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nicknorman

First volockie irritation of the year.

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1 minute ago, aracer said:

I'm suggesting the vlockies have a vlockie season - certainly I didn't encounter any in places which have been mentioned on here, or where I've encountered them since.

I think you are probably right, roll on next month

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1 hour ago, aracer said:

I'm suggesting the vlockies have a vlockie season - certainly I didn't encounter any in places which have been mentioned on here, or where I've encountered them since.

So maybe what people are seeing when vlockies get all arsey is simply a vlockie protecting its nest, understandable tbh, are they now open to the guns or do they fly south for the winter?

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10 minutes ago, tree monkey said:

So maybe what people are seeing when vlockies get all arsey is simply a vlockie protecting its nest, understandable tbh, are they now open to the guns or do they fly south for the winter?

I think they hibernate actually.

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2 hours ago, aracer said:

I'm suggesting the vlockies have a vlockie season - certainly I didn't encounter any in places which have been mentioned on here, or where I've encountered them since.

 

So it's  OK to shoot them in the Volockie Season? 😁

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13 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

So it's  OK to shoot them in the Volockie Season? 😁

No, we have already established the season refers to nesting season and it would be cruel to shoot them whilst nesting,  apparently they hibernate out of season, so I suppose there may be a short opportunity for some sport when they look for a warm cave to doss in

 

 

To add, I wonder if the flags are some sort of evolutionary development to attract mates?

Edited by tree monkey
To add more nonsense
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13 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

So it's  OK to shoot them in the Volockie Season? 😁

I would have been very tempted at Hillmorton a couple of weeks ago, when a vlockette turned a lock in our faces and then told me "I didn't know you wanted to go down", after which blunder, rather than ensure that they gave us as much help as possible, she and her compadre totally ignored us when we eventually did get into the lock. our dented faith in such people was, however, restored by the excellent couple ( a husband and wife from Cropredy) who were assisting at Napton.

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5 minutes ago, Athy said:

I would have been very tempted at Hillmorton a couple of weeks ago, when a vlockette turned a lock in our faces and then told me "I didn't know you wanted to go down", after which blunder, rather than ensure that they gave us as much help as possible, she and her compadre totally ignored us when we eventually did get into the lock. our dented faith in such people was, however, restored by the excellent couple ( a husband and wife from Cropredy) who were assisting at Napton.

 

Yes, my experience has generally been favourable.  The notable exception being our first volockie experience at Fradley, a few years ago.

 

Here the volockie and his mate opened the top gate paddles before I had stopped the boat (I always rest the bow button on the top gates when ascending the T&M locks which have a strong pull) and without checking if I was ready, causing the boat to be dragged forward until it hit the top gate, despite me apllying full reverse. 😣

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3.5 hours it took us and lots of other boaters at Hillmorton,. waiting to get up those three locks yesterday..

It seems that the vlockette  and the volockie were having a tiff.

One boat would go up the bottom lock, but there was never a boat ready to come down, so the lock was kept ready for a boat to come down however long it was gonna be, some times it was 20 minutes before the lock was turned again!

Not a very happy time for the 10th in line Boat

There were various excuses made by them too.

We had a breach at Barby, seemed to be the favorite, with others that were implausible I ignored em, all told to whoever would listen while clutching their mugs of steaming tea.

Nipper

 

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38 minutes ago, nipper said:

3.5 hours it took us and lots of other boaters at Hillmorton,. waiting to get up those three locks yesterday..

It seems that the vlockette  and the volockie were having a tiff.

One boat would go up the bottom lock, but there was never a boat ready to come down, so the lock was kept ready for a boat to come down however long it was gonna be, some times it was 20 minutes before the lock was turned again!

Not a very happy time for the 10th in line Boat

There were various excuses made by them too.

We had a breach at Barby, seemed to be the favorite, with others that were implausible I ignored em, all told to whoever would listen while clutching their mugs of steaming tea.

Nipper

 

If, as has been regularly said, C&RT agree that the volockies are there to assist only when asked, how can they stop you just going through the lock and waving, dependent on age, one or two fingers?

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25 minutes ago, Mike Tee said:

If, as has been regularly said, C&RT agree that the volockies are there to assist only when asked, how can they stop you just going through the lock and waving, dependent on age, one or two fingers?

