Mooring ban at historic site

April 2017 - The moorings at the top of Tardebigge lock flight on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal is one of the key spots on the system – it was where waterway revival champions Tom Rolt and Robert Aickman met in 1945 and the IWA began – but boats can no longer moor on the spot as Peter Underwood reports.

Back in 2015 when the spot was awarded the Transport Trust’s Red Wheel plaque marking significant sites in transport history, David Viner, heritage advisor at the Canal & River Trust, said: “Tardebigge was where it all turned around for the canals, so it’s fantastic to see its important history marked.”

For years it was used as long term moorings with boaters tied in the very place where it all started. That ended a few years ago, but a few days ago Paul Theakston reported on Facebook that a new red 'No Mooring' sign had gone up and even the steel rings had been cut off to prevent visiting boats mooring on the spot.

When The Floater asked why the moorings had been put off limits Robert Eaton, customer operations manager for South Wales & Severn, said: “The moorings have been decommissioned following a leak in the embankment, which has now been repaired.

“We believe this was caused by prop wash from moored boats.

“This is not a recent decision and has been the case for at least a couple of years, though the signs have recently been replaced and the mooring rings only relatively recently removed.”

This echoes what another boater was told by C&RT: “There has been no mooring, and there is no permissible mooring at that point, and has not been for some years, nothing has changed other than old obsolete signage being removed and the correct signage put in place.”

The Floater has asked why these historic moorings cannot be used as visitor moorings – perhaps with a notice prohibiting the running of engines in gear – as yet there is no reply.

Photo: Paul Theakston's picture of the moorings complete with new red sign.

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