Thursday, 18 June 2015

Mystery dehydration event

Boaters in and around Wolverhampton were once again in the height of the cruising season unable to travel on a stretch of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. The two mile stretch of a canal was drained after vandals opened paddles on all of its 21 locks. The canal, was closed off following the incident after vandals opened all  the paddles on the lock gates.

We travelled up the flight early one morning a few weeks ago and several of the pounds were very low. I had to walk up the flight to flush water down, just to ensure that we could get through. I think that as well as the vandalism there is a problem with several of the pounds leaking and some pounds need dredging. 

Sarah Rudy, spokeswoman for The Canal and River Trust, said: “Overnight vandals opened all the lock gate paddles on the 21 locks on the Wolverhampton Lock flight. This caused this entire stretch of canal to empty. Our team have been working throughout the day trying to get the water levels back up to normal and we hope to have the canal back open.” The Trust say they have not liaised with police on the issue as they hope the incident will be just another  'one-off'.

How many 'one off' events are needed before the trust will take up the issue. This is certainly not the first time that lock pounds have been drained down. Though in all fairness, I don't ever remember all the pounds being drained down at the same time. Maybe the vandals have now become more practised and accomplished and have possession of keys and windlasses.  We actually saw two police officers on cycles going down the towpath while we were going up the flight.

I expect the next excuse will be that the canal water has become dehydrated - and the trust will hope its just another one off dehydration event.

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