This is what you would hope would be the case, but experience with Hillmorton suggests that they impose their will on you.  Personally I now aim to go through there in a evening if I can, it's not worth the hassle

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Just to note to say that there was only one lock a side working yesterday, and with no winter works in the foreseeable future, it doesn't take much to say that these locks will be out of action soon!

In that event then the volockies wont be needed anyway!

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As an update to our incident several pages back, this week we chased up the complaint as nothing had been heard.  It has not been dealt with, having apparently not even been looked at until we followed it up.  There has been a verbal apology for the incident itself, and an email apology for the way the complaint was handled.  Volokies are to be reminded that they are not in charge, should only help when asked, and should not swear at boaters.  This will all apparently go out in the end of season briefing.  We now regard the matter as closed.

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2 hours ago, Mike Tee said:

If, as has been regularly said, C&RT agree that the volockies are there to assist only when asked, how can they stop you just going through the lock and waving, dependent on age, one or two fingers?

We were in that queue yesterday. Problem was the Lockette at the top wasn't letting anyone up until someone came down. Now fair enough, we'd have just gone, but there were quite a number of hire boats ahead being held in the pounds ahead of us who assumed the Lockette knew best!! Hence a shambolic gridlock. This despite us trying to tell them the queue was halfway back to Newbold!

As has been said, this was all compounded by just one of each duplicated lock being operable.

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My main complaint is that there were no volockies on the Ashton Canal down into Manchester. Hard work, dodgy areas and a distinct lack of maintenance budget. Oh for a smiley volockie, bossy or otherwise!

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3 hours ago, nipper said:

One boat would go up the bottom lock, but there was never a boat ready to come down, so the lock was kept ready for a boat to come down however long it was gonna be, some times it was 20 minutes before the lock was turned again!

Not a very happy time for the 10th in line Boat

 

Was there any reason preventing a waiting boater going up and turning a lock themselves?

 

Or was everyone waiting, waiting for the vollies to do the lock for them?

 

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Was there any reason preventing a waiting boater going up and turning a lock themselves?

 

Or was everyone waiting, waiting for the vollies to do the lock for them?

 

 

 

 

At Hillmorton you have to be quite rude to get them to leave you alone. Nipper is not rude.

If you are more than one boat back, , you just assume that there must be a problem slowing things down...and either drift around or tie up and make a cup of tea.

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41 minutes ago, Derek Porteous said:

My main complaint is that there were no volockies on the Ashton Canal down into Manchester. Hard work, dodgy areas and a distinct lack of maintenance budget. Oh for a smiley volockie, bossy or otherwise!

Did you actually see anything to suggest that the Ashton is a dodgy area (or at least worse than most urban areas)? I know that all the guidebooks (written yonks ago) claim this and it may well have been once true but our recent experience was to feel that the canal was unjustifiably slurred. 

 

Mind you, we did moor overnight just above Fairfield Junction - the CaRT person who came to operate Copperus bridge suggested immediately beyond the junction but we went a couple of bridges further and found what we judged to be a reasonable and quiet spot - we checked out StreetView etc for the surroundings. We settled down to our roast dinner. Just as darkness was falling, a woman came to the hatch window specifically to warn us that this was a very rough area, we should not moor here and there was a vandalised boat just around the corner that CaRT and the police knew about!

 

It was really not possible to move (apart from the wine we had just consumed!) so we battened down everything we could think of and retired to bed nervously. Glad to say that apart from someone noisily riding a scooter along the towpath we had no untoward experience.

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Obvious drug dealing.... but then perhaps the same as most urban areas as you quite rightly point out. Still would have appreciated a lock or two wheeled by a volockie though 😊

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I came up through Tuel Deep lock yesterday. I accept that it is one lock that has to be controlled, with a locky or volocky in charge. However, coming out of the curved tunnel before the lock, going slow, a volocky just had to show me the palm of his hand and shout "slow down".

Just a demonstration of petty officiousness. I know my boat and am hardly likely to go racing in to slam into the cill, I doubt there has ever been anyone who has done so. I could have come through the tunnel faster, still well in control.

I find this sort of power freakery to be out of order, I just came away thinking he's a little man trying to big himself up. Exactly the opposite of what he is trying to achieve! There were maybe 4 staff on duty, more than enough, yet there are dry paddle mechanisms, fettling of some paddle gear, various jobs that could usefully be done instead of hovering around a lock. I'd travelled up from Wakefield, very few locks were fully operative, with all paddles working. It has deteriorated over the past few years. Still.we have new signs, shiny signs, blue signs.

