Another canal in my neighbourhood develops disconvenient incontinence #Barbridge #narrowboat #England

…and still the swans do nothing.

I am, it is obvious, no videographer, but this is the breach in the embankment between the Barbridge Inn and the Barbridge Junction. The powers that be are onto it – the expanded plastic netting has been staked out, in yellow rather than orange (yellow means awoogah woogah, whereas orange is just awoogah) – but given the flow of water I do fear that they have but a day or so, at best, to stop the embankment going the way of Middlewich. As in “down into the surrounding countryside”. This is one heck of a long stretch of lock-free canal to drain through if it were to go…

I walked the rubbish up to the Barbridge bins at Sparrowcough o’clock this morning, and spotted the yellow netting. I declined to investigate further, since it was not evident whether anything at all was holding up the towpath. I don’t know whether it helps or hinders that it is at the site of a sluice. The embankment here is probably twenty feet or so high. The fields behind would form a most interesting lake, should they be filled.

The Bin Enclosure. It is quite similar to the Lion Enclosure at Longleat, but completely different, more boring and yet curiously more practical.

I don’t know whether or not to move, really. At the moment I am one lock down on the Middlewich Branch, but it probably matters not. The stretch of Shropshire Union at risk is currently the only feed. If it breaches, we’ll all quite quickly be grounded. If they have to put stop-boards in for a few days while they fix it, we’ll all quite quickly be grounded.

Yonder creeping leak is centre-stage, just to the left, south of the junction.

No idea whether just chucking old filing cabinets and dead cats down the hole would be in the least effective, or whether this is a JCBs-rally-to-the-flag jobbie. I only know that the longer that water flows the more it will flow and the more it will wash away, in some sort of positive-feedback arrangement, the outcome of which would be very, very negative.

Somehow the hole looks even more grim for having been surgically opened out by CaRT to a rectangle.

It does seem rather that every direction I turn on the canals some part of it breaks or falls off. I do hope that it is mere coincidence, and not something that I am doing.

This is most disfabulous, most disfabulous indeed.

If anybody asks about this leak then please remember – I didn’t do it, it was like that when I found it. I think that some big boys broke it.

The old Victorians who built these beasties did a fantastic job, building them far, far better than we ever would today, but I do fear that the canal system is crumbling at an increasing rate. This sort of thing is why the whole system needs to be a NATIONALISED and National treasure, not left in the hands of faux-private enterprise and faux-charity.

Will there be a “JustGiving” appeal page to help towards this one, I wonder?

Here’s a suggestion. How about, instead of spending thousands and thousands of millions on feathering the nest of our rat-like politicians (the Palace of Westminster restoration, the price of which rises by the minute), we spend some of that money on giving the canals the tender, loving, national care that they need?

Jus’ sayin’.

Perhaps – now here’s a jolly wheeze – we could bung politicians down the various breaches to block them up again?

That’s an idea, surely, that has legs.

And arms.

p.s., Welcome, Linda!



  1. Well, politics is never practical and only rarely useful. But I do think you have a practical idea of how to use the politicians. In fact if you dice them and into a sort of tetris arrangement, they could be used in all kinds of infrastructure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Liquidised and sprayed on the fields for fertiliser… strapped to the ends of railway carriages as bumpers… rolled across foreign fields for mine clearance… I have all sorts of ideas to make politicians useful! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. -sighhhhhh- Dare I ask, do you have a contingency plan, for living, should there be no more canal system, to float upon…..?

    It does sound as if it is getting to the perhaps-past-saving-point. Especially when it’s salvation, lies in the hands of ‘The Powers That Be’.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eire has canals, France has canals – I need to save enough moolah to have the Cardinal put on a lorry and ferried across… I am working on it. I’ll cling on here until they are sick to the back teeth of me – England is my home – but there is a Plan B (and a Plan C). 🙂

      That is of course, unless we can contrive to introduce the politicians and the chief executives and the estate agents and the lawyers and the advertising men and the insurance execs to short pieces of stout rope and tall lamp-posts first… I would suggest hanging them all by their scruples, but they have none, so necks it will have to be!


  3. Moving out of that stretch might be an idea, Ian, otherwise you and the Cardinal might be surrounded by cows making enquiries like “Who You?” (Sorry, that’s Owls) – “Mooove along, hooman” (cows whose sentences are finished by owls perched on their heads?) 😳

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I often owl at the moo’n, but that’s an entirely different kettle of sardines…

      Will be moving on as best can, and probably heading north, since south looks, for the moment, to be trickling off the menu!

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  4. Like so much – so many actual treasures handed down to the current crop of people – things left to mend themselves…left to slowly deteriorate…only to be “seen” once too late. This is like the levies surrounding New Orleans which were basically ignored and assumed to be fine until a massive hurricane ( It was the levies that failed after the storm had passed that flooded the place). Tax money paid solely for maintenance every time you bought gas, spent on other things.
    In Houston, it wasn’t the hurricane that flooded the town, an old dam which worked fine until massive developments plopped themselves down on open lands that use to absorb water…city/county let developers get rich. People are so short sighted.
    Those canals are a national treasure – they should be a priority. Someday I hope to meander along them. Fingers cross it goes well for you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly the whole system has been hived off to a private company masquerading as a “charity” (for tax purposes) – and all they care about is walking, cycling and anything else that might bring them in a juicy grant from some august body. Boaters are very much at the bottom of the priority pile now! It seems that the whole world is set up for a quick profit (not that the canal wallahs will EVER make a profit, except by selling off everything to ticky-tacky house builders). Tis sad indeed. ;-(

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What? Is it thought there like here: boat owners are all rich people? Such a misconception – most boaters simply choose to spend what money they have differently and do without so much to have a boat…but non boaters never see that…or want to perpetuate the misconception.
        Those canals are beautiful, historic and worth saving – market them for tourism…oh, out riding a bike or making videos…no one heard….

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ingerlund is – now – maybe it always was? – a very conformist society. Living on boats, living in vans on the road, living anywhere but in bricks and mortar mortgaged to the hilt is much frowned upon and discouraged. I had harboured hopes that boaters might be wanted as “mobile scenery” (the boats, not the boaters – I am no picture!) for the plastic tourist canals, but it seems not. Everything that they can do to discourage us they are doing. Silly really, since it doesn’t matter how many joggers, dog-walkers and well-being seekers they encourage, without boaters the canals will die all over again. There’s a few years yet left in the canals, but it will take a miracle for them to be around and lived-on longer than that. ;-( Doubtless the Chief Executives will still get their bonuses and monumental pensions…


  5. Heavens to Betsy, not even chappies leaning on spades looking into it! How long did it take that other breach to be mended? You are perfectly right, whilst they are spending Trillions on Westminster the rest of the country cracks, the whole water system/pipes are failing faster than they can be repaired and the Fat Cats across the UK are off to sunnier climes on the profits! Shocking for us peasants to have to survive whilst they are off floating their boats wherever they please! Let’s form our own party, storm Westminster whilst it’s empty and do a sit in – I shall give thought to what it should be called! Meantime, move away, make for higher ground and wait for rain!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a bit far to walk back just to see if anyone’s – ahem – excuse me – “looking into it”, but if there remains sufficient water then I will be mooching back in that direction. There’s no choice, the other way here is blocked by the Middlewich breach – e.t.a. on repairs for that one is “Christmas”.

      Santa, baby, etc etc. 😉


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