Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Banbury Lift Bridge

For those of you who don't know I am at moored at Tooley's. I mention this because you will all start moving soon and some of you will head down to Banbury. I am moored right next to the lift bridge on the outside of the shell of a 1911 boat called KILSBY. 

This is an official mooring and I pay to be here so now that you know maybe we can come to an arrangement whereby you don't tell me I shouldn't be moored here and I wont tell you you need lessons! Yes I know its a bit tight, but I ask three things of you when you come through,

1. Which ever direction you are going, moor up on the bridge mooring, don't use me as a fender!

2. Don't come through the bridge from the lock side if there is a boat waiting on my side to come through. Its tight and you ain't good enough!

3. Please do not use your bow thruster to fend off my boat. What you have, given the limited depth of the water, is a hi-power sandblaster eroding my blacking. I will not be happy.

One important thing for you to know about the lift bridge is last year it was very stiff to wind up/down. They came and installed a new hydraulic ram and now it is even harder to wind up and down. Kids will find it very difficult. 

It seems the contractors who 'sorted the hydraulics' don't understand lift bridges. The give away was that when they were manually lifting the bridge for boats to pass under no one noticed it took three heavy guys on the beams to do the job. That's about 500lb. A lift bridge only needs to be balanced to about 20/30lb on the beam the same as it would be if it was a manual bridge.

What's really annoying is the CRT inspector who came to sign off on the job said it was OK. He didn't even have a windlass with him to test the bridge. When told about how hard it would be to lift for and older person they said it would "wear in" it hasn't! It has gotten worse If I had an hydraulic system that need to wear in that much I would be going to court.

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