Last Monday, just after we set out along the Trent & Mersey Canal, we passed a chap sporting a large camera around his neck.
We said “Hello!”, as we do to everyone we pass, and in return he told us about how there was a problem with the upper gate of the next lock and how British Waterways were meant to be arriving at 8.30am to sort it out, but how they were never on time and thus he had given up expecting them to arrive.
As we continued past the lock, a British Waterways barge passed us, plus four fluorescent-jacketed personnel carrying various implements. It seems that the chap-with-the-camera would only have had to wait another ten minutes to photograph whatever it was he wanted to photograph.
It was a few days later when, in a moment of idleness, my mind returned to this incident and it occurred to me that this chap probably wasn’t just using psychic powers to deduce when British Waterways were going to be working at a location, and thus there must be a published list somewhere.
So, I Googled, and having found where the relevant webpage, and with nothing more interesting to occupy the next ten minutes, I looked at what work was ongoing or upcoming on our local canals. Then, I searched on the canals that we will be walking on our K2CW walk.
And so, I came to find out, purely due to a chance encounter with a man with a large camera and an unnatural interest in British Waterways work, that one of the tow-paths that we are due to be using at the beginning of April will be closed for the entire month.
I’m glad that I found that out now. A suitable annotation has been made to the map so that we can effect a sensible and least-extra-distance diversion.
The last (and justified) towpath closure we found, during our LEJOG. We ignored the closure notices and related extended diversion, expecting the ‘fallen wall’ to be rather less significant (we did manage to clamber over, mind):
Having started looking at the maps this morning, so as to mark this diversion, I then spent most of the day reviewing the rest of our K2CW route and trying to decide where it would be beneficial to have 1:25k map sections. That process also saw me re-plotting a few sections and finding out that they were longer than we thought…