Cut and Trust

Yesterday was a long day:  shopping, four locks (Glascote Locks up and down); water stop; pump out, diesel, coal, and logs at Fazeley Mill Marina, where they were very helpful.  Then back onto the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal in the rain, bound for somewhere near Middleton Lakes.  (Mandy, Nb Zephyranthes, if you are passing, thanks for the idea!).

Note:  I had hoped to wind at Kettlebrook Wharf, but, although this is marked as a winding hole in my Nicholson Guide, it is cordoned off and turning is not possible.  Another crew had the same idea as me (thankyou for lockie service).  The Canal & River Trust (CRT) Canal Map does not show a winding hole there.

And then, as I passed the boatyard just past Coleshill Road Bridge – on this section the bridges are not numbered – another boater warned me that there was a closed swing bridge ahead.  According to my Nicholson Guide and the CRT website this bridge is normally chained open, but not when I approached.  This was Drayton Swivel Bridge, and it appeared to have been pushed too far round.  I was unable to shift it, and, as it was already half past three and raining, I thought I would settle in for the night.

Drayton Turret and Swivel Bridges
The way is blocked:  Drayton Swivel Bridge and Drayton Turret Bridge.  The swivel bridge is supposed to open towards the camera.
Drayton Turret and Swivel bridges night
Testing my new tunnel light.

Still, I reported this to the CRT and got through to a helpful man named Henry.  He referred me on to the West Midlands Team, who took my details and said they would see what could be done.  As darkness fell there was no further contact.  But then I received a text:  On a scale of 1 to 5, (with 1 being not at all and 5 being completely), how satisfied were you with how we resolved your enquiry?

But it had not been resolved!  So, thinking it might not work, but not wanting to score “1”, because the people on the phone had been helpful, I replied to that effect.  The CRT machine replied that it did not understand my answer and asked me to reply as requested (I paraphrase).  I found this premature and irritating, so I sent “1”.

A little while later, there followed a further text asking me to comment on three other aspects of the service.  I gave up.  Sorry, CRT, but you were just too quick off the mark.

This morning two men from CRT turned up and we were able to open the bridge.  So, thankyou CRT West Midlands.  Not being an emergency, it would have been unreasonable of me to expect anyone to show up late yesterday, especially as darkness fell, so the best outcome was probably achieved.  Score 5 points!

Drayton Turret and Swivel bridges open
And the way is clear.

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