Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Camouflaged lift bridge
On our recent cruise on the LLangollen Canal we came upon Tilstock Park Lift Bridge 42. It was at about ten minutes to ten on the morning of Wednesday 21st October. Unnecessary precision? Perhaps, but I was glad we hadn't cruised here in the dark.
Most swing or lift bridges are painted white so that they're visible in gloomy conditions. Not this one. It's been painted green so that it blends in to its surroundings, to avoid offending walkers - or car drivers - no doubt. And what is there to warn boaters of an obstruction at bow fender height? A small oval with the bridge number on it.
Yes, when you're boating after dark you do take more care. You are on the lookout for moored boats, bridges and other obstructions rearing out of the murk. But boats are usually along the edge of the canal; fixed bridges are obvious from their bulk; locks have balance beams partly painted white. Lift bridges are slender affairs and that's why they're painted white. So you can see them. But not here, not on this "pretty" canal.