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David Schweizer

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Posts posted by David Schweizer

  1. 12 hours ago, Stroudwater1 said:

    Could the picture have been taken just by the entrance of Braunston marina ? Compare image taken yesterday, offside bank neatly maintained thanks I believe to volunteers


    Mooring ring on the corner in a similar position? 






    Yes, that is where they moored Raymond

  2. 1 hour ago, dmr said:

    You can go all the way to Bristol, Bristol is great but not CRT so you have to pay to moor there and its a bit expensive.  I have read that the river now has lots of moored boats so mooring on the river itself might be difficult. The Avon is not tidal till below Bristol (through a huge lock) but does get semi tidal at spring tides so avoid these.


    Yes, I should have mentioned that the "New Cut" from Netham Lock which takes you through the floating Harbour is also normally Non Tidal. It is not part of the River Avon as such, but can be affected by spring tides when the river can have some tidal impact up to Keynsham lock. It may be worth consulting your insurers as to whether they consider the floating harbour and the  Avon up to Keynsham Lock as tidal. There are actually two  "huge locks"  below Bristol either side of Cumberland which are  only opened at high tide, allowing vessels downstream into the Tidal river or upstream into the Floating Harbour.  In order to minimise disturbances to recently built residential accomodtation alongside the Floating Harbour, these openings usually only take place during daylight hours when the river level was high. I worked in the former Dock Labour Board building on the "island" above Cumberland basin between the new lock and Brunel lock for about ten years, and observed some interesting boats coming through, including many tall sailing ships.


    With reference to having to pay for moorings, it is perhaps useful to mention that the River Avon becomes the responsibility of the Bristol Harbour Authority below Hanham lock, and boats wishing to progress need to pay for short term licence, obtained  from the Lock Keeper at Hanham Lock.




  3. 2 hours ago, PetersNarrowboat said:

    I’m currently progressing along the K&A from Reading bit confused as to how far I can go (once the bridge blockage is fixed). Everyone says mooring is difficult between Bradford and Bath but I assume everyone does find a berth for the night?! 
    I need to turn before the Avon becomes tidal ( insurance won’t cover staying on tidal water) but where do people turn? I can’t see any turning points marked on the map after Bath. Is it possible to turn and moor beyond Bath?

    Any help appreciated





     It is possibe to moor and turn at several places between Bradford on Avon and Bath, we used to turn a 72 ft trip- boat immedately after Avoncliffe aqueduct, and also after Dundas Aqueduct, there is also a signed winding hole about a mile downstram from Dundas. There is towpath mooring in may places along this stretch, the easiest being between Dundas and Sheepwash swing bridge, although you may have to compete with liveaboards.   The river Avon does not actually become tidal until it reaches Netham Lock, which is well into Bristol, immediately below the junction with New Cut. If you wish to progress into Bath that would be fine, and there is plenty of width in Bath to turn, there are also chargeable moorings on the river in Bath by the Leisure Centre, but they have been closed for safety work, so you need to contact Bath and North East Somerset Council for the latest position. There are also canal moorings at Widcombe, but they are very popular, so finding a space can be an issue. If you do get a mooring there, it may be posssible to turn below the lock, or go down to the river and turn there.



    • Greenie 1
  4. That is Athur Bray on the former Samuel Barlows Butty Raymond, which was paired originally with Roger, and later Nutfield and worked for Blue Line of Braunston.  They were one of the three pairs which carried coal to the Kearley and Tonge Jam factory in Southall. After the run finished in 1970 the Brays retired, and lived on Raymond moored on the towpath outside Braunston Marina. This photo clearly comes from the days after carrying finished. The Brays came past our mooring in Uxbridge every week in the 1960's, and we got to know them quite well.



    • Greenie 1
  5. 1 minute ago, Rob-M said:

    Not anything new, they have been ashing gates for years.  Done it myself on a very leaky gate where a top paddle was also broken so couldn't get a level.


    They were ashing the gates the first time I came down the K&A in 1998

  6. 3 hours ago, agg221 said:

    Not necessarily a load of cobblers, if you consider possible consequences based on timing.


