Wednesday, 11 December 2013

A few ideas

For years there was a competition between the old lock keepers to keep their 'lock' area looking good. Cutting the grass and planting a few flowers was a common practice. 

Some lock keepers went the whole hog and the locks looked like something from a Chelsea flower show exhibit. 

CaRT in their desire to protect the heritage have apparently now started to use hydroponics. So instead of the old flower beds. Welcome to CaRT hydroponics. 

Here is a little photograph by way of an example from a set of hydroponic enabled lock gates in the Tinsley flight. 

As boaters we are a significant revenue generator to the trust. Providing around 30% of the trusts income. Should we not be able to have more of a say in how a small percentage of that revenue is used on maintenance. For instance, where boaters would like to set the maintenance priority. 

We all know of the paddles that are very heavy and anyone who is slight built is going to struggle. I know of lock gates that are so far out of balance that they are extremely difficult to manhandle open. Some with small balance beams due to available space being cramped, that a hand winch is really needed for their safe operation.

By way of an example, one of this type of gate that is close to our mooring has been recently replaced. So there is little to no likelihood of the remedial work being carried out within the operational lifetime of this particular gate. No hand winch has been provided and boaters will continue to struggle with these problems for many years to come. This would be a very visible and obvious makeover that would be appreciated by everyone.

A short distance away is an area that needs some spot dredging work carried out. In total the mud covers a 25 metre section of the canal. However, there is a very large weir and a sharp bend involved. The notices say to keep left - away from the weir - however, keeping to the left will drive your boat into the worst of the mud. Its been like this for two years. 

The first year, you could power your way through the mud in the centre of the channel. Now you have to go much closer to the weir as the water flow over the weir is stopping the mud from raising any higher. But you still need to power the boat through. I can feel the prop churning mud. I have even had to stop in the past and help to pull other boats off the mud at this point. A bit of spot dredging would fix the problem easily. Disposal is no problem as the weir is so huge it would provide a ready made disposal point for the dredged materials to wash down the river.

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