Last night, whilst we were moored up just after Faulkners bridge, we had a couple of Anglo-Welsh hire boats go past heading north. They slowed down nicely to pass Jannock and we decided that they must be a school group as there were a couple of adults and numerous teenagers on each boat.
A while later they returned, trailing another boat. They slowed down to pass us but soon caught up with the other boat again, which continued on at a snail’s pace, once past us. There was plenty of room and so the hire boats pulled out to overtake but rather than let them past, ‘snails pace’ pulled across to stop them. Then when they tried to pass on the other side he pulled back across to stop that manouvre as well.
This continued until they were out of our sight and we commented on how un-cooperative and daft the first boat had been.
This morning we set off at 10am, once the rain had stopped and the sun had come out, and started the long drag pass the continuous on-line moored boats between bridges 115 and 113 before starting our ascent of 6 locks to Calverley.
The pound immediately above Beeston Iron lock was very low due to the restriction of only one boat at a time to pass through whereas all others along here can cope with two boats. The pound level was drained everytime a pair of boats passed through.
Whilst waiting for Bunbury staircase lock, Graham got chatting to the Anglo Welsh (AW) base staff who were repairing a wall at the lock landing. G. happened to mention that we’d seen their two hireboats having hassle with ‘snails pace’ the night before. They were most interested in our report on the issue as it would appear that a complaint had been made to AW H.Q. about them by a woman from ‘snails pace’ who didn’t supply their boat’s name and only knew that it was being steered by a guy called Mike. The complaint was about bad behavior and language and poor boating skills.
Graham was happy to give a statement to the opposite, expressing how well behaved they were when they had passed us whilst we were moored and how we had witnessed the poor behaviour of ‘snails pace’ when the hire boats had tried to pass it. As we were ascending Bunbury staircase the AW manager came over with his phone and handed it to Graham and the head mistress of the special needs school thanked him for providing the statement. Glad to be of service!
So, although we’ve heard otherwise in the past, we now know that Anglo Welsh do take complaints about their hirers seriously – this one had gone through their HQ and was being dealt with by the base when we accidentally got involved.
We left Bunbury lock and headed to Calveley sani-station where we filled with water and took the opportunity of both having a, post locks, shower in a large spacious shower room.
Once past Barbridge junction we moored for the night near Vickers bridge (98). Whilst eating our evening meal out on the foredeck the same two AW hireboats passed us again, correctly slowing down to do so, so we made them aware of who we were and how, from what we had witnessed, the complaint was unfounded.
As we finished dinner, we heard a clunk and then what seemed like a ‘scrabbling on metal’ sound coming from the back of Jannock. A dog walker with a Labrador had accidentally thrown the dog’s frisbee onto Jannocks back deck and the dog had retrieved it. They appologised profusely as they passed. They were throwing the frisbee into the cut and the dog was jumping in the bring it back. They returned past later ‘sans frisbee’ as it apparently sank down near Hurleston Junction.