Thursday, 9 August 2012

The Search Continues

Applying the criteria decided upon - and outlined yesterday -  for a new mooring for Starcross gave five possibilities. Actually, it should have been six, but an early front runner - a CRT (Canal and River Trust) on-line mooring on the Macclesfield Canal, couldn't be considered as Starcross was 16cm too long for the space and the Trust wouldn't accept a bid.  The moorings manager did say that if no bids were received she would review the available space to see if a larger boat could be accommodated. I would have thought it would have made sense to do that before advertising the vacancy so as to attract bids from more potential buyers. As it was, the mooring was auctioned for £1 above the reserve - a lot less than I'd have been prepared to pay - but such is life.

That left five possibilities. Two had to be discarded when I discovered that the draft winter stoppage programme for 2012-13 would isolate them from most of the network over the winter (in one case for the whole November to March period!). A third looked interesting until I discovered it had a "mooring year" than ran from June to May, a new concept to me and not much good if you are looking for a mooring from October. I don't know whether or not that's negotiable but in any case it had poor public transport connections and it failed the cost-saving criterion, being even more expensive than Norbury Wharf. 

But there were still two sites worth a visit. Another CRT on-line mooring was available at Middlewich, but on a "buy it now" rather than an auction basis. It passed the affordability criterion (although expensive for on-line) had water available, but no other facilities and met the accessibility criterion by both public and private transport. But when we went to look at the site we decided against: Sometimes you just get a "feel" that something's not quite right. For a start, despite having room for five or six boats, the mooring was deserted. Not only that but there didn't appear to be any sign of recent use by boats at all. Despite being on the "off-side" (i.e. not on the towpath and therefore theoretically more secure) it had a public footpath running alongside and was also overlooked by a new housing development opposite. Whether these are good reasons for rejecting it I know not, but it just wasn't right for us.
Picture of the mooring site
The rejected mooring at Middlewich. The housing development on the opposite bank has been completed since then - and the boats have disappeared. (Photo from Waterscape/Mooring Vacancies without permission)

Luckily, our next visit proved more successful.


Halfie said...

You tease!

Nev Wells said...

Might be one coming up at Fadkey Junction soon...