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23 hours ago, Jim Riley said:

I came up through Tuel Deep lock yesterday. I accept that it is one lock that has to be controlled, with a locky or volocky in charge. However, coming out of the curved tunnel before the lock, going slow, a volocky just had to show me the palm of his hand and shout "slow down".

Just a demonstration of petty officiousness. I know my boat and am hardly likely to go racing in to slam into the cill, I doubt there has ever been anyone who has done so. I could have come through the tunnel faster, still well in control.

I find this sort of power freakery to be out of order, I just came away thinking he's a little man trying to big himself up. Exactly the opposite of what he is trying to achieve! There were maybe 4 staff on duty, more than enough, yet there are dry paddle mechanisms, fettling of some paddle gear, various jobs that could usefully be done instead of hovering around a lock. I'd travelled up from Wakefield, very few locks were fully operative, with all paddles working. It has deteriorated over the past few years. Still.we have new signs, shiny signs, blue signs.

I've only been through a few times ever but the most recent was a month ago. There were two on duty but this is the minimum as one needs to stay with the main lock (to keep it safe!) whilst the other frequently needs to go down the flight and to keep the other informed about when it is safe to allow a boat down (just in case someone cannot read the notices!) I was not there to see your experience and much would depend on the manner it was done but perhaps you might have been a tad over sensitive? The ones I have met really do seem to know what they are doing and despite the signs and other controls, boaters still manage to get it wrong from time to time and with such a lock there is a heightened sense of awareness of the implications for an error - not quite the same as at Autherley Stop Lock!

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You would have been OK at Middlewich today , it was raining so they were in the hut when we came up. But they don't seem a bad bunch on there

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17 hours ago, Mike Todd said:

I've only been through a few times ever but the most recent was a month ago. There were two on duty but this is the minimum as one needs to stay with the main lock (to keep it safe!) whilst the other frequently needs to go down the flight and to keep the other informed about when it is safe to allow a boat down (just in case someone cannot read the notices!) I was not there to see your experience and much would depend on the manner it was done but perhaps you might have been a tad over sensitive? The ones I have met really do seem to know what they are doing and despite the signs and other controls, boaters still manage to get it wrong from time to time and with such a lock there is a heightened sense of awareness of the implications for an error - not quite the same as at Autherley Stop Lock!

It has been managed by one person for many years, paid staff not vollies, so I don't see why it can't continue. 

As for being over sensitive, no, it was done in a gratuitously officious manner. Otherwise i wouldn't have been bothered by it. 

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19 hours ago, Mike Todd said:

I've only been through a few times ever but the most recent was a month ago. There were two on duty but this is the minimum as one needs to stay with the main lock (to keep it safe!) whilst the other frequently needs to go down the flight and to keep the other informed about when it is safe to allow a boat down (just in case someone cannot read the notices!) I was not there to see your experience and much would depend on the manner it was done but perhaps you might have been a tad over sensitive? The ones I have met really do seem to know what they are doing and despite the signs and other controls, boaters still manage to get it wrong from time to time and with such a lock there is a heightened sense of awareness of the implications for an error - not quite the same as at Autherley Stop Lock!

On the times we've been through there's only been one lockie. Boats were warned not to enter the tunnel until he had blown his whistle. Do CRT not issue whistles anymore?

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A couple of weeks back I descended down the Marston flight, singlehanded/ing as always. First 4 were set against, so lots of joggin (leaving the boat to descend the final 20% by itself and it didn't blow up).

 

I did experience some vlockies just as I was leaving the second to last lock, the lass politely asked if I was mooring up or descending the final one, when I responded I was descending she radioed ahead to the bloke there to get it set and opened up. (didn't ask if I wanted this help, but as I did, it didn't matter)

Once I arrived I quickly tied and got the other paddles up that the bloke hadn't had chance to do yet. On the whole it was a positive experience, though he seemed surprised that I was working the lock with him (again I wasn't asked if I wanted help). He did say "you can stay on the boat and I'll work the lock" but I quickly said no thanks as you can't do bugger all from there if out goes wrong.

 

I got the impression that generally folks just let them work the locks.

 

Got thorough the flight in 1 hour 25 too which I was chuffed with.

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7 minutes ago, pearley said:

On the times we've been through there's only been one lockie. Boats were warned not to enter the tunnel until he had blown his whistle. Do CRT not issue whistles anymore?

Yes, I got to tunnel entrance, sounded my horn, then heard whistle. 

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