The Ashby Canal has always been known for how shallow it is and nothing has changed in that department. Keith can tell you how silted up it was in the late 60's after the last pair of coal boats came long it. He bought Pisces up and down the Ashby Canal and in the two months since the coal pair had used the canal it had silted up good and proper, so it is nothing new. The difference today is the canal is used by many shallow drafted pleasure craft, and so the silting up will more than likely get worse if it is not dredged. The other thing now is that Gosty Hill the coal and diesel boat will no longer be coming up and down the Ashby because Ian and Alison are no longer trading, so their deep drafted boat will not be keeping a channel cut. With hardly any deep drafted boats using the Ashby Canal for most of the year it will mean silting up will get worse. I think I am right in saying, the only time you will see a mass of deep drafted boats going up and down the Ashby Canal will be at the Shackerstone Festival once a year. It does not take much to silt up a canal, so what is going to happen for the rest of the year?
Boaters have already been complaining that the bends are to shallow and the canal has no channel. There has been no offside cutting back, so trees are hanging over the water in dangerous places. It would be a crying shame if after the deep drafted boats have gone from this weekends festival the canal gets even shallower. It may see many of the historic boats staying away from next years event if they cannot get to Shackerstone due to the depth of water.
The weather today was not great, it rained one and off till lunchtime and then heavier until 3pm.
As we waited the rain stopped and some bright patches began to appear, which would cheer any boater arriving for the festival. At 3.45pm Mr Tesco man rang me to say he was 10 minutes away. I let him know we were ready and waiting for him on the bridge near the railway station. He duly arrived, we stashed everything into our boxes and bags, before saying "thank you" to the lovely man who delivered our festival shopping. Keith wheeled the trolley back along the towpath, whilst I carried the bags. Back at the boat he then handed everything to me through the galley doors. I then stowed the shopping away, so now we have a full cupboard, fridge and freezer yayyyy.
Tonight is the Para-Olympic opening ceremony so I will be glued to the TV. I am expecting a lot more boats to arrive during the evening.