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CRT reintroduces "Boating Buddies" scheme.


Ray T

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42 minutes ago, Midnight said:

Would be happy to take Mr Parry for a trip along the Calder then over the Rochdale or Huddersfield - ohh!

 

Mr Parry actually does like boating, its most of the others that need to get out and about. As far as I know he has never even visited the Rochdale, I think you or I should make a real effort to get him up to the North.

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21 hours ago, john6767 said:

I guess it had to stop because of COVID.
 

 We have done it twice in the past, I think it is a good idea for the CRT people who are office based.  The family members one if new I think.  We took one person the first time, and two the second time.  For me more than two does not seem a good idea.

It doesn't let you choose less than 2 now.

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2 hours ago, john6767 said:


This was a volunteer not an employee, but going up Atherstone top lock one of the lock keepers said that he kept hearing this strange tale of a lock with only a foot drop in the direction that we were going and did I know about it, and was it really true.  

This doesn't surprise me.  I doubt the volockies at Atherstone have ever even seen the bottom of their own flight.

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57 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

This doesn't surprise me.  I doubt the volockies at Atherstone have ever even seen the bottom of their own flight.

 

The lowest I have ever seen them is the 5th lock from the top, however most times they confine themselves to the top two locks.

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1 hour ago, cuthound said:

 

The lowest I have ever seen them is the 5th lock from the top, however most times they confine themselves to the top two locks.

That will probably be because volunteer lockies must at all times be near toilet and tea making facilities and they are at the top lock. Unfortunately for the volunteers on Scotland Lowland canals Scottish Canals haven't heard of this and a team of volockies  cycle  about 3 miles from top to bottom to meet the boats (who have to book the trip) and work them up from 3 to to 16. Alternatively they will work the boats between locks 17 and 20 but this is only about a mile or so 🙂 . Presumably the same happens at the  western end of the Forth and Clyde. Pretty certain there are no toilet or tea making facilities on any of the routes. 

 

haggis

 

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1 hour ago, cuthound said:

 

The lowest I have ever seen them is the 5th lock from the top, however most times they confine themselves to the top two locks.

I've only ever seen them on the top lock, standing around nattering and drinking tea.  The contrast with the volockies at Hatton and Tardebigge is stark.

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We came through Bosley locks during that really hot spell in July and one of the two vlockies confined himself to the bottom three locks simply because they were in the shade.

 

I suppose you couldn't blame him really.

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6 hours ago, cuthound said:

 

I know CRT used to use the West Midlands Ambulance Service to man their 24/7 help line, which probably accounts for the "bad phonecall experiences".

(snip)

Scottish Canals were using the Police on the only time I had to use it "out of hours" (a Saturday morning). Gave up eventually trying to explain the problem with a lift bridge in Edinburgh to a call handler in Inverness!

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2 hours ago, Neil2 said:

We came through Bosley locks during that really hot spell in July and one of the two vlockies confined himself to the bottom three locks simply because they were in the shade.

 

I suppose you couldn't blame him really.

That's quite novel. Usually they stay by the hut at the top, watch me singlehanding all the way up and then spend ten minutes telling me how I was doing it wrong. Occasionally they work the top lock, but not always.

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2 hours ago, Iain_S said:

Scottish Canals were using the Police on the only time I had to use it "out of hours" (a Saturday morning). Gave up eventually trying to explain the problem with a lift bridge in Edinburgh to a call handler in Inverness!

 

I don't know how it works with Scottish Canals, but with the CRT emergency number it's easiest to give your number to the call handler and ask for the duty manager to call you back, assuming it's something urgent but not a 999 emergency.

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4 hours ago, doratheexplorer said:

I've only ever seen them on the top lock, standing around nattering and drinking tea.  The contrast with the volockies at Hatton and Tardebigge is stark.


Came up Atherstone today, admittedly in the rain.  As the boat rose in Lock 2 I walked up to the top lock which appeared to be full.  It was, with a top paddle up.  I asked one of the five volunteers in the office whether the paddle was up for a reason.  ‘Just to keep the levels up’, was his answer.  I closed it.  He then asked if we were coming up, and were we in Lock 2.  I said we were, to save him looking, and he came with me to empty the lock.  By the time we were coming into the top lock, there was a vlockie on each bottom gate, and one on each top paddle.  So at least I didn’t have to work that lock.

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1 hour ago, adam1uk said:


Came up Atherstone today, admittedly in the rain.  As the boat rose in Lock 2 I walked up to the top lock which appeared to be full.  It was, with a top paddle up.  I asked one of the five volunteers in the office whether the paddle was up for a reason.  ‘Just to keep the levels up’, was his answer.  I closed it.  He then asked if we were coming up, and were we in Lock 2.  I said we were, to save him looking, and he came with me to empty the lock.  By the time we were coming into the top lock, there was a vlockie on each bottom gate, and one on each top paddle.  So at least I didn’t have to work that lock.

You've done well from when we met you on the Tame Valley!

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On 13/09/2021 at 12:49, TheBiscuits said:

We think it's a good scheme - instead of whining that CRT staff don't understand boaters needs, take them out and show them.

 

We've already taken two CRT staff out since the scheme restarted.

 

Just bear in mind that the staff don't want or need several hours of ranting by grumpy boaters.  Show them the bits that could be improved by all means, but also remember the role of the people you take - a payroll administrator is unlikely to be able to arrange much dredging!

Agreed.

 

We are signed up, and have been asked for our availability for a date, but has to offer alternative availability and have yet to actually take anyone, but more than keen.

 

As you say, show them what you see, but don't beat them with a stick!

 

Daniel

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9 hours ago, dmr said:

 

Mr Parry actually does like boating, its most of the others that need to get out and about. As far as I know he has never even visited the Rochdale, I think you or I should make a real effort to get him up to the North.

Oh yes he has:

RT9A34-1.jpg.e843c18bf0029adc4e7847e1a5888db6.jpg

Richard Parry and Ollie the Otter at Dukes 92 Richard Parry is the chief executive of the Canal and River Trust while Ollie the otter is a mascot.

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I took Richard long lining a pair up the Aston flight and Farmers Bridge, it was good to show him what some of the lock infrastructure is for and how having some historic bits of infrastructure missing can make working locks harder work.

  • Greenie 1
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13 hours ago, Rob-M said:

I took Richard long lining a pair up the Aston flight and Farmers Bridge, it was good to show him what some of the lock infrastructure is for and how having some historic bits of infrastructure missing can make working locks harder work.

 

Good work.

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On 14/09/2021 at 08:28, cuthound said:

 

I know CRT used to use the West Midlands Ambulance Service to man their 24/7 help line, which probably accounts for the "bad phonecall experiences".

 

Does anyone know if they still do this or whether they have brought it back in house?

 

From your recent experiences it sounds as though they may have.

 

Ambulance service call handlers have nothing to do so this helps them while away the wee small hours when no-one's trying to report a broken paddle anyway. [/sarcasm]

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13 hours ago, Rob-M said:

I took Richard long lining a pair up the Aston flight and Farmers Bridge, it was good to show him what some of the lock infrastructure is for and how having some historic bits of infrastructure missing can make working locks harder work.

Hmm, missing infrastructure. One of my pet hates is closed up gaps on the split bridges on lock tails. Working up single-handed it is so much easier to bow-haul in than to drive in and climb up the lock ladder but when the gaps in the split bridges have been closed up this becomes impossible.

 

I may possibly have damaged the shiny paint on a strapping post at the head of a lock on the T&M by having the temerity to use it! It proved to be just about structural enough for the purpose.

 

Alec

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