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Bascote Staircase GU Closed

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The Bascote Staircase (Locks 14/15) on the GU is closed due to a broken cill until further notice.  The metal plate that seals the centre gate (towpath side) has detached and is stopping the gate from closing.

 

There are currently 6 boats below the locks.  The local lock keeper has called "somebody" and I have called the CRT Emergency Number.  Seven hours after the event I am still waiting to hear from a Duty Manager.

 

According to the LK, "It could be closed for at least 2 days but we won't know until an assessor has been out."

 

Do CRT work over the weekends on issues like this or should we expect no action until Monday 9:00am?

 

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Surprised no one has been out to look at it yet, it's a long way round to avoided it so people are going to be wanting to know if they wait or turn round.  Presumably theee are hire boats doing the Warwickshire ring  having left Kate in Warwick, they may as well turn and go to Stratford instead, if they wait 2 days they will not get round the ring.

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There were several CRT chaps chipping away at the coping stones underneath the bridge by the Warwick Fly Boat Company on the Stockton Flight yesterday. A broad beam Dutch style barge on its maiden voyage from the builder in Warwick has been trying to get through for several days apparently.

Edited by billS

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Will CRT be recovering the cost ofcrepairs from the builder? I certainly hope so.

 

I recall reading an article in Waterways World, probably in the 1980's of the wideboat Arthur getting stuck around Stockton, so there really is nothing new under the sun.

  • Greenie 1

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58 minutes ago, cuthound said:

Will CRT be recovering the cost ofcrepairs from the builder? I certainly hope so.

 

I recall reading an article in Waterways World, probably in the 1980's of the wideboat Arthur getting stuck around Stockton, so there really is nothing new under the sun.

What is the quoted dimensions for the GU at Stockton, not the actual at that bridge?

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28 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

What is the quoted dimensions for the GU at Stockton, not the actual at that bridge?

 

From https://www.waterways.org.uk/waterways/canals_rivers/grand_union_braunston_birm/gu_braunston_birmingham

 

The maximum boat size that can navigate the waterway from Braunston to the top of Camp Hill Locks (Birmingham), which are narrow, is
length: 80' 4" (24.5 metres) - Hatton Locks
beam: 12' 0" (3.65 metres) - Blue Lias Road Bridge (No 23)
headroom: 7' 11" (2.41 metres) - Blue Lias Road Bridge (No 23)
draught: 6' 1" (1.86 metres) - cill of Hatton Locks

 

  • Greenie 1

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So why on earth is a boat builder launching a 14' boat and waving bon voyage to the proud new owners.

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How do you know that it is 14 ft beam? The CRT chaps were saying that the bridge had moved.

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14 hours ago, john6767 said:

Surprised no one has been out to look at it yet, it's a long way round to avoided it so people are going to be wanting to know if they wait or turn round.  Presumably theee are hire boats doing the Warwickshire ring  having left Kate in Warwick, they may as well turn and go to Stratford instead, if they wait 2 days they will not get round the ring.

Not much room to turn round. IIRC the nearest winding hole is  down past Radford bottom lock,  although there seems to be quite wide bits on the top of most of the locks down that stretch where the lock landings are on the offside.

Was it the widebeam stuck in Stockton that did the damage?

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3 minutes ago, Ray T said:

Was that the one that has been parked outside Delta Marine services for the last couple of years? Finally finished and painted?

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Just now, Dr Bob said:

Was that the one that has been parked outside Delta Marine services for the last couple of years? Finally finished and painted?

Quote from the Facebook thread. Paul Barber "Looks like a Delta marine barge ( not Dutch ) outward bound but someone has got a few measurements incorrect."

 

Paul is a boat builder and a historic aficionado, what he doesn't know about boats isn't worth knowing.

Edited by Ray T

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2 hours ago, Rob-M said:

So why on earth is a boat builder launching a 14' boat and waving bon voyage to the proud new owners.

You might find that the boat builders and owners are one and the same. 

I do believe that the owners of Delta Marine had built themselves a fat boat to retire to ..going to European waterways, perhaps this is it.

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5 hours ago, cuthound said:

Will CRT be recovering the cost ofcrepairs from the builder? I certainly hope so.

 

I recall reading an article in Waterways World, probably in the 1980's of the wideboat Arthur getting stuck around Stockton, so there really is nothing new under the sun.

I believe the "Arthur" got no further than bridge 103, between Flecknoe and Shuckburgh

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39 minutes ago, archie57 said:

I believe the "Arthur" got no further than bridge 103, between Flecknoe and Shuckburgh

 

Thanks Archie, I remember reading the article but obviously not all of the detail. 😨

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Does the too wide a widebeam have any connection with the fill damage at Bascotte, I see the stoppage notice gives it as “boater damage”.  From the picture this looks to be too wide to me, and would be surprised if it is going to fit through the bridge by the Blue Lias as well as this one.

