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magpie patrick

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Posts posted by magpie patrick

  1. As a consultant I produce reports - there are always a number of versions the client doesn't see. In my case these are numbered upwards from v0 (the first draft) and have reached v7 before the client sees them. The first version the client sees is "draft final" or  "final"


    NBW are reading far, far too much into the use of the word final.

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  2. On 05/04/2024 at 11:05, BoatinglifeupNorth said:

    I don’t see how it would be a hazard going under a bridge as you don’t really do significant turns. Maybe if unattended in a lock it may be an issue and may need removing ?????

     I lost the wooden bit of Ripple's tiller at the junction at Hardings Wood Junction, thankfully I wasn't holding it at the time! I was holding further down the bar, ironically because I needed to reach the morse control which was on the left and the tiller needed to be hard right.


    That said Ripple had an elliptical counter not a square stern, the tiller was beyond the profile of the stern but would not be beyond the cabin if travelling into a lock. 


    I'm sure I've seen wide beams with an offset tiller connected to the rudder stock with a bicycle chain arrangement or similar



  3. Thanks all again, and good local gen from @nicknorman


    I'm looking at the logistics of getting there - one big issue is the hours that respite care is available, we can't leave until it starts and that's likely to be 11am. This means we can't make the journey in one day by train or car but also is likely to mean we can't get a flight that day either - at the moment our idea is to make the journey by car part of the holiday - hot foot it to the borders on day one the day we set off and then a more leisurely drive on day two. The four night boat option would allow us two nights on the road in one direction and that might be very appealing. 

    That said, logistics are my problem - the real gems of advice you are all giving are about what to expect when we get there!



    3 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

    We did the NC500 last Summer, it was awesome (a word I seldom use), we drove for 2-3 hours per day so we had plenty of relaxation / exploring time but it was not enough.


    Even parked next to one of the local Campervans :






     The NC500 looks wonderful, but it's way off the scale for what we can manage in the time - I think we'll stick to the Great Glen!


    *I did think NC might stand for @Naughty Cal :D 

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  4. Thanks all - some food for thought. Le Boat appeals as they start from Laggan so we could do a leisurely run to (say) Urquhart Castle and back seeing something of both canal and lochs Oich and Ness. The alternative of a twin centre holiday on Inverness and Fort William also appeals.


    13 hours ago, Naughty Cal said:

    I think Caley do a 3 day hire as well. Their boats looked better maintained if not more expensive. 


    We had a very leisurely 10 day one way cruise. Still found plenty to do. That said we could explore places not available to hire boats like anchoring at Dores and the Quay at the Falls of Foye.


    A 2/3 day cruise would be very whistle stop and IMO wouldn't really do the area justice. 

     I hear you - unfortunately circumstances dictate its a short holiday or we don't go at all. 

  5. On 07/04/2024 at 02:05, David Mack said:

    How many do you want?


    I love these old images! But for the OP and others benefit one has to remember these boats were designed to carry 30-50 tonnes of cargo and in images like this had perhaps 3 tonnes of passengers. Unlike modern boats the old working boats didn't have apertures below gunwale height. Put 30 tonnes of cargo on a modern leisure boat and the exhaust, sink outlet etc will be under water. 


    The accidents I recall on inland waterways with passenger boats were often the result of top heavy loading with too many passengers on the roof. There was also one I seem to recall where passengers were on board during a broadside launch... just putting lots of people in the cargo hold of a canal boat was relatively risk free, even if it would have given a modern MCA inspector apoplexy 

  6. The Lady and I are hoping we can get away for a week in August - this assumes we can get care in place for a dependent and that hamstrings us a bit as in it is likely to mean we have exactly one week, say from 11am on the day of departure to 6pm on the day we get back with seven nights in between.


    We're fancying Inverness/Loch Ness - V has never been and it's 40 years since I last went. The logistics mean we may well only get five nights up there so our initial thoughts were hotel in Inverness and day trips, or possibly hotel in Inverness for 3 nights and then 2 nights in Fort William. 


    First question is nothing to do with logistics though - V has heard the midges are little terrors in August, is that true in the Great Glen? 


    Second is - can we get afloat? The only cruises I can find are end to end and are seven nights on board, nothing short of a personal helicopter will get us there and back in time. I note one or two passenger trip boats on Loch Ness although these seem to be trips an hour or two long rather than day trips, but it may be a two hour trip on the Loch gets a lot further than I think it will. Any trips anywhere else on the Caledonian Canal? My attempts at a Google search yield either a mass of mostly irrelevant information (if I wanted a cruise in the Outer Hebrides I'd ask for it) or nothing at all 

    Any help much appreciated - we may write this off as not doable in a week from Somerset, but we'd very much like to give it a go. 

