Victor: The obvious reason...

Published: Sunday, 12 January 2020

ONE picture is worth 10,000 words told Fredrick R Barnard (don't ask) so how many are two worth?

OldMethodLockRepairHere are two pictures, that more than anything show why the maintenance of the waterways is so behind schedule.

a1Aston2The first picture was taken during our cruise to Llangollen in September 1997, but not sure where. But when speaking to the British Waterways workers we were told that replacing the gate would 'be done in a day'.

The second picture was taken when the gates of Aston Lock on the Trent & Mersey Canal were replaced in February/March of 2019, taking five weeks in total and needing steps, walkways, double security fencing and various cabins.

However they were broad lock gates and further work was done on the lock chamber.


weir Earnest SWhilst I am showing pictures, and after all it is the start of a new year, here's a few further narrowboatworld pictures from the past, surely worthy of repeating:

This one of the 'newbie' taking his boat out up the Trent from Sawley whilst the river was flowing a bit on the fast side, then deciding it was a bit hairy so decided to turn back towards the weir!

And the obvious came to pass!  The force of the flow caught the boat and slammed him onto the buoys protecting the weir, with no way of him getting off.

The fire brigade attended and though the people managed to launched the rescue boat in an attempt to get the fella off his boat, it was to no avail, as its motor was not powerful enough to resist the force of the river holding it against the buoys.

The only way was to suffer the humiliation of having to be winched off by helicopter.

But it all proved too much for the new boater as the boat In Earnest was soon for sale.

Idiot number two

Under Sawley BridgeAnother idiot—or twowho totally ignored the two great 'No Entry' signs below that weir coming up from the navigable river at Sawley Lock getting grounded under the road bridge.  I wonderwas the fella on the bank giving them a bit of good advice about not ' attempting to come so far? 

Objected to the Rochdale

meacherCanalAnother picture worthy of repeating is surely the one where we attended the opening of the restored Rochdale Canal in 2002, and the hierarchy from British Waterways including its Chairman, Meacher, were stopped from arriving at the scene by an aggrieved farmer swimming in the canal thus preventing their boat from proceeding to the place of the ceremony.

The party had no alternative but to take to the steps and over the bridge carrying the motorway to reach their destination, the towpath being on the opposite side of the waterway.

Luckily it was the terminus of the motorway, but still caused some anxiety at getting across.

The farmer was objecting to the loss of his access through an old tunnel caused by the restoration of the Rochdale Canal.  The photographers, as can be seen, were on the wrong side of the canal to take the picture showing both the people and the swimmer.

Speeding LancasterIn a hurry

This, the only non narrowboatworld picture, was of hire boaters who really should most obviously not be allowed on the waterways.

They were photographed speeding along the Lancaster Canal, coming at full revs and carrying on at the same speed with the wake overlapping the banks.

Victor Swift