Friday, 12 August 2011

Drastic action frees stuck boats at Lapworth Locks

I had an e-mail from my spies in Birmingham two days ago which alerted me to an incident at Lapworth Locks on the Stratford Canal. A boat waiting in a pound close to the head of a lock had assured a descending boat that it could enter the lock.

But it couldn't. There wasn't enough room, and the two boats got firmly wedged. No amount of revving in astern could drag the descending boat back out of the lock, and the other boat couldn't move either.

Eventually someone chiselled out the edging bricks to make a bit more space. It seems a rather drastic measure, and I hope that it was a BW person doing the destructive work, and that it will be made good.

My spies tell me that the bricks were then thrown into the bushes. Several boats were held up while this was going on.

Photographs courtesy of AAH.


Bruce in Sanity said...

That is just ridiculous! No doubt we'll see the coping repaired sometime in the 2020's if we're lucky.

It just shows how badly the knowledge and skills of the BW staff have degraded. If the boat got in like that, there must have been a way to get it out without damaging the infrastructure, probably using a tirfor to drag the boat backwards out of the lock.

I despair, I really do.


Travelling in No Direction said...

"The bricks were then thrown into the bushes" Bonkers.

Ray and Jayne

Anonymous said...

As one of the spies, I have to say the boats were well and truly lodged! The descending boats solution had been to power ahead for quite some time hoping to pop out the other side! About a dozen people spent ages trying to get the boat out, and most of the coping had already been dislodged/removed (maybe by an earlier episode...) I assumed the bricks were 'hidden' to stop people from throwing them in the canal, but maybe that was wishful thinking.


The Beast of Bascote said...

Why is it that people who watch football matches from the touchline or the stands rarely play a bad game, and those who watch on TV from the comfort of their arm-chair never play a bad game. Armchair critics are the worst kind of critics.

If two boats are not just stuck, but very stuck, then drastic action is required. Someone above suggests tirforing. OK when all you have around you is 200 year old crumbling structure to anchor to what do you do pull it down by anchoring to two stuck boats !! As a local boater all I can say is thank goodness they didn't anchor to bridge 32.

If you were the BW team with an ever-growing traffic jam behind you what would you do ? Go on, from the comfort of your arm-chair, tell me what would you do ?

Well done BW guys for using a bit of initiative and preventing a situation from getting worse.

No-one is more critical of BW than me when their short-sighted actions cause us problems (and that happens far too often). But when they are trying to put right a situation caused by two 'half blind' boaters who can't see a dog-leg' when its coming up. And then drive too fast into it, then surely our 'ire' should be reserved for them, for:- a) Holding us up, and b) Creating unnecessary work for the ever-diminishing band of BWs track-side guys who should be spending their time on a growing list of more urgent things to do.

Get real, get out of your arm-chair and onto the pitch. Start playing the game yourself, its not as easy as you think!

Paul said...

Wonder why the boaters got Into that in the first place?

VallyP said...

Perhaps someone might have suggested that the boats in question should repair the coping? After all, it was their fault it happened.