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magpie patrick

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Everything posted by magpie patrick

  1. This ^^^^^ We need to stop thinking that canal closures, even on busy routes, are unthinkable - if money is short, it will happen. I'd say the most vulnerable are big embankments and tunnels (aqueducts less so but they often have big embankments on their approaches) - followed not far behind by big cuttings. A large failure on one of these will close the canal indefinitely and almost without warning. Thinking about it I would add Marple locks - failure rate is one every few years at a couple of million quid every time. I have reports on my shelves from the 50s and 60s that look at permanent closure of some through routes including Harecastle Tunnel Even though I used lock gates as an example, they are not actually the weak spot they seem, the limiting factor at the moment is the capacity to build them, certainly Bradley are working flat out, and I suspect Stanley Ferry are too, but capacity simply means waiting for new gates not them never being built. Another big problem is that reliability will be much reduced, and that is critical for the hire boat industry and canal side businesses dependent upon the leisure side of boating. Before maintenance was such an issue, we used to reckon as a rule of thumb that the leisure trade needed the canal to withstand the 1 in 10 year drought*, that is. so long as the failure rate was less than a 10% probability it would cope, if failure rate, any failure, starts to exceed 1 in 10, that is a 10% chance that holidays will be disrupted or cancelled, it will be very bad news. The public may be even more fickle now as there are more alternatives. *This gave concern on the Rochdale where the water supply was only up to the 1 in 3 year drought. In practice usage has not been as forecast so this hasn't been the issue we thought it would be, and our understanding of water management and supply has improved so we were probably being unduly pessimistic
  2. And when UFN meant "years" not "we don't know but probably not very long" The Bridgwater and Taunton Canal is probably the best (or worst) example. The wooden props in the Albert Street Cutting have become unsafe, and the canal closed though them, now for 2 or 3 years. This is probably one of the most popular bits of the canal both for walkers and boaters (albeit canoes) but the repairs have just never been done.
  3. At the risk of becoming a pariah I concur I recently surveyed the Neath Canal at Resolven - 34 year old gates that have fallen apart. You simply cannot keep stretching resources indefinitely, things cannot be continually patched. 34 years old is only 9 years beyond design life and 5 years beyond what can be eked out with care, if available maintenance funds are halved then lock gates will fail and no replacements will be available. And that's before we have structural failures! I fear that we either pay up or canals will close Neath Canal falling apart
  4. Ahem... I signed off on that! Well, I reviewed it and gave comments - I was okay with the two-rise. Cut fill balance, and by the time the decision was made we knew there'd be a marina above it which would screw the water balance anyway. I was less happy with the square approaches and recommended 45 degree fendering as a minimum, but that didn't happen. To add - the hydraulic balance is also affected by the side ponds at Hanbury
  5. If they're not far enough apart for a boat to fit between them then presumably the gates faced in opposite directions. I think it's unlikely that they were routinely closed and sealed as the levels would hardly ever match if left to chance. Were they perhaps closed at night? Or closed but with a paddle open? Both would provide protection in the event of a sudden large scale leak or burst.
  6. Stop it! 😮 I'll be searching on websites for these whilst my credit card tries to go into hiding...
  7. Photo attached - I thought these might be of interest. Souvenir glasses from the 1965, 66 and 68 national rallies at Burnley, Marple and Liverpool respectively. Also a jug from Marple. I was at the 1966 rally as a babe in arms, obviously I don't remember this! I think Magpie the Elder was on the NW IWA committee in the 60s. Did any other rallies have such memorabilia or was it a NW thing? And was Marple the only one to have jugs? Plus (dare I ask?) any other canal commemorative glassware out there?
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  9. Thank you - I'm not at all familiar with Japan and had no idea Tokyo had waterways like that. I'm aware there were a few canals elsewhere (ISTR Kyoto had one) Now one from me - I have seen this but it isn't my picture, I've nabbed it from the web.
  10. Mallaca? May not even be the right continent, but it has the right kind of look (from what I remember 40 years ago...)
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  12. I watched it, sensible length and knowledgeable, but I was hoping for a demo! Perhaps the theory didn't work in practice? 🤔 are they now clearing up the mess?
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  15. Mum and Dad hired from them also, 1965 and 66 - Easter in 1966 as I was due in July and mum didn't want a holiday with a one month old baby! You couldn't get past Talybont then. Dad also recalled that the cabin layouts were slightly different, with the fore cabin a foot longer and the cockpit correspondingly shorter on one of the boats. he asked Todd the reason, expecting some gem of wisdom based on experience of the earlier vessel, but apparently they just measured up incorrectly the second time!
  16. Me too! It's good to see this We had Wirral Dawn and then Willow Mist (I think in that order) in 1972 and 1973 - I was 6 and 7, crew was Mum, Dad, Aunty Vera, @1st ade and me. 1972 we went from Haskayne to Rodley and Back in a fortnight, In 1973 we picked the boat up in Rodley (the previous hirers and wanted a one way) and went to Goole, Selby and Sowerby Bridge before returning over the Leeds and Liverpool. Dad's slide collection is currently being scanned so gradually pictures of these trips will go online. Prior to this we had gone with Tingay from the Ashby Canal (and previously from Atherstone, but I don't remember that)
  17. When doing my grand cruise from Manchester to Bath on Lutine Bell I found the most agreeable section was the Southern Oxford canal between Banbury and Thrupp - so good I did it three times on a one way trip!* a lock every mile or so, pubs in each village.... *actually I had to do this because of engine trouble, but if there was a bit of that grand voyage to be stuck on, it was that bit!
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  19. Now I know they're droning on for profit I'm even less likely to watch them! I suspect that's got an upper limit - I follow a variety of vlogs, some of whom are living quite well off the proceeds - The Tim Traveller for example makes travel vlogs for a living, lives in Paris and, until recently self funded all his work* (i.e. paid for his own travel to make the vlogs) - his videos are typically 7-10 minutes long and give the number of followers it's clearly a winning formula. *He's recently been paid by the Olso Tourist Board to make two videos, but before that his vlogs paid for his adventures and he has no other job
  20. Apologies in advance to @matty40s if it's your video! I'll probably watch this and the other video later, but its too long for coffee break I've noticed a lot of these types of video are around the half hour mark, when ten minutes would probably get 95% of the message over and be much more watchable - is there a reason for this?
  21. Whilst this is undoubtedly true, and we are drifting slightly from strapping to general abuse of gates, I do not know of an instance of single leaf gates "blowing" when hit, whereas I can think of several where this has happened with mitre gates on both wide and narrow locks.
  22. On a busy profitable canal anything that wears the infrastructure is accepted as the price of keeping traffic moving - if gates need replacing a year or two earlier so be it, the abuses are getting traffic on it's way faster and maintaining profitability. On a less used, less profitable canal avoiding wear and tear may be paramount, what we don't know is what went with not strapping boats to stop them, but we can be fairly certain it didn't involve hitting the bottom gates with a thwack. More likely the boats were carefully roped in and out and the whole operation was more bucolic. I suspect (although @Pluto might know more) that early lock operation on early canals, and the T&S was relatively early, was probably a relaxed affair until they got busy and/or until the railways started competing.
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