Thursday, 18 June 2009

Thanks Fiona of BW and 21st Century Caggy

I phoned up BW earlier today to ask about moorings. The lady said they only have permanent moorings and moorings for a couple of days and 14 days. Nothing in-between. Nothing for a month or two. I invoked the wise old words of Bernard Cribbens in that episode of Fawlty Towers where he suggests "such a service". The woman was friendly enough and said she's get one of the enforcement officers to call me back. I took this as a good thing, although a mate suggested that the only enforcers he knew collected debts down Whitechapel way.

I didn't really expect her or anyone to call back. After all, neither Swan Line at Fradley nor Willington Marina called me back a few weeks ago when they said they would. Why should someone at BW.

In the meantime I looked at Waterscape and saw Caggy's Yard. No. Surely not that Caggy. Is he still around? I recall someone talking about him back in the 1980s when he was abit of a legend on the Cut. I phoned up and the voice was that beautiful - if much ridiculed - Black Country brogue, all rolled r's and ah's and yow's and yo's. I really like this accent. I have no idea who I was speaking to but he was ever so helpful - no moorings available but he told me where I could try.

Then an hour later, I get a call from Fiona of BW who is so keen to help. I hadn't expected any response from BW, let alone someone who is clearly trying hard to come up with a solution. She is very apologetic about the lack of medium-term moorings. "I've never had an enquiry from someone like this before," she said but then proceeded to explore all the options, patiently waiting while the various screens loaded on Waterscape.

She ruled out the BW moorings and suggested that the only visitor moorings which are secure are at Merryhill on the Dudley No 1. They have a gate. Other suggestions included Grove Colliery, Aldridge, Ogley Junction. She also introduces me to the Boaters Guides on Waterscape, the dynamically-generated factsheets available for all canals.

So although I didn't get a result, I dealt with two really nice, friendly people.

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