    The gates are under the same pressure regardless of the length of the pound, be it one lock of as many miles as you like. However, if the top gates had a habit of swinging open then if the bottom gates should happen to collapse when nobody is around then they could drain the whole pound above. This could potentially be the situation for the majority of the time after a boat came up, increasing the risk based on higher probability of the circumstances arising which would create this issue. If they collapsed when someone was working through the lock then for most of the time the top gate was shut, so you would have lost one lockful of water (this is also relatively speaking a very small percentage of the time) and, should they happen to collapse during the very narrow window between the top gate being open and closed again at least the operator could hopefully shut the top gate (and raise the alarm). Once out of the lock, closing the top gate, draining the lock and opening the bottom gates would prevent the bottom gates from failing.


    Of course, a better solution would have been to stop the top gates from swinging open (two lots of gates to reduce leakage) and the best solution would be to sort out the bottom gates to alleviate the risk.




    The opening top gates were a pain especially when single handing, because they opened before I reached the other end of the lock. I ended up making two rope lines and carried them with two stakes and a mallet which were deployed to hold the gates in closed position, only removing them once the lock had started to fill.


    I moored over winter only a few miles from Bath near my home, and had to navigate the K&A every Spring and Autumn in order to access the main system. The lock gate issue was just one problem, there were also swing bridges that were impossible to open/close along with their offside landing stages,  and the complete lack of lock holding moorings. I grew to dislike the K&A, and after a few years took a winter moring in the Midlands, and never returned to the K&A.




    1 hour ago, beerbeerbeerbeerbeer said:

    I wonder if it is time a cycle permit of some sort is reintroduced?
    Since the majority of cyclists are adults and possibly responsible/caring folk would they readily register their bike

    and display some sort of ‘badge’?
    CRT can’t charge but they could ask for a voluntary contribution, give them a bike badge and a booklet encouraging good behaviour. 

    If I cycled the towpath I’d readily sign up to support CRT’s race tracks. 

    wouldn't stop a nutter smashing your porthole in, but might encourage a better ‘ethos’ amongst cyclists


    When I started on the Grand Union in the 1960's, non boaters were required to purchase a towpath cycling licence, which I seem to recall cost five shillings. There was also a towpath walking licence which cost less, although I never met anyone who actually possessed either licence!



    • Happy 1
  7. 34 minutes ago, Stilllearning said:

    Last time I was on the K and A, the rule was that you left the bottom gates open on leaving a lock. But that was back in the 90s.


    That is what I also recall, you were even required to close the top gates, empty the lock and leave the bottom gates open when going uphill. I was told by a retired BW worker who had worked at the former Lock Gate Workshops in Devizes that the reason was because the bottom lock gates were not very sturdy, and as the top gates had a habit of swinging open if the lock was full, there a was a risk of closed bottom gates collapsing under the weight of water coming downhill. The K&A was not very busy in the 1990's and you almost prayed for a boat coming in the opposite direction when locking uphill.



  8. 1 hour ago, Pluto said:

    Sixty years ago there were numerous lock keepers, part of whose job was to check and close lock gates left open by commercial craft. Even fifty years ago I would always close gates after passing through to restrict water loss, and that was with a wide boat working single-handed. Leakage would also be reduced by running a saw down the mitre, usually from a ladder, which I don't think current H&S standards would be happy about.


    My observations of 1960's working boat practice is based almost exclusively on the Grand Union Canal, where it was normal practice to leave gates open when leaving a lock. The only exception I can recall was one lock on the Chiltern summit, where boats were expected to leave the lock empty if operating late evening because leaking lock walls caused the lock keepers cottage cellar to flood overnight. I cannot recall the name of the lock, but I believe that Alan Fincher's brother worked there in the early 1970's.

    • Greenie 1
  9. 2 hours ago, MtB said:


    So what are you suggesting? 


    Yes it was normal practise 50 years ago but not today. Are you agreeing those historics should be excused closing up behind them? Or do you think they should have been closing up like the rest of us?


