Victor: Winter moorings not so popular

Published: Sunday, 08 September 2019

WINTER cometh—like it or not—and with it comes details of CaRT's winter moorings.

Alas, even with many continuous cruisers forsaking their cruising during the winter months and seeking such moorings, it has admitted that 135 of its sites were empty last winter, and so—here's those dreaded words—it is to 'consider the longer term options' for winter mooring.

Longer term options, eh?  We all know what that means, now don't we, another chop, and more than likely including some winter moorings that boaters actually prefer.

Mind you, some winter moorings can be a bit stark.  Lucky to get a water tap. Little wonder many take to the luxury of a marina.

2WheatonAstomBut will it last?

What's he on about now I hear you mutter?  Wheaton Aston Lock on the Shroppie of course, that at very long last is to be attended to, but not until Tuesday 15th of October.

But will it last that long? Many may remember that I told of the bottom gates cill in a dire condition when we went through way back in July, with it a struggle for two people to open the top gate as of course the leakage would not allow the lock to fill.

Then shortly after staff were needed to force the top gate open as so much water was leaking, and with a couple of festivals in the area it could not be closed 'as it would take too long to repair' so was told.

Hold on! It's stoppage notice tells it will be repaired in two days!  So it seems like someone was pulling the wool.

Anyway, here's the picture of the leak in July, God knows what it is like now.

Doesn't anybody know any more?

I should imagine many of you are getting fed-up of those ridiculous stoppage notices and their inaccuracies, and here's another from our Keith Gudgin who points out that that the latest from CaRT telling that 'Elsan facilities at Fradley Junction are currently out of use. The nearest facilities are at Great Haywood and Atherstone' is wrong!  

For there are free facilities at Fazeley Mill Marina and CaRT's own facilities at Bradley Green Br48 (Grendon) which are both closer to Fradley than Atherstone!

Whoever is in charge of these stoppage notices hasn't a clue, and deserves the boot, so someone who really knows the system should be put in charge. Oh dear! That could be quite a problem.

Have they been told?

The Pocklington Canal Amenity Society celebrates its 50th year with a Boat Rally Weekend this month on the 13th and 15th of September.

The rally, is to be held at Melbourne Village Moorings, but alas there could be a shortage of boats, as Thornton Lock (7) was closed on the 30th August as the pounds were too low through lack of water...

See for yourself

There was a very uncomfortable Richard Parry facing up to questions concerning the maintenance of Toddbrook Reservoir on television's Newsnight.  (It can be seen on YouTube.)

He did not do very well at all, stumbling over the questions of when the reservoir was last inspected, not giving a clear answer but going into the intricacies of the process of dam safety.

Another question was answered by total irrelevance on Victorian engineering infrastructure and he telling it often being better than today, that left many aghast, as a reservoir of that design would not be built today. 

Then asked how Canal & River Trust was responding to climate change, he fell back on the corporate-speak more used to the Press Briefings, that out dear Thomas now refuses to attend. The result was he was asked to speak English! That really put him on the back foot.

But for us boaters worse was to come when interviewer Emma Barnett ask whether CaRT needed more money, and if it was being sufficiently funded.

Here's your chance Richard, thought every boater watching the programme, let's get some more cash. Of course we want more cash, the infrastructure's falling to bits—tell 'em!

But poor Richard missed the chance, actually telling that CaRT was not short of money to spend on reservoirs, then rabbits on, and here I quote:

"We have an evolving asset strategy that is spending money where it is needed in the light of the information which we have about the condition of our assets."

Which means, as we all now now the policy is 'wait until it breaks then mend it' with little routine preventative maintenance.

For of course he does not want to upset the government paymasters and admit CaRT needs more cash, but in case you are not aware the government's responsibility for funding the waterways expires very soon, then what happens?

Surely he can no longer dare continue to plead lack of money when we all complain about the deterioration of the waterways!  And what a message to give to those he expects to help fund the continuing failures.

He missed the best chance he will ever have of getting more cash, resulting in the future looking very bleak indeed.

We are off!

Yes my friends, it is off to Stenson later today to pick up our freshly blacked boat then away to do the Leicester Ring yet again, anti clockwise for a change.

I have warned dear Thomas that it's a bad decision, for once before we were nearly caught in a stoppage on the dreaded leaky Leicester Section, and this time we are going much later, so could be stuck. But will he listen...

Anyway no regular updates for a couple of weeks or so, but you will no doubt have me!

Victor Swift