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14 Mar 2019
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Navigating and living on the waterways of Continental Europe and news of canal developments.
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TOPIC: Arras and the Scarpe Supériore

Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 05 Feb 2019 16:22 #103720

Will do Bob. And thanks yes she is beautiful - That superstructure was made in 1958 we think, when being converted from freight to leisure. Welders' jaws drop in admiration of those curves!

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Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 05 Feb 2019 15:42 #103719

  • Bob Marsland
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Simon Lawson wrote: Let's see what the progress is by April when we plan to leave for Belgium and then La Meuse south back into France. We would love to go up to the basin for a couple of nights to say good bye to Arras mates.


Indeed, Simon.

Please get in touch, here or to my email, nearer the time you plan to leave the area and when the dredging will have been completed. We should know more from Lynn and his team about access to Darse Méaulins, above l'écluse de Saint Nicolas by then.

If I may say so, I think Beatrix's beautifully curved superstructure marries the shape of your skutsje admirably.

Best wishes,

Bob

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Bob & Bobbie Marsland
MS La Chouette

Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 05 Feb 2019 13:04 #103713

Bob, « ...If you are staying in Saint Laurent Blangy for a while maybe you can see if you may navigate the pound they are dredging at the moment some time later. If you are interested I would welcome an email (click on my envelope on the left here) and we can see if there is any mileage in that. I have a few contacts in VNF who might help »
Let's see what the progress is by April when we plan to leave for Belgium and then La Meuse south back into France. We would love to go up to the basin for a couple of nights to say good bye to Arras mates.

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Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 05 Feb 2019 12:49 #103710

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Simon Lawson wrote: We are currently moored at Saint Laurent Blangy.

It was probably some 15 years ago when we were last on the Scarpe Supérieure, and that time we were up on the commercial wharf a few hundred metres above the lock. It's quite a distance to decent shops, but there is a farm close by where you can get fresh-from-the-cow milk in the afternoon before it's sent off to the dairy. Hopefully it's still there.

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Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 04 Feb 2019 21:02 #103682

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Briliant news, we visited there a couple of years ago and were struck by the waste of a potentially superb mooring. Well done and l look forward to visiting there by barge.

P.........

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P...........

Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 04 Feb 2019 20:31 #103681

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Lynn Woods wrote: Good timing, my colleague Craig Jenner met with a group representing the various Arras agencies just this afternoon.

The situation seems to be:

The bassin will be re-opened and their only anxiety is to guard against boats being moored there unattended, so presumably some maximum stay period.

The canal will be dredged to minimum 1.5m

The lock is to be re-opened but will be out of action for a month during 2020 for the gates to be replaced.

The proposed bridge above the lock will be either a lift-bridge or swing-bridge to permit boats to pass.

They will look at installing water and 3-phase electricity for our (passenger) boat and not clear yet whether there will be general-use facilities.

I reckon they were heeding your advice Bob but not letting on! Some of these developments seem to have been in planning for a while. Good news, whatever.

Lynn


I'm thrilled to bits to read this, Lynn, and to read Simon and Judy's post, too.

Well done to you and your team for persevering against all odds. I would like to think there is something in what you write at the end of your post but whatever - this is good, no *excellent* news. I'm now sorry I have my barge several hundred miles away in the middle of the Netherlands!!!

Best wishes,

Bob

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Bob & Bobbie Marsland
MS La Chouette

Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 04 Feb 2019 20:23 #103680

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Simon Lawson wrote: We are currently moored at Saint Laurent Blangy, and can confirm that the pound between St Laurent and St Nicholas is currently being dredged. The tow path has also been resurfaced since October. The works notice board indicates that the refurbishment should be finished by March.
The Arras basin has great potential for culture, commerce and accommodation, which would be a welcome addition, for locals and visitors alike, to this beautiful friendly city, that we’re coming to love.
Simon & Judy - Beatrix.


Great to hear, Simon and Judy! But, there's always a but, VNF are required to periodically dredge here for hydraulic reasons. It is imperative the flow of the Scarpe, which enters immediately below l'écluse de Saint Nicolas, is maintained as the river feeds the Canal du Nord.

Notwithstanding that 'but', this, and Lynn's news, is excellent. Thank you.

If you are staying in Saint Laurent Blangy for a while maybe you can see if you may navigate the pound they are dredging at the moment some time later. If you are interested I would welcome an email (click on my envelope on the left here) and we can see if there is any mileage in that. I have a few contacts in VNF who might help.