    Thanks all

  7. 4 hours ago, Stroudwater1 said:

    It’s also accessible from the Eastern end, once you’ve turned your 60+ footer  round at Aspley basin or earlier and gone back up again? 

     I went a bit further and turned at the incinerator - I knew Ripple wouldn't fit the locks (she was 62 foot) but I hadn't factored in that canals with short locks have short winding holes too :o 

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  8. 13 minutes ago, IanD said:

    I bet somebody's mistakenly copied the notice over from the C&H without checking. Has anyone checked with CRT?

    This ^^^^


    And easy enough to do in error even if you know what you're talking about - a colleague of several years ago based his bid for consultancy work in Dublin on a similar bid he'd done in Stockholm - after many checks to make sure there were no references to Swedish places and policies he sent the bid out, with the price in Króna....

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  9. 30 minutes ago, matty40s said:

    Its lovely once you get out of Stoke, it's a must do.

    However, the river sections might be a bit feisty after this weeks rain, they do calm down quite quickly though.

     As Matty said, and the closer you get to Froghall the better it gets


    In the 1960s BW offered to maintain and repair the canal as far as Hazlehurst locks on condition the canal society drop their campaign for restoration to Froghall - Ben Fradley, the then chairman of the canal society, is alleged to have replied "we are not being shown to the garden gate and then being barred from entering the garden" 

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  10. 3 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

    OK then. It's a terrible idea for all the reasons already mentioned. Definitely worth moving to a more conventional roof exit and having the hole in the side welded up. The right angle bend on the outside and I'm assuming a corresponding one on the inside will encourage it to clag up more quickly with ash, tar and clinker and be a pain to clean.

    Sorry if this isn't the answer you wanted, but there it is.


    Seconded - that is going to get knocked off even moving to the water point or the diesel berth. You won't be able to take it off if the fire is lit, and moving with it on is a hazard to other boaters as well as locksides, bridges etc. 

    Sorry, but it needs to go!

  11. 2 minutes ago, Ogwr said:

    I believe these were for the 72 ft narrow boats who rallied at Haskayne , rather than on the  62 ft length, Interestingly there were 3 other sites, Botany Bay at Chorley. the main site at Blackburn and o the embankment at  Burnley    

     Thank you! I'd forgotten that 65 was at Burnley not Liverpool (which I think was 68?) and didn't know there had been satellite sites 

  12. 53 minutes ago, Pluto said:

    It will be a copy originally from the L&LC office in Liverpool. I have seen other archive material with the same cover. The map itself seems to have originated around 1890, when they were looking to improve Liverpool to Burnley to 100 ton standard. There is also an approx A3 map from this time, and they were used, for example, to promote Winterburn reservoir construction and the 1891 Act. The map was up-dated as subsidence affected the Leigh arm. Your map probably dates from around 1920, following the construction of the second Poolstock lock, and the removal of Plank Lane Lock. I would suspect that John Freeman gave the map to the IWA during an office clear-out, such as the move to Wigan in the early 1970s.

    The map is not particularly rare, and I have come across a number of examples, often rolled and uncut, in several archives. BW did have new examples printed circa 1970, and the transparent copy used for printing is in the Waterways Archive. The company also produced two booklets; one in the 1920s showing which carrier to use for specific general cargo trade after the company's carrying fleet and traffics had been divided between four private companies. These were coerced to form Canal Transport Ltd in 1930, and in the mid-1930s a map book showing businesses using the canal was produced, and I had an A5 copy printed for sale on Kennet some 15 or so years ago, now sold out. The GUC had a similar book printed.

     Thanks Pluto - I'm sure if I read one of your books I'll get the answer, but what was the original configuration on the Leigh Branch? Bradshaw 1904 has one at Poolstick, two at Dover and one at Plank Lane, which is what is shown on my plan, you suggest that by the 1920s this had changed (I don't have a later Bradshaw to hand to check) but what did it start as? 


    The map is headed for a place in my personal library btw 

  13. On 26/02/2024 at 16:53, Kendorr said:

    Nice short video showing the task ahead!



     Very informative - if only all videos could be that concise!

    On 26/02/2024 at 17:23, Hudds Lad said:

    What should, and what WOULD, be happening under a responsible and competent navigation authority, is that the navigation is re-opened by the means described above, with appropriate signage clearly warning of the serious ground instability throughout the whole length of the cutting, . . and the consequential very high risk of further similar slips occuring, at ANY time and without ANY warning.


