Narrowboat Ezri – Leaving Littleborough – Part One

Well I writing again and this time its huge post, So it going to be in three parts.

Before I start with moving tale, We have to go back a little and talk about the winter flood and being on winter moorings.

I had winter Mooring permit for Lock 47 which end 29th February but on 27th December the Canal and River Trust place a navigation closure notice for Sowerby Bridge to Summit dew to the wide spread flooding of the whole area and the centre of Littleborough which also stopped me returning to Ezri for three days.

The Canal and River Trust did an amazing job to put the canal back together but each time they did more problems were found, and in fact the restrictions are still in place from boxing day. Added to which they found a huge hole at Summit so had drain it before work could even start. So to save what little water was left they shut the whole section, from the Summit to just before lock 48 when mean shut they came with pad locks and everything.

Now here were things get a little messy, I am a continuous Cruiser which means I have 14 days in any one place, which meant when my winter permit ran out I would have to move and simple task. So I planed to move down into Rochdale and on the 13th March, I tried to move Ezri from Littleborough Higher Lock No. 47 to just after Little Clegg bridge No 54a about a one hour cruiser two locks and a small swing bridge.

I was able to move her thought Littleborough Lower Lock No. 48 without any problem but when I tried to moor up safely, just after the swing bridge I found it impossible to do so because of the low water levels exposing the rocks and the bricks at the side of the bank dew to the flooding.

Knowing the rules I did try and continue my journey onwards in Rochdale and beyond but I was prevented from doing so because the water in the middle canal became to shallow to navigate without damaging my boat.

So with my dads help we had to return to Littleborough. But not to Lock 47 as before but just before lock 48 just outside Littleborough just behind another narrowboat which been there for sometime I had to work the following day but on my return and found the water under Ezri and the other boat was very low in fact we were both leaning sideways.

I walked down the towpath find the whole length from Lock 48 to Rochdale was at this level, and because the water at the Summit Lock has been remove for repair. and a new navigation closure has been add from lock 36 to lock 45. I did the only thing I could and email CRT and tell them of my problem. I got a automated response but nothing more.

So I asked around about the low level of water and was informed by the amazing Rochdale Canal Volunteer Bob Furnell
(who help me work all the locks down from the summit on my first day)  that vandals had been opening the paddles on both lock gates Moss Upper and Moss Lower No 49/50 in the centre of Rochdale, using the same lock key anyone can buy over the internet and despite Mr Furnell best efforts he’s been unable to stop the vandals.

I waited until the water was back at safe level and move Ezri into the Wharf above Bent house lock so if the water is removed again Ezri will not get damaged and out of the way.

Two weeks when by and the water levels kept going down heading into Rochdale and the pad locks remained on the lock gates traping Narrow Boat Hannah between three locks

Then I got a letter from the CRT licensing telling me that I could only have six months because I had not been moving, so I sent the email again but this time to two other people, and again no response. So not wanting Ezri to be taken out of the water or another other kind action I bought a six-month licence.

And made a plan to move Ezri into Castleton, knowing there was no way I could stop just after the swing Bridge as I had tried to before.



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