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AndrewIC last won the day on July 1 2018

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  1. Not yet - I’m not clear who to report it to?
  2. So the causes of my original exasperated post… Week before last, Grindley Brook, going up. The volockies were quite definitely not there to assist, they were there to be In Charge, checked in with, and their instructions followed - the signs say so, so it must be true. Anyway, first rule of a leaky staircase is not to hang about, and the bottom gates at GB leak like a sieve, so on entering the bottom lock I gave SWMBO on the middle paddles the usual “straight up” hand signal. “Half a turn! Half a turn only!” shouted the volockie, and insisted the paddle was wound down almost all the way again. And so it went on, the paddles being opened a crack at a time, so that by the time the first set of intermediate gates opened, the level was more than a foot below the markers and I was seriously concerned that we would get caught on the cill. Repeat procedure middle-to-top chamber, thankfully with less leakage. And one of the volockies remarked at the top, that they had to be really careful, because boats were getting stuck on the bottom… 🤦‍♂️ Last week, GB going down. Arrived at the top just as the last-of-three was had cleared the top chamber, and the staircase was to be reversed for boats to come up. We would then be next first-of-three going down after that. Volockie had cracked open one top paddle half way to refill the top chamber, so I wandered up and opened the other one. Ordered to “wind that paddle down, please!”. Pointed out that the top chamber had to be refilled, but no, “wind it down, sir, we’re regulating the water!”. Wound it down, gave up and went to make a cup of tea and admire the view while they faffed. And then Hurleston, last week, going down. Two volockies on. The first one refused to let me out of the top lock until she said so, deliberately holding one bottom gate closed against me. Now we’ve done probably thousands of locks over the years, but the idea of being stuck in the bottom of a narrow lock, usually with water pouring round/through/under the leaky top gate, still gives me the willies, and I like to get out of there, or know that I can, with some alacrity. Deliberately obstructing my exit for no good reason was in my book completely out of order. Further down, the other volockie was blithely lifting bottom paddles without waiting for a thumbs up: That really annoys me, and I’m always slightly wary of random boaters ready with windlasses poised when entering a lock, but this year almost all the other boaters we met at locks checked before winding, even the hirers, but not this volockie. But anyway, otherwise pleasant trip up to Llangollen, and plenty of water
  3. Info from a boater we were chatting to this week was that only The Bridge was open, but I don’t know about the food situation, sorry.
  4. It is the old Middlewich Narrowboats site, and they do have an Elsan point, but whether they charge I don’t know. I’ve seen it open once or twice at festival time. Although when we came through late morning today, everything was shut up.
  5. Don’t think there was ever an Elsan at Barbridge. The tap and bins have long gone, but there are nice new signs limiting mooring to 30 mins “for access to the services”. Elsan at Plants Lock went when the Red Bull service block opened. Tyrley seems unlikely to reopen, Hurleston has gone (there was an “aspiration” to open a new one before Grindley Brook), and the drainage at Anderton is unreliable.
  6. And “instructions” they are - there’s no reasoning with them! I wonder how many have ever done any boating.
  7. Many Axminster cutters come with two bearings, to cut with or without the lower “step”.
  8. The people at Uplands are fine (I would say that, I’m one of them - non-liveaboard). The operation has recently been acquired by ABC and is in the process of transitioning to their systems. I believe Oakwood is full, and Orchard is still a hole in the ground.
  9. There is also a winding hole just above Tyrley top lock, and a bit of Googling reveals that one of the adjacent properties is The Coach House, Tyrley Road, TF9 2AQ.
  10. The “two means of escape” BSS check (6.3.1) is an advisory on privately owned and managed boats, it’s only a mandatory requirement on hire boats.
  11. I made my own last year. Sapele, single glazed window (Perspex not glass). The materials came to somewhere around £200, and a couple of large router cutters that I didn’t already have about another £60. I was also replacing an existing rotten ply board and wanting to keep the existing cover, and that made the construction of the board significantly more time consuming (and therefore expensive, had I been paying someone to do it) than if I had had free reign. That was in mid-2021, so I imagine the material costs will now be significantly more expensive, and with labour costs you could easily be looking at more than £500.
  12. Sort of. The question was about “not locks”, and if you can get through Dutton Stop then you can get through the tunnels. Barnton Tunnel would be the first not-a-lock pinch point if you had come up the lift.
  13. AndrewIC


    And the fish in the water!
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