Friday, 17 May 2013

How Many CRT Men Does it Take to Change a Fuse?

After a quiet and peaceful night on the visitor moorings at New Islington Marina we left just after eight o'clock for our booked passage over the Rochdale Canal. Incidentally, whatever anyone may tell you  from about the security available here, whilst it is true that most of the entrances are protected by lockable gates there is at least one gate-free access from the towpath (which we were quite glad of coming back from the pub at midnight!)
A CRT "operative" was just setting lock 81 for us as we arrived. The last time I came out of Manchester this way we were literally escorted by at least two staff all the way up to lock 65. Things must have im;roved however: today we were just told that we could go through as soon as we liked and that he would be "around and about"!
He also told us that with two boats coming down, we could leave all the top gates open - and that they would leave bottom gates for us. This was a great help, although as we had now been joined by Duncan, who lives locally, we had a crew of four, which was more than adequate.
We met the downhill boats at lock 71 and then picked up additional help in the form of a volunteer lockie, who accompanied us up to 65, where we stopped for lunch.

How Many Men Does it Take to Change a Fuse?
The afternoon started well, with a good run in pleasant weather, but we were brought up short just after two o'clock at Grimshaw Lane Lift Bridge - which wouldn't. (Lift, that is). All four of us had a go - and with two different keys, but the bridge stayed firmly shut. A phone call to CRT brought the promise of assistance and a man in a van arrived 45 minutes later. After trying unsuccessfully for half-an-hour he made a call and shortly afterwards another van turned up with three more staff. They tried a bit of everything, including at one point giving the control cabinet a good thumping, before admitting defeat and calling in an "electrical expert"  - although we were warned it would be a while before he could come. A third van arrived at six o'clock, but  he was only the "minder" as the electricans don't work alone in this area. Eventually at six-thirty our "expert" arrived - took a quick look inside the control unit and, er, changed the fuse!
By now, plans to get to Littleborough had been abandoned and we tied up for the night outside the Rose of Lancaster pub half-a-mile further on.

No comments: