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Ian Mac

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About Ian Mac

  • Birthday June 9

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  • Interests
    All things transport related, Computers, Farming.
  • Occupation
    Retired Professional Engineer
  • Boat Name
  • Boat Location
    Leigh Lancs

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  1. The Mikron Research is available, upon request, by the time they did Idle Women they recorded the interviews they undertook. I believe these recordings to be in the Mikron Archive. However they only talked as far as I am aware to the southern fleet based ladies, as these were the easiest too Contact. I have to say that having met several of these ladies they were a remarkable group, definitely from the "naire be stuck" group of people. I believe that after they had see the Mikron show they all went back to Tyseley and all of them got across the top gates without problem, quite remarkable given they were all in there late 80's. I hope I'm still that fit at that age.
  2. You need to go for Satellite broadband, which is not cheap circa £500 setup cost and £70 per month for a high data high, reliable mobile link, and that is not always possible Trees kill the signal. You will need a golf ball on the roof which is about 3ft sphere. Canals are not a high priority location of the phone companies and as they swap over to high speeds 5G 6G, etc, the reception will become worse, in rural area's.
  3. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  4. I would suggest that one of the biggest problems which does not occur as much on the continent is that design of the boats on the canals. As C&RT do not have rules for the Design & Construction of boats which use their waterways there are some out there which are really poorly designed. They have flat base plates which protrudes further than the hull sides. These boats tend to cause huge damage to lock gates. It can also easily happen if the boat is not level, something which the old carrying boats would not do as it made steering so much harder, they would always trim their boats to be level. If you look at a set of gates which have been brought out over the winter you can clearly see where they have really dug into the timber of the gates and the seals. Most boats on the continent are not flat bottomed, but round chined so this damage does not happen the same.
  5. That is interesting graph from Ploto. It shows the refilling of Barrowford is almost in sync with Winterburn. Barrowford is normally filled with surplus water from the Summit so it actually has a very wide catchment area, where as that for Foulridge is a lot more limited.
  6. What is often forgotten is that there were more than one group of Idle Women. The ones who wrote up their experiences were all based with the southern GU fleet and worked out of London. I have since discovered that a lady I knew, was also an Idle Woman, but only found out after her death, she never ever mentioned it, in all the years I knew her, but it would explain her love of canals, and why she also married into them, not a boater but an office worker. She it would appear, was based out of Chester. There was also at least one group of IW based on the L&L
  7. Somewhere Hadfield states the the Coventry, the Oxford, and the Trent and Mersey, Canal Co's got together in the 1790's (may be earlier - see canals of the West Midlands) and formally agreed the gauge to be Seven & one quarter feet, ie 7ft 3Inches. Over the years to reduce maintenance this has slowly been pulled in to the current figure of 6ft 10" brought about by Mr North and his grand plan to save the Llangollen canal from closure. Having said that C&RT are well aware the a good number of the boats in the National Historic fleet are built to 7ft 1" - thus the rebuild of lock 4 at Hurlesdon, shame lock 3 is also narrow. Interestingly at a similar time the last working boats built the mkII admirals where also built to 6ft10" as D&WE were concerned about the effects that brine pumping was having on Cheshire locks. As for depth the Deepest original lock on the system now is Antonys Lock 77 on The Rochdale the three deeper locks are all replacement locks for two locks, Tuel, Bath & Middlewood. Not sure which lock would have been the deepest as built, as Antonys Lock is this size due to the same subsidence as Vinegar Lock 10 on the Ashton. Both canals have similar shallow locks Lock 80 on the Rochdale and Lock 4 on the Ashton, which is where the coal fields run out into the Manchester Sandstone Bluff.
  8. We started our BCN Challenge from there many years ago, and found the residents really helpful and friendly. They lent us a key to get out to the Waggon & Horses just up the hill.
  9. Thank You - I thought it was just me doing something silly with my preferences, not a real bug. -- Cheers
  10. I predicted this was going to happen a long time ago, DEFRA will want to kick this as far as they can, down the road. It would not surprise me to see it go past the next general election. Given this activists should be already badgering their MP's about it, however the IWA NABO etc do not appear to be doing so. As far as DEFRA are concerned they are winning, as inflation is getting rid of the problem, for them, we have effectively lost 18% in real term already, and we have 3 more years of high inflation to cope with.
  11. Which proves the point, of calling things the Old main line, is purely by agreement, as this map clearly shows, that the length between the top of Smethwick and Spon Lane which we now refer to as the old main line, is not the old main line at all, but a newer old main line, as original old main went up and down a further 6 locks, 3 each side, to the top summit which was got rid of soon after this map was produced! The same applies to straightening out, which happen around Oldbury, which interestingly was referred to, using a different name when C&RT released a stoppage note some time ago about works on the m5. They used the name (old main line) bracketed to refer to it. Although we did not loose the Oldbury loops until relatively recently. I suspect the C&RT database has to use correct names as they have to be able to prove ownership of the land, and refer back to other historic records which they hold.
  12. I thought this happened when the Ashton & Lower Peak happened, however they are not in the list, so in practice it has not happened. Need to reread the canal press to see why we think this. Anyone any clues?
  13. True, however there was(is) a winding hole at the top and a pub on the far side of the spine Rd. It made a nice destination. I also remember the branch (WOC mainline) being dredged back in the late 80's And Yes I know it is not technically the Ridgeacre now, but I am old enough to have boated on the Ridgeacre before we lost it, and old names stick. I use to like around there when the eight locks pub was open, it was a nice place to spend the night. I also note that contrary to what I thought, the Ashton & Lower Peak Forest are not now Cruising waterways, which is interesting.
  14. These two waterways are still subject to being paid for by the appropriate local authorities, I am not sure of the details, but I seem to remember that the agreement which was reached for the Rochdale was that the Local authorities would pay some of the maintenance costs until 2050. Of course in Manchester City it is more complex as C&RT are only responsible for the water part, as the city council have the lease for the towpath. I seem to think that the HVNC had a different structure for how it was funded, which is why the HCS still exist as they were part of the formula. As to other canals I believe that there are a good number of waterways in the West Midlands which are still remaindered The Walsall canal springs to mind, as being one which is still open for navigation, and I believe receives LA support. Bradely locks is another which is currently closed, but subject to a campaign to re-open. Then there is the problem of the Ridgeacre Branch, which is currently being ignored by all, as it is very heavy polluted, so would cost a mega fortune to dredge. I last used it was over 20 years ago.
  15. It would appear the neighbouring land owner has been doing some digging in order to improve the drainage on his land, and has disturbed some old land drains, one of which was connected to the culvert which passes under the canal, which no one had any knowledge of. As with the breach on the Rochdale canal in Ancoats, Manchester, three years ago, once the exit of the culvert had been opened this allowed water to start to flow, thus then causing the culvert to fail. Unlike the one in Ancoats a plastic sheet appears to be holding this one for now!
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