In some of my early cruising videos I would moan about how much over-hanging vegetation there is along the canals but it turns out there’s a load of work going on behind the scenes in winter to cut the bad stuff back. This is a look at that work.
Whether you’re a solo narrowboater or have plenty of crew aboard, there’s no doubt that at busy and long canal lock flights, a team of helpful volunteer lock-keepers can be a blessing to help you through. I spent a couple of days at Fradley Junction near Lichfield, talking to the volunteers as they prepare for the new boating season, and they explained what they do and why they do it.
I know some folk hate these real-time bow camera recordings and would prefer the usual vlog with commentary – but other folk love them hence why I continue to upload them occasionally. If you’re one of the former, panic not; do not wail and gnash your teeth for another standard vlog will be coming along next.
This is the vlog version of the trip shown in real-time in the last video; I leave Kings Orchard Marina near Lichfield and head north up the Coventry canal to Fradley Junction where it rains a lot and I moor above the locks.
The end of August meant the resumption of my travels on the canals so I set off again from where I left off in Vlog 184 – Fradley Junction – and went up the Trent and Mersey canal towards Handsacre, in the process managing to look like an utter incompetent as I bashed into another, stationery, boat at a lock queue.
By mid-July it was time for the final gentle amble up the last bit of the north Coventry canal to Fradley Junction. The main thing of note was how thick the overgrowth was not only on the offside but the towpath side as well – and quite a lot of weeds growing up within the canal itself. I’ve been told this whole area is earmarked for a good cut back by CRT’s volunteer team and you can see it really does neeed it!
After a couple of days in the rather lovely village of Alrewas I take the boat further along the Trent & Mersey canal to Fradley Junction, where it meets the top of the Coventry Canal. From the CRT cafe, I buy and enjoy a nice slice of lemon drizzle cake. Yum.