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Yorkshire Gravel Barges - Happier days


Grace and Favour

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1 minute ago, matty40s said:

Welcome back, good response...the bottom gets nearer the top every year since BW were transmorgified.

But at this location that can't be true as Grace & Favour has just confirmed that CRT have recently dredged this section. Unless of course you are holding CRT responsible for naturally fluctuating river levels.

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2 hours ago, matty40s said:

CRT dredging is an absolute joke.

It is outsourced, unmanaged and unchecked.

So we spent two hours trying every trick in the book wriggling our way forward inch by inch but the sand bar almost certainly extends the 200 metres or so all the way to the lock. We’re loaded at 7’ 2” having deliberately left 100 tons of a potential 500 ton load behind as an insurance policy for going up the A&C. The full load would have put us down to 8’ 0” as she loads 100 tons to the foot. CRT should be giving us 8’ 6” minimum depth on the navigation but that sand bank probably means the river is about 6’ 9” at that point. There has always been an issue bottom side of Lemonroyd since they put the new lock in due to poor design and the engineers not consulting the boatman who, funnily enough, have rather a clear understanding of how rivers behave!

 

Reversing the mile plus back with a loaded 180 ft barge was interesting to say the least and we’re now tied to the staithe at Allerton Bywater having run into darkness. With three skippers aboard it was interesting to see just  how difficult the experts find making a vessel without a bow thruster go astern. The manoeuvre was something of a ‘committee affair’!!

Edited by Up-Side-Down
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3 hours ago, matty40s said:

CRT dredging is an absolute joke.

It is outsourced, unmanaged and unchecked.

That's a tad unfair.  Karl Acaster is  highly experienced,skilled and respected and has successfully dredged (ploughed) this section of the river previously for the tankers when they ran to Fleet. It's a puzzle why with no rainfall or 'fresh' the river has silted up again so quickly.

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9 minutes ago, Heartland said:

From the posts, I gather the gravel boats are back at Stourton, even if the dredging of the river needs drastic improvement.

 

Is this the case? 

Clearly the river below Lemonroyd (which is artificial) will need surveying and a plan to bring it back to 3 metres depth a soon as practicable  There are clearly two options:  one is a 'quick fix'  to bring Karl Acaster back asap to have another go at it.  The second is a full dredging which would take some time to organise and could not be justified for the tonnage currently envisioned - about two to four boats a week - but hopefully that will grow, and to some extent regular passage of loaded boats will maintain a channel.

regards

 

David L

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6 minutes ago, Grace and Favour said:

Aye!  Farndale passed through Lemonroyd today, and was followed with a TomPuddin' with a weight of sand in, (I guess Farndale's load had been lightened to ease the passage.

 

Was such a treat to see her again though!

Yes 80 tonnes was transhipped into a CRT hopper barge at Allerton Bywater very efficiently.

 

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1 hour ago, fanshaft said:

Yes 80 tonnes was transhipped into a CRT hopper barge at Allerton Bywater very efficiently.

 

Not wishing to cross swords with you David, a burst hydraulic hose and no means of effecting a repair on the grab loading the pan does not stack up in my book as efficient. We managed to offload 50 tons approx before terminal breakdown of the grab and decided to give it another go despite the aft hold not being lightened. Got stuck at the same spot again and was dragged through by the tug pushing the pan.

 

Arrived at Lemonroyd at 15.30 to find that there was no lock keeper to pen us through. Fortunately a charming young lady with a Watermate key did the business for us. Same situation at Woodelsford where I pursuaded a boater to sell me their spare key and I put Farndale up the next three locks!

 

Several desperately shallow spots on the canal at the museum and below Knostrop Fall Lock where we pretty much came to a halt. 440 horse power is the only thing that saved the day! Finally arrived at the wharf at 18.00 with our depleted 360 ton load wondering what the outcome would have been with a 500 ton full load.

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, fanshaft said:

That's a tad unfair.  Karl Acaster is  highly experienced,skilled and respected and has successfully dredged (ploughed) this section of the river previously for the tankers when they ran to Fleet. It's a puzzle why with no rainfall or 'fresh' the river has silted up again so quickly.

I’ll second David’s endorsement of Karl’s skills and experience. But Matty is right when he says the fault lies with CRT in this case. Karl was given a fixed sum to do the job and told that when he clocked up the hours that this sum represented he was to go home.  There is little doubt that Karl would have travelled this known shallow spot several times until he’d got a depth reading he was happy with if the money had not effectively run out.

 

I understand that the design of the relatively new Lemonroyd Lock is the problem with the river always dropping silt in the mouth of the lock and for a 300 yd stretch below it. I’m told by experienced boatmen that a strategically placed stone heap in the ness below the lock would solve the problem by speeding up the river’s flow and encouraging a natural scouring action.

 

But then CRT aren’t best known for employing the skills and experience of the professionals amongst their customers.

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I suppose the CRT Commercial Transport managers were all there at the end to give you a certificate and the latest issue of cycling weekly(featuring the new cinder towpaths that you can commute to work on around Leeds).

Shameful that CRT tried to stop this, shameful that they didnt pull out all the stops to make it happen, and shameful that the people trying to make the waterways work as they should have not got CRT bending over backwards to support and replicate this across other areas where water transport makes common sense.

 

Well done anyone involved, and boy, I would love to have a steer of one of those.

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10 minutes ago, Orwellian said:

May I suggest you wouldn't have made it? Thank you for being so open and honest.

I think that’s exactly what we’ve concluded!

 

Nice write up of the run in the Yorkshire Post this morning including a great video of John Branford. Tacked onto this vid is footage taken this afternoon of our load being lightened.

 

Once again I’m afraid I’m technologically challenged by being unable to get the link onto my iPad but googling Yorkshire Post Branford Barge Owners and going for an item showing today’s date will do it. Someone posting the link again would be much appreciated!

 

The YP has been a great supporter of this traffic and instrument in making it finally happen as has the local MP.

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