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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Argyll
    Posts
    6,244

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    Aaaah, the card school has gone, not enough of them in any one place now for a hand of solitaire. We thought the pilot business might be reduced by the 'free' assisted passage but since it was only offered to two boats each way per day it made no difference, other than winding up the skippers who had paid for a service they were never offered. Last year the Dunardry flight was good, manned most days by a guy who would rather prepare a lock or close up than stand aside and watch, but such enthusiasm does not go down well with all his colleagues. The grass is now cut by contractors, the maintenance of locks and landings ceased a few years back when the job was categorised as unskilled and worth a lower rate so now they only operate bridges, however the historic Dunardry bridge needs the services of a decent carpenter and blacksmith so has not been used for several years. The main task now is letting water down into the system from the reservoirs so a fair bit of time spent up the hill.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Rockall
    Posts
    30,460

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    Quote Originally Posted by A1Sailor View Post
    They used to run until 22.00, at least the Ardrishaig sealock did when I worked there last century.
    Quote Originally Posted by JumbleDuck View Post
    I think that was Wednesdays only in my youth. Crinan used to stay open till late for the fishing boats, too.
    Ardrishaig was staffed until 10pm seven days a week in 1978 and 1979. The seaward gates were left open overnight to provide a "safe haven".

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Scotland.
    Posts
    14,081

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    Quote Originally Posted by A1Sailor View Post
    Ardrishaig was staffed until 10pm seven days a week in 1978 and 1979. .....
    And we all know who became Prime Minister in '79!
    "'...contradictions .... are deliberate exercises in doublethink." Orwell from 1984

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Rockall
    Posts
    30,460

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    Quote Originally Posted by Quandary View Post
    Aaaah, the card school has gone, not enough of them in any one place now for a hand of solitaire. We thought the pilot business might be reduced by the 'free' assisted passage but since it was only offered to two boats each way per day it made no difference, other than winding up the skippers who had paid for a service they were never offered. Last year the Dunardry flight was good, manned most days by a guy who would rather prepare a lock or close up than stand aside and watch, but such enthusiasm does not go down well with all his colleagues. The grass is now cut by contractors, the maintenance of locks and landings ceased a few years back when the job was categorised as unskilled and worth a lower rate so now they only operate bridges, however the historic Dunardry bridge needs the services of a decent carpenter and blacksmith so has not been used for several years. The main task now is letting water down into the system from the reservoirs so a fair bit of time spent up the hill.
    When I worked on the canal in the summers of 1978 & 1979 I spent a fair amount of time at Dunardry. Although primarily staffing the bridge over lock 11, I too would assist on 10-13. Lock 9, at the top, was just out of sight from 11 so I didn't venture up there.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    west coast of Scotland
    Posts
    1,901

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    Quote Originally Posted by BlowingOldBoots View Post
    Is the staff middle aged or older? My employer found that by releasing all his grey haired staff who were experienced and hiring bright young things more was done at far less cost i.e. productivity improved remarkably. The knock on effect with the remaining grey haired staff has also paid dividends. Sounds to me as if they should all be on zero hours contracts and called out when needed i.e. opening a bridge, operating a lock, paid by the bridge or lock, not time.
    Yer employer could do that with Company Men- Just pay them for the morning call?

    Edit, forget that’s all they do anyway...

    (are you about anytime soon?)

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Scotland.
    Posts
    14,081

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    Quote Originally Posted by wully1 View Post
    Yer employer could do that with Company Men- Just pay them for the morning call?

    Edit, forget that’s all they do anyway...

    (are you about anytime soon?)
    They don't even do that any more. We have automatic daily drilling reports being scripted from all the fancy machines recording everything. As my big cheese said, why are we paying film star wages for monkey work. I was in Asia and they don't like the word monkey, it's insulting, you could hear a pin drop. Anyway, the young people had written this script and let it loose on the data stream and we now have automatic daily drilling reports. Which is fine until the driller leaves a joint out of his tally and has not told the machine.

    Just had 4 cold days of holding on to the pontoon in the easterly winds, came back home last night. I should be up soon, will text. Still got some time at home.
    "'...contradictions .... are deliberate exercises in doublethink." Orwell from 1984

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    SW Scotland
    Posts
    19,135

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    Quote Originally Posted by BlowingOldBoots View Post
    Is the staff middle aged or older?
    Mainly middle-aged men, showing the traditional enthusiasm and efficiency of poorly paid and badly managed unsackable public sector employees. See also: British Leyland.

    I exclude completely from this the (younger woman) lock-keeper at Crinan, who in my experience is unfailingly helpful, hardworking and efficient.
    "Seamen are always wanting to do things the proper way; and I like to do them my way."

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    SW Scotland
    Posts
    19,135

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    Quote Originally Posted by awol View Post
    That year of "assisted" passages - I bought a 16 day pass and transited 7 times, 5 of them single-handed.
    I'll bite. Why?

    Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very fast. People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder what's so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to get there, and what's so great about point B that so many people from point A are so keen to get there. They often wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell they wanted to be.

    -- Douglas Adams
    "Seamen are always wanting to do things the proper way; and I like to do them my way."

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    SW Scotland
    Posts
    19,135

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    Quote Originally Posted by A1Sailor View Post
    Ardrishaig was staffed until 10pm seven days a week in 1978 and 1979. The seaward gates were left open overnight to provide a "safe haven".
    I started using the canal in 1988, I think. I used to take the boat between Kilcreggan and Ardrishaig myself, leaving in the evening after driving up from England. I was normally just passing Tignabruaich at 10pm, and used the sealock when I got to the canal, partly for security and partly so that no bugger could queue-jump me.
    "Seamen are always wanting to do things the proper way; and I like to do them my way."

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Me Edinburgh, boat JWD
    Posts
    5,077

    Default Re: Crinan Canal, more hassle

    Quote Originally Posted by JumbleDuck View Post
    I'll bite. Why?
    I started in May heading for SIPR with a less than friendly forecast for the Mull. That's when I discovered the price hike to £140+(IIRC). Also discovered the 16 day price had not risen. Quick thoughts had the present trip, the Round Mull Race at the end of June, return from WHYW and how much my wife enjoyed the Caley Canal which made the £400 (again IIRC) a reasonable prospect. I added a couple of round trips west from Gourock to amuse family and 4 days in the Caley Canal to amuse my wife - only as far as Fort Augustus, and finally for SIPR the following year within 1 day of expiry.
    So 8 transits @ ~£50 ea with all the effort I should have expended being throwing and coiling ropes + 4 free days of Caley was a relative bargain. One round trip was as far as the Sound of Luing when mobile comms returned and I was called home.
    I have only been through once since!

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