Best wishes,

Bob

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Bob & Bobbie Marsland
MS La Chouette

Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 04 Feb 2019 19:42 #103679

Good timing, my colleague Craig Jenner met with a group representing the various Arras agencies just this afternoon.

The situation seems to be:

The bassin will be re-opened and their only anxiety is to guard against boats being moored there unattended, so presumably some maximum stay period.

The canal will be dredged to minimum 1.5m

The lock is to be re-opened but will be out of action for a month during 2020 for the gates to be replaced.

The proposed bridge above the lock will be either a lift-bridge or swing-bridge to permit boats to pass.

They will look at installing water and 3-phase electricity for our (passenger) boat and not clear yet whether there will be general-use facilities.

I reckon they were heeding your advice Bob but not letting on! Some of these developments seem to have been in planning for a while. Good news, whatever.

Lynn

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Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 04 Feb 2019 19:00 #103677

Brilliant news. Hopefully can visit later in the year.

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Colin Stone
KEI
www.luxe-motor.kei.co.uk
DBA - The Barge Association
DBA - De Binnenvaartvereniging
DBA - L’Association des Péniches de Plaisance

Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 04 Feb 2019 18:59 #103676

We are currently moored at Saint Laurent Blangy, and can confirm that the pound between St Laurent and St Nicholas is currently being dredged. The tow path has also been resurfaced since October. The works notice board indicates that the refurbishment should be finished by March.
The Arras basin has great potential for culture, commerce and accommodation, which would be a welcome addition, for locals and visitors alike, to this beautiful friendly city, that we’re coming to love.
Simon & Judy - Beatrix.
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Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 29 Jan 2019 07:48 #103490

Lynn,

Possibly too early to say great news until an "opening date" is announced, but really encouraging progress. I would agree - 1.50 m - if you can get that.
Thanks for your efforts.
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Colin Stone
KEI
www.luxe-motor.kei.co.uk
DBA - The Barge Association
DBA - De Binnenvaartvereniging
DBA - L’Association des Péniches de Plaisance

Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 29 Jan 2019 01:11 #103489

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Lynn Woods wrote: We meet them again this week and amongst other things have on agenda shore facilities in the bassin - presumably it's been inaccessible for so long now that anything fitted in support of visiting boats in the past will have become derelict? Is there a view please on minimum dredged draught that we should ask them to aim for to serve the pleasure cruising community? We'll be requesting 3-phase!

TIA

Lynn


Lynn et al,

In the eleven or so years I have been looking into gaining access to Darse de Méaulens there has never been any utilities available. There used to be a number of floating pontoons at the far end from the entrance to the port but they have been removed and the parallel pontoon, to which the six pontoons were secured has been re-positioned at the end adjacent to the entrance.

Once you have achieved agreement to access the port you should not have too much trouble getting EDF to install a supply. I managed to do that in Epernay, or rather Magenta on the other side of the bridge, which is where we turned around on our Champagne Experience cruise.

Several years ago I did a bathymetric survey of the port and found it to have 1m70 along most of the banks and only the occasional area to be avoided, mainly due to there being fountains installed there. The canal between l'écluse de Saint Nicolas and the port had between 1m70 and 2m.00. Below the lock is a different matter and that will need dredging before access to the lock can be achieved. It will also need dredging on a regular basis due to the incoming stream of the river Scarpe which enters there at right angles to the waterway.

Several years ago VNF decided to dredge to just 1m50 and this immediately stopped all commercial carrying operations to and from the long quai between l'écluse de Saint Nicolas and l'écluse de Saint Laurent Blangy. The silo had ceased operating by water years ago.

So, I suggest 1m50 would be as far as you might achieve, provided CUA agreed to do *any* dredging.

Best wishes,

Bob
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Bob & Bobbie Marsland
MS La Chouette

Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 29 Jan 2019 00:11 #103486

I'm sitting here looking at my photos of the basin after Bob Marsland asked me to go and look last Spring, I don't see any services at all plus my pics of the lock suggest a good overhaul necessary.......
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Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 28 Jan 2019 22:30 #103485

We meet them again this week and amongst other things have on agenda shore facilities in the bassin - presumably it's been inaccessible for so long now that anything fitted in support of visiting boats in the past will have become derelict? Is there a view please on minimum dredged draught that we should ask them to aim for to serve the pleasure cruising community? We'll be requesting 3-phase!

TIA

Lynn

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Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 17 Jan 2019 21:42 #103312

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Goodness knows what happened to my post made on my iPhone on the train home an hour or so ago! But here is what I think I said:

Well done, Lynn! It seems you have succeeded where I failed over