Thursday, 30 July 2009

I thought this was a canal!

Now this really was a nasty trick. We done the Soar in a thunderstorm, ground up the Trent against a furious flow and found sanctuary on the genteel Trent & Mersey.
And now here we are on a river again. And the River ruddy Trent too – I thought we'd left that bugger behind! Worse, everyone's warning me about it. Nicholson's Guide says "great caution", the man at Shobnall where we collected Star warned that British Waterways often close the locks after heavy rain (guess what; it's raining heavily) and now the 'red, yellow, greeen' warning boards at the lock are on yellow - and nearly red. "I just phoned BW; they're going to close it within two hours" said the boat in front. Great!
Half way through the mile long stretch of river we were wondering what was the panic? As easy as the Nene on a summer day. And then we saw the weir -- about nine miles long and with an Olympic white water canoe course running through it. Get past that and you met the full force of the river coming at you. Poor old Star was flat-out and hardly moving. But we made it and now we're moored in the pretty village of Alrewas (pronounce it like Vic Reeves would 'Alreewhas' to annoy the locals!).
Begs the question: why did Brindley lob a river section into his masterpiece canal? Even Tom Rolt was mystified: "seems a strange negation of Brindley's declared policy of avoiding rivers, being a source of danger and delay in times of flood." Too right, Tom.

1 comment:

Adam said...

You should have seen the weir before they repaired the barrier!