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On this day in 2014

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Paddington Branch GU

On 28/04/2020 at 11:52, Athy said:

That's a big greenhouse.

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Comment was from #734. Professional planner aboard though than planning authorities have little influence on the design once the shape and floorplan is agreed. 'Marmite' arose in the conversation; people love it or hate it.

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The tank, or bac, as it was sometimes known, only just worked. It involved endless messing about There was a dry-dock or sorts, also, to put it in, at Escommes, at the southern end of the tunnel. In a region where dry-docks of any kind are mighty rare it did come in useful to ourselves once, when we had a generator installtion attended to on our own barge.

 

Another point of interest is that the electric power for the tunnel tug was provided by a water turbine nearby..

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On the climb up to the summit of the Burgundy canal it passes the hilltop village of Chateauneuf en Auxois. Now a thriving tourist attraction but 40 years ago when we first visited it was semi derelict apart from a Relais du silence where we stayed overnight. Now there are many restaurants and cafes, craft shops and artists with almost all of the houses being restored.

 

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13 minutes ago, Dav and Pen said:

On the climb up to the summit of the Burgundy canal it passes the hilltop village of Chateauneuf en Auxois. Now a thriving tourist attraction but 40 years ago when we first visited it was semi derelict apart from a Relais du silence where we stayed overnight. Now there are many restaurants and cafes, craft shops and artists with almost all of the houses being restored.

 

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Ooh, La France profonde, at least from a distance.

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2 hours ago, John Liley said:

More on the tunnel at Pouilly on the Canal de Bourgogne. 3.5 km long, it is a good deal higher at each end than it is in the middle. Taking the Luciole through once under our own power, and using logs to keep the boat central, we got stuck for some time in the narrower bit in the middle.

Some vandal in his youth wrote your name on the wall halfway through the Riqueval tunnel. ?  ?

 

Tam

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More on tunnels. This one is at Mauvages on the Marne-Rhine Canal, 4.9 kilometres in length. When we went, long ago, in the Arthur, there was haulage by chain tug, with electric locos taking over at the ends.

 

As we waited, the family on the barge ahead chatted with those on the 11 vessels travelling in the other direction - switching with total ease from French to German and back.

 

Re the Riqueval tunnel Tam and di described,  the tow when we were therewent onwards through the second, shorter, tunnel of Tronquoy. Our barge being considered a "yacht" we were last in the 17 vessel tow (The record is said to be 74). A lovely waterway this, with enduring memories of that potion between the two tunnels, silently in the sunlight, just drifting along.

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6 minutes ago, John Liley said:

Our barge being considered a "yacht" we were last in the 17 vessel tow (The record is said to be 74).

We too went through on one tow of 20 when the alternative route on the Canal du Nord was closed for maintenance - that's 20 x 39m barges, with a 30m towline between each - that's an astounding 1400m length of tow.

 

The last time we went through Mauvages tunnel the tug was out of order, and we were accompanied by a youth on his bike on the towpath as a VNF 'safety officer'. He got bored cycling so slowly and simply sped away when we were halfway through.

 

Tam

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20 minutes ago, Tam & Di said:

. He got bored cycling so slowly and simply sped away when we were halfway through.

 

Tam

Either that or he'd noticed that it was midi pile and his official lunch hour had started!

 

Here's something you may know. Some years ago I read the 'Barging Into....' series of books by Gerard Morgan-Grenville, in fact it was those books which kindled my enthusiasm for the waterways. I'm sure that he, writing in the 1970s, referred to the canals' governing body as the 'Ponts et Chaussées' - was the VNF a spin-off from that body? 

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I may have detail wrong, but Ponts et Chaussées with responsibility for bridges and roads was reorganised as the Conseil général de l'environnement et du développement durable (the general council for the environment and sustainable development) in 1991, with responsibility for the majority of navigable waterways taken on by the newly formed VNF. The river Somme, the waterways of Brittany, and the river Lot are managed independently.

 

I really enjoyed the Morgan-Grenvile books too.

 

Tam

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2 hours ago, Tam & Di said:

Some vandal in his youth wrote your name on the wall halfway through the Riqueval tunnel. ?  ?

 

Tam

It must have been some other time. Come to think of it, it was. I was going to write our boat's name, in the grand tradition of bateliers worldwide (I have seen them back to the 1920s). But there are lots of Secundas, so I put my own name down instead. Felt guilty ever since. Must do better.

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1 hour ago, Tam & Di said:

 

 

I really enjoyed the Morgan-Grenvile books too.

 

Tam

In his book Barging into Burgundy he left his barge in Roanne for the winter and gave the lock keeper a number of stamped addressed envelopes so he could report any problems. When he went back he gave the man a jar of marmalade which he described as orange jam, the man was not impressed. How times change.

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By contrast to those tunnels, the glorious Mosel, with the vines in leaf. The opening of this river to navigation was the first international project of what became the EU, the linking together of countries previously at war. Our own boat occupies a pixel or two in the second photo, before the bridge at Trittenheim

 

The locks have smaller versions alongside, for leisure users, but here, in picture three, we are sharing. Ours is the boat at the back.

 

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16 minutes ago, John Liley said:

By contrast to those tunnels, the glorious Mosel, with the vines in leaf. The opening of this river to navigation was the first international project of what became the EU, the linking together of countries previously at war. Our own boat occupies a pixel or two in the second photo, before the bridge at Trittenheim

 

The locks have smaller versions alongside, for leisure users, but here, in picture three, we are sharing. Ours is the boat at the back.

 

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We had a holiday flat for a week at Trittenheim some years ago, in the houses amongst the fields on the left, lower. Inexpensive, with a couple of bottles of free wine plus a tasting, as the flat was owned by a vineyard. Many German vineyards have flats or B&B, and it is an excellent way to get a taste for good German wine. 

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On 16/05/2020 at 12:58, John Liley said:

 

Lock keeper's garden ornaments on the Marne à la Saône canal (now renamed the canal Champagne à Bourgogne, but just to confuse things generally called the Heuilly canal by the boat people.)

 

Tam

 

 

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Many of you will know George and Helen Smith from their UCC camping boat days. This is their barge a Belgian registered spits which they worked for around 20 years before retiring back to Braunston a couple of years ago. Picture at Conde sur Marne on Bastille day but George wouldn’t stop. Load going to a cement works on the Rhone from Belgium.

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Today Mrs. Athy and I should have been arriving home after a week's hire-boating on the Canal de Garonne. Obviously that trip got cancelled. So thanks, in particular,  to Dav and Pen and to John  for posting lots of lovely French waterways views, which have helped soften the blow!

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On this day in 2014

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Br 168A GU south, by Bridgewater Basin

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We moored directly under the bridge for a fornight. This was a mistake; it seemed that the local residents have lots of incontinent friends.

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