could have then been deployed either side with materials even being taken from the drained area, but then I suppose the trust would need to have actually retained boats (and perhaps brains) to facilitate this!

Closure following closure

With closure following closure we now have to question whether even the most inept within CaRT could be beginning to see the errors made in exchanging the old adage ‘a step in time saves nine‘, for ‘wait until it breaks‘! However, this I think is doubtful when CaRT is continuing to spend monies on anything other than on its prime purpose under the Articles of Association, the navigation, Preferring it seems to provide cycle tracks and to incredibly, given its need to borrow, spend a fortune on painting blue and white signs!