     I was not suggesting that the owners of Historic boats should not abide by current accepted practice. I was just making an ironic  observation.



    • Greenie 1
  10. 27 minutes ago, haggis said:

    So, it is different rules for ex working boats and other boaters ?  If they want to be traditional, they should take out their engine and get a horse -:) 

     That is not what I said.  As for removing engines, that is an irrelevant hypothesis, the working boats I witnessed in the 1960's all had motors

  11. 17 minutes ago, MtB said:



    I followed (on my bike) a couple of nice-looking historics down Crofton and through Bedwyn one warm summer's evening a few years ago. Double width locks and they left both bottom gates wide open on exit from every lock as they went. No attempt to stop and close up behind them, they just cruised out and up to the next lock. Lazy and arrogant IMO. One of the boats was called "Finch" IIRC. 




    Those of us who were around when working boats were actually working will recall that it was normal practice for a pair to exit a lock leaving both gates open and paddles up, so they could claim to be operating "traditionally".



  12. You do not state how many hours the engine has been run, but I had the same problem with an BMC 1.5 which had run for somethng like 20k hours. A full rebore, new pistons and rings solved the problem.

  13. I am a member of another discussion forum, which uses the same software as CWDF. That forum also has the blue bubbles on the left of the each topic heading, but does not have the green banner at the top, or the "Mark as Solution" tick box at the bottom of the post,.We are normally informed by the Site Staff when there are changes to the forum features, so that is this feature something authorised by the mods, or is it there by default?



  14. That is interesting, I looked for an earlier topic which has not had any replies, and that also came up with "topic" when I right clicked on it. However, there is now another new feature - a "Mark as Solution "tick box at the bottom of the post and a green banner at the top of the topic which asks which answer was the most helpful, along with a wordy explanation. Personally I can do without all these interferences, Is there any way I can get rid of them?






  15. I have recently noticed what seems to be a couple of minor changes to the VNC home page. There are now banners indicating  time scales for posts ie: "Past hour", "Today", "Yesterday" etc, along with blue quote bubbles to the left of each topic, which appear to achieve nothing except bring up a banner  marked "Post" when right clicked, I only noticed these since I has to reload my account name and password when I inadvertently deleted them from History in Firefox. Are these unannounced recent changes, or have I just not noticed them in the past

  16. 1 hour ago, LadyG said:

    I did the local availability search, most of the hobby shops are RC or WG, DAMHIK. The place I got my things from just opens four hours per week and the website says "tools".  I dont think they actually encourage custom from passing boaters, but it was worth a punt.


    All sorted within the space of 23 hours. Good job you weren't in a hurry for them !! 😕



  17. 7 minutes ago, LadyG said:

    I decided to give up the bike last year, after ending up on crutches after a minor fall, (not bike related) Anyway managed to get some tools from the local shop/art gallery, and anythiing else that I need I can get from Amazon.



    Most people would do the local availability research before going on line asking for help,  and grumbling about retailers applying the law regarding posting sharp implements.

  18. 21 hours ago, LadyG said:

    OK  so I want some sharp instruments to be delivered.

    Not all these items are available from one supplier except one who does not do


    EBAY counter

    Amazon COUNTER


    I can have items delivered to a house but this way, it will be two weeks before I get them, and causes inconvenience.

    The local model shop opens four hours per week but has no phone number or email as he can't cope with customers trying to contact him. And his website is useless to a potential customer. I want certain tools, he just says, I sell some tools"


    Given all the "unsolved" problems you seem to have getting readily available items delivered, may I suggest that you get a bike and be prepared to cycle a reasonable distance to a suplier. Alternatively you could plan your cruising routes to be compatible with your hobby requirements.


    P.S. have you ever heard of Buses or Taxis?



    • Greenie 2
    • Haha 1
  19. 12 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

    Us too on the fleet, much less oil spilt as well, but you do need a supply of gaskets in case the old one splits.

    I made the first gasket from brown paper and never needed to replace it in 18 years. When I first started to service my car in the 1960's, I never payed for gaskets, making them myself. Old habits die hard.

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