Tuesday, 12 June 2012

A nation of fundamentalist queuers.

Since we reached the narrow lock section of the Trent and Mersey canal and continuing onto the Coventry canal we have noticed that at times there are queues forming at locks. We have become quite used on the northern waterways to arriving at locks and their being no one else around. The waterways at the top end of the Trent are very quiet compared to here.

We came across our first small "spat" between boaters. As one boat owner mistook a line of waiting boats for being moored up. He was light-heartedly accused of "queue jumping" for which he was genuinely embarrassed. However, we are hearing stories of real "canal rage" in other places. We really are a nation of fundamentalist queuers.

The other big change is the amount of overgrown trees and bushes that are encroaching into the canal. Down here on the Coventry canal our experience so far is that bank-side upkeep is very low priority. In places the vegetation has encroached so much that it creates chicanes to be manoeuvred around.

Another little trick that we have come across, where there are houses along side the canal. Where the local people obviously object to boats mooring. Often there are unofficial "No Mooring" notices. There are Willow and Hawthorne trees and bushes being specially planted to make mooring less welcoming. 

One place that we spotted with a road between the line of houses and the canal. The grass was being kept mown short, and there were a couple of inviting wooden picnic tables. At the waters edge however was a line of spike grass and some fragmites. This was backed by a recently planted, regimented line of uniform hight willow trees. 

I tend to keep my my long handled branch loppers handy for difficult mooring locations.


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