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5 minutes ago, john6767 said:

Does the too wide a widebeam have any connection with the fill damage at Bascotte, I see the stoppage notice gives it as “boater damage”.  From the picture this looks to be too wide to me, and would be surprised if it is going to fit through the bridge by the Blue Lias as well as this one.

CRT have claimed several incidents recently as boat /Boater damage which are nothing of the sort. It seems that they think the pressure is off them a bit if they wrongly blame their customers. Not acceptable behaviour. 

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1 hour ago, alan_fincher said:

CRT have claimed several incidents recently as boat /Boater damage which are nothing of the sort. It seems that they think the pressure is off them a bit if they wrongly blame their customers. Not acceptable behaviour. 

Yes I agree they seem to be doing that.  Do we think it is just coincidence that this boat has just gone up Bascote and that it is unconnected with the failure?

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2 hours ago, alan_fincher said:

CRT have claimed several incidents recently as boat /Boater damage which are nothing of the sort. It seems that they think the pressure is off them a bit if they wrongly blame their customers. Not acceptable behaviour. 

On the other hand, if a boater gets the staircase operation wrong and tries to move the boat from one lock to the next when the water level is significantly lower than the normal intermediate level, then they could easily catch the cill and maybe cause some damage. This is not likely to happen at a normal lock cill (unless the upper pound level is well down).

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46 minutes ago, john6767 said:

Do we think it is just coincidence that this boat has just gone up Bascote and that it is unconnected with the failure?

No idea.

 

Wide beams do tend to be fairly shallow draughted, so for that boat to have done it, they would need to be clueless about working a staircase lock.

I have seen plenty of people clueless about working a staircase lock, most of them not on wide beams, though.

31 minutes ago, David Mack said:

On the other hand, if a boater gets the staircase operation wrong and tries to move the boat from one lock to the next when the water level is significantly lower than the normal intermediate level, then they could easily catch the cill and maybe cause some damage.

Yes it's possible.

However the boat doesn't really have the possibility of dragging over the cill at any great speed, as it can only be moving from one chamber to the other starting from stationery.
 

Quote

This is not likely to happen at a normal lock cill (unless the upper pound level is well down).


Or the lower pound level is well down!

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It has been said before that C&RT's Performance Indicators are not adversely affected if they can blame a stoppage on boat strike/vandalism/badgers or anything other than their own lack of preventative maintenance. 

I reported a lock gate collapsing on the T&M last summer, obviously due to age and rotting timber,  and within 40 mins a stoppage alert was posted of a closure due to 'boat strike'

Having said that even the boy who cried wolf was no doubt right once ... possibly.

Rog

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I came across some fat boats being built or fitted out in the midlands recently that had a hull draught of about 20 inches but then to accommodate a larger propeller there was a vertical step down to the skeg of about 6 inches to hold the base of the rudder. The prop shaft was then below the centre height of the swim. As these boats probably weigh in excess of 20 tons anyone taking the boat from a low pound into a lock would rip the cill right off and wouldn't know about until it was too late. On the one I saw out of the water there was not any attempt at a lead in to the skeg.

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The cill fender was ripped off and the concrete damaged by a boat powering over it. The lock had not been operated correctly, and there was only 1/4 of the correct amount of water between the chambers.

There are well posted instructions for this lock, which are largely ignored - as they were in this case.

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3 hours ago, john6767 said:

Yes I agree they seem to be doing that.  Do we think it is just coincidence that this boat has just gone up Bascote and that it is unconnected with the failure?

I think this is unlikely, as the widebeam was stuck at the bridge on Tuesday as we passed through towards Warwick.  The fault seemed to occur at approx. 1pm yesterday during our return journey.  There was some speculation of who may be responsible but without facts, I'm not going to add to that.

 

Once CRT confirmed "it could take a few days" this morning, we decided to wind below the staircase (62ft with rear fenders removed) and return back to Warwick.  We'll try again next weekend.  There were about 12 boats stuck when we left, all the mooring space back to Welsh Road Lock was taken.

42 minutes ago, Fate said:

The cill fender was ripped off and the concrete damaged by a boat powering over it. The lock had not been operated correctly, and there was only 1/4 of the correct amount of water between the chambers.

There are well posted instructions for this lock, which are largely ignored - as they were in this case.

The pound above the staircase was at least 12in below normal. That may have contributed to the problem.

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