    Thanks for that - I realise it's not you that said it. Does the author really think that a cutting should be reopened in a state where it is predictable that it will slide down on a passing boater? IF we were talking about coal to keep the lights on in Coventry then that risk might just about have been  acceptable in the 1930s, but leisure boaters? Now?

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  14. Been a while since I posted one of these...


    Found amongst MtE's books, I've posted similar but not identical maps before, they were flat sheets, this is bound, and there are significant detail differences too. 







    The map gives no info on who published it - there is a credit to the "Canal Office, Liverpool" but no reference to whether this was the L&L co or the BTC. The map shows four locks on the Leigh Branch which must date it to some extent. 


    I find the long profile including the reservoirs fascinating.


    Anyone got any  thoughts on date and provenance?

  15. 19 minutes ago, beerbeerbeerbeerbeer said:

    but CRT must have had some extra funding from somewhere to deal with it?

    I lost touch with the figures a long time ago but without funding from elsewhere I don’t know how CRT could afford to fix it?

     Others may know better but I don't know that CRT did get extra dosh - funding was given to businesses and residents for "uninsured losses" and "recovery" 


    The failure was in 2019 and the works won't be completed until 2025, so the costs are spread over several years



  16. I concur with @Pluto - there is a great tendency to simplify history, and related to that a tendency to think of what we have now or of the recent past as being "original" 


    more generally, and as an example of the difficulty in interpretation, below are four photographs of the head of locks 9,10,11 and 12 at Marple, taken earlier this afternoon. Lock 9 has a recess on the offside that looks big enough for a single leaf top gate, lock 10 has one half the size, lock 11 has only the curved rebate to allow the top gate to close, whilst lock 12 has a recess big enough for a gate for most of its height but only half the size at coping level. 


    Did one or more of these locks ever have the gate hinged on the non-towpath side? Are any of these original features? If so (to both questions) which one? 20240304_171012_resized.thumb.jpg.6db45eb5b040bff467c66d5b261d8fcc.jpg20240304_171218_resized.thumb.jpg.50188dca6865a95e3ea4849e85365486.jpg20240304_171340_resized.thumb.jpg.233d44d3eb54fe4074d7dbb197255750.jpg20240304_171552_resized.thumb.jpg.5b9c78332d88b16a9de9a8a2c762dd94.jpg

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  17. Further to @Plutos comments, and ref: the Coventry Canal and others, there simply wasn't a standard way of doing things, or even a standard performance spec. For example, locks on the Neath Canal only had one ground paddle at the top, and never had top gate paddles, speed was presumably not of the essence - other canals may have regarded speed of operation more highly from the outset. 


    Pluto has done far more research than any of us (probably more than the rest of us put together!) but my suspicion would be that (1) most earlier locks the design was based on what they already knew from nearby navigations (2) once ground paddles were understood gate paddles were not used at the top (with one possible caveat - see below) and (3) two ground paddles at the top was as much about redundancy as it was about speed, and even then may have largely been "other locks have two paddles" - as a general rule if something worked then one didn't fiddle with it. 


    Caveat - some locks on the main system only ever had one top ground paddle, notably the T&M east of Stone, and Marple Locks - Pluto and I have walked up Marple Locks looking for evidence or otherwise for top gate paddles when new, but there is none. On the T&M locks it would seem odd to have some locks with two top paddles and some with only one, so my suspicion is that those locks with only one top ground did have top gate paddles, but is is only a supposition. At some point the T&M standardised on two top ground paddles as the newer locks at Meaford have this whilst the top lock has only one.

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  18. Just to add, licence revenue (not the same thing as individual licence fees) would have to increase by 67% to replace the funding that will be lost - given that some give up this suggests fees would probably have to at least double to plug the gap 

  19. 1 minute ago, Arthur Marshall said:

    As they've been failing to cover the costs for years without anyone in authority appearing to care very much (and that includes BW and CRT,

     That isn't quite true, BW certainly did care and looked for ways to manage whilst spending less money*, aware of the bean counters at HMG - they also had the ability to go cap in hand if something did go badly wrong, and would get at least partially bailed out. CRT lost that option and have also now had their funding severely restricted


    *whether their methods were effective is another matter. 

  20. 36 minutes ago, IanD said:

    If CART funds continue to fail to cover the required maintenance then the number of emergency stoppages is only going to carry on going up, especially as the Millennium-era restorations reach the end of their design lifetime -- and without more money I can't see what the alternative to closures is, however difficult this will be... 😞 

     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 

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