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Tyrley Tattle After seventeen happy years at Tyrley this will be my last Tyrley Tattle before we move to Northamptonshire to take up residence in a house, near the River Nene, which has a much smaller garden for us to look after as we get older. It is interesting to reflect on the changes to the Shroppie which have taken place during the time we have spent here. There is noticeably less boat traffic than there used to be, whether this is general I don’t know, but my impression is that this section of the system has never really recovered from the long stoppage caused by the breach at Knighton in the height of the season in 2009. One consequence is that queues for the locks are almost a thing of the past. At one time the IWA had Tyrley Locks on its list of bottlenecks and certainly on at least a couple of times each summer boats could be seen queuing from the top lock back past the 48 hour and permanent moorings to Bridge 59. Now it is unusual to see even two boats waiting for the top lock unless there is a hold up for any reason. Other changes are more general but very noticeable when you live next to a lock flight. The operation of the waterway has altered significantly and whereas the locally based staff used to be seen here regularly cutting the grass in summer and carrying out other maintenance, much of the work is now contracted out and the directly employed staff work around the whole of the North Wales and Border Counties area as required. Much more efficient, no doubt, but one does miss people like “Reg the Dredge” who once sat here for three whole days doing nothing but read his newspaper and drink tea while he waited for a new bucket to be delivered for his dredger! Not something which would be tolerated nowadays, I feel. Health and Safety is now paramount, of course, at CRT in common with all large organisations. No longer do you see men working alone and, depending on the activity, groups of three are often necessary to comply with the rules for a particular job. The safety measures now taken when replacing lock gates are a wonder to behold compared with 15 years ago, when precautions to prevent people falling into the empty lock were minimal. All for the best, no doubt, but it does sometimes all seem to be rather over the top. Another noticeable change has been the increase in the number of live aboard boats. Unfortunately, a minority of these choose to disregard the idea of time limited visitor mooring like the 48 hour places at Tyrley and there is often at least one overstaying boat to be found here. Whilst this is not a problem when things are quiet it is annoying for cruising boats in the height of the season when visitor Shroppie Fly Paper

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Summer 2014

2014 06 Shroppie Fly Paper  

Shroppie Fly Paper is the newsletter of the Shrewsbury District & North Wales Branch of The Inland Waterways Association.