Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Trent and Mersey Canal amended update.

5.00pm Friday 28th September. C & R T have issued a further update to the situation around the breach at Dutton as follows:

Between Middlewich Big Lock 75 and Lodge Lane, Bridge 213 Preston Brook

Tuesday 25 September 2012 until further notice
UPDATE (28 September 2012): Further to yesterday’s update we have now been able to remove the stop planks at Bridge 181 and reopen the flood gates at Wincham and Marbury to navigation. The canal is now navigable between Bridge 179 at Croxton and the wharf at Bartington (Bridge 210).

We have been asked to clarify that the concerns on the Trent and Mersey are not affecting the operation of Anderton Boat Lift, please refer to their web site for the up to date situation regarding its use.

We are not planning any further updates over the weekend.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Trent and Mersey Canal update.

The short term scenario does not look good for this section of canal, unfortunately. Here is the latest notice from C & RT, and it now looks like it will be many weeks before through navigation is restored.

Between Middlewich Big Lock 75 and Lodge Lane, Bridge 213 Preston Brook

Tuesday 25 September 2012 until further notice
UPDATE (27 September 2012): Following the rainfall of the last few days the Trent and Mersey Canal has suffered a breach at Dutton Hollow, near Preston Brook and significant damage has been done to a supporting embankment at Croxton Flash near Middlewich. In response and to limit potential damage we have installed temporary dams and stop planks at a number of locations throughout the affected area including at Bridges 174 (Croxton Aqueduct), 181, Bartington Wharf and Bridge 213. The Flood gates at Marbury and Wincham have been closed and locked shut too.

Our engineering teams have been surveying the damage today and can already see that the repair at Croxton Flash is going to take a number of weeks to complete before the canal there can be reopened and at Dutton Hollow longer still.

In the short term our goal is to reduce the lengths of canal that are under stop planks and secure the water supply to the whole length of the canal that is affected so that reliable access to the services at Anderton can be established. We also want to re-float the 9 boats that are currently dry in the section near Dutton Hollow. We believe that that the access to Anderton Services and water supply can be achieved within the next week but is dependent on our completion of engineering surveys of the rest of the length as well as successfully reinforcing some of the measures that we have had to put in place. In the meantime navigation opportunities between Croxton and Preston Brook will be very limited and we would ask customers to remain at visitor moorings in the short term.

We want to hear from anyone one on the track who is affected by these measures and has concerns. We would ask you to contact our Red Bull offices and ensure that we have your contact details so that we understand your difficulties either at enquiries.manchesterpennine@canalrivertrust.org.uk, or by phone on 01782 785 703.

These events are immensely disappointing. We will be working as hard as we can to restore the elements of navigation that we are able to as quickly as possible and ask customers to bear with us while we make these difficult repairs.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Armageddon!

The River Dee at Llangollen September 25th 2012
We have experienced floods during this Summer as well as in recent years, but surely the present ones are proving to be the worst. We now have the River Weaver flooding into Northwich Town centre near to Northwich Marina, the Trent and Mersey Canal closed, and emptied until further notice due to embankment erosion between Middlewich big lock and Preston Brook, 40 miles of the A1 closed in Yorkshire, and even pleasure boats sunk at their moorings in York, with the city under water yet again, with a huge landslide devastating a village in Northumberland.

Our thoughts are with all those affected.

2.45pm latest: It would appear the Trent and Mersey canal has now breached near to Dutton. See: BBC News website for news and images.

5.25pm message from C & RT:

Between Middlewich Big Lock 75 and Lodge Lane, Bridge 213 Preston Brook

Tuesday 25 September 2012 until further notice
UPDATE (26 September 2012): Further to yesterday’s stoppage notice and the continued rainfall, the Trent and Mersey Canal has suffered a breach at Dutton Hollow, near Preston Brook and significant damage has been done to a supporting embankment at Croxton Flash near Middlewich. Our work done yesterday has limited the impacts of this but the restrictions imposed yesterday must remain in place.

Temporary dams and stop planks are installed at a number of locations throughout the affected area including at Bridges 174 (Croxton Aqueduct), 181, Bartington Wharf and Bridge 213. The Flood gates at Marbury and Wincham have been closed and locked shut too.

This section of the Trent & Mersey Canal remains closed to navigation. A fuller update will be given tomorrow morning.

Customers are recommended to moor at visitor moorings on the canal until further updates are available.

Canal & River Trust apologise for the inconvenience

Monday, 24 September 2012

Is it me?


Is it me.......?










Or am I missing something? Today I received the umpteenth email from C&RT that yet again the pump out facility at Wheaton Aston, which had been closed yet again for the last four days had, yet again re-opened to normal service today. The cause of the closure.........?

Cloth material found within the workings causing a blockage.........YET AGAIN!

It appears to me that valuable resources are being wasted on a weekly basis by intentional or unintentional vandalism at these valuable facilities. The last time we used a C&RT pump out facility, (at Grindley Brook), it cost £15 for a card to use the equipment. So, either the vandals are buying cards to do their deeds, or have found a way to by-pass the system in order to get their rags in there to block it.

I suspect that none of that applies, and the cause is more likely to be miss-use by so called legitimate users, i.e. boat owners. So, perhaps, if a little more care is taken when using these facilities, perhaps even read the instructions, then the cash saved in deploying a call-out team and making repairs can be put to better use. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

P+O Cruising Again!

We have already made arrangements for the 'after Christmas' part of our British Winter getaway by arranging a land tour of the whole of India, after we enjoyed our brief visits there earlier this year for both of us, and also during Autumn last year for Margaret and our daughter, who was working there at the time. The flights are booked, the itinerary is arranged with our Indian agent, and our daughter is now just putting in the final touches by finalizing outstanding hotel bookings with the Vivanta by Taj group, see: http://www.vivantabytaj.com/. After some less than perfect experiences relating to quality that we felt we had experienced on our Winter getaway last year, we decided to try something different than ocean cruising, and we both liked the idea of India again.

However, after a couple of months spent communicating with the company, we have now made our peace with P+O Cruises. We have concluded that, like all UK based companies at present, they may be experiencing very difficult trading conditions, and it is our belief that this may have been a major factor in what we believed happened to us. At the end of my world cruise review I stated that although we probably wouldn't book another one of those until the market had settled down, we would consider one of the very reasonable offers that are currently available, again, probably due to the current state of the market. This is exactly what we have now done. We have decided to choose a completely different ship this time, one that is much larger than Oriana, (69,000 tonnes). Also the duration is completely different to our other Winter cruises, and takes place during October, before Christmas, and should be a very different experience.

P+O Cruises Ventura at Civitaveccia, Rome. Image courtesy of  'Rapidfire', Wikipedia.
Ventura was built in Italy, and at 116,017 tonnes and 291.4 metres long, she is the largest of the current 7 ships in the P+O fleet, the sister ship of Azura. Her maiden voyage was on 18th April 2008, after being named by Dame Helen Mirren. The itinerary for this trip will be Southampton-Barcelona-Monte-Carlo-Isle of Elba-Rome, from Civitaveccia-Naples-Alicante-Gibralter-Southampton. Excursions have already been booked for classical Rome, and Pompeii.


I hope to be able to update a port diary here, just as I did between January and April this year.