It's about the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, and you can 'listen again' or podcast/download here.
It tackled - slightly uncritically - the canal's closure this summer.
Apart from talking to a stuck boater, an otter fancier and a BW Bingley lock worker about daily life, the three sharpest sections were (figures are the time from the start):
- 4:30: A walk across a boggy farm with farmers Tim & Sheila Pilling at East Marton who complained about leaks that turned parts of their farm into rice paddies.
- 7:30 Chat at Barrowford Reservoir with Vince Moran, BW operations director. He said that tackling all those leaks, might have delayed the closure a couple of weeks at most, but the money wasn't there.
- 12:30 A conversation with Mike Clarke, founder/president of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society.
I think Mike Clarke's contribution was the most interesting. Towards the end he had an interesting point to make, which would have made a good follow-up question to put to Vince Moran:
What's happened is we've sold all the lockkeepers cottages, and that's where I think the problem's occurred. We've gone away from this idea of having people on the ground all the time.
Nowadays it's all got to be managed from a central office, sending out people in vans for any problem. You'll never run a canal like that - you'll keep it going, sure, but it does show that when you do get a problem, it's soon magnified.
See also Granny Buttons Aug 29th: Farmers not a bit craven on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.