Here I am
Distance 2.7 miles
Total 2720 Locks 128 Tunnels
Running total mileage 3714.1 miles
We have made it to Slaithwaite (Slewit) but I have to admit it was a bit of a graft. Things were going reasonably well until lock 28 which had apparently been reported as defective yesterday (16th) by a boater going up to Standedge Tunnel for a Monday passage. When we arrived there at about 3.30pm nothing had been done to rectify the problem, which was the fact that the top paddle had jammed open which meant it was not possible to empty the lock. After about 30 minutes or so of trying to flush the obstruction through the paddle channel, with no success, I telephoned CRT on their 03030 404040 number to be advised that the,”….office is closed right now, office hours are Monday to Friday 9am until 6pm…..”. Which was clearly of no use to us. The alternative was their out of hours emergency number which advises you only to call this number if life is at risk or there is danger of flooding or risk of damage to property. Well, slightly ‘over egging the pudding’ I phoned this number to tell them that the paddle was jammed open and draining the canal which could cause the tunnel to run out of water. A possibility, but not a likelihood, but it got the required result. An hour and a half later with the equipment to clear the blockage, two CRT staff arrived and managed to remove the blockage from the paddle channel, it was a plant root ball which they didn’t manage to get onto land and lost it into the canal again, their comment was,”…it’ll probably go back and jam the paddle again…” but this was no longer my problem, and we carried on our way to Slaithwaite, arriving about 2 ½ hours after our anticipated arrival time. If the problem had been cleared when first reported yesterday they wouldn’t have had an emergency call-out.
The only other issue we had was not long after we had started out for the day. About the 3rd or 4th lock down the crew was met by an irate resident claiming that she had flooded the towpath and threatened to flood their house. What we now believe had happened was that a boat coming up had failed to notice that the top paddle on the lock was open (they have these idiotic limiters so that you cannot open the paddle full, it also means that someone looking at the lock gate cannot see whether the paddle is open or not). We think that after crew had opened the top paddle, the upcoming boat had come up and opened the bottom paddle so were effectively draining the paddle above the lock. When this mishap was rectified I came across the pound but was dragging the bottom all the way ad the upcoming boat was going to have to take another lockfull of water out of the pound to fill the lock, there was no way that they were going to get across that pound once they’d done that without running some more water down from the top. Since it appears that they’d created the problem, we left them to solve it.
|For those with an interest for such things.......|
|.......we passed though the Blue Peter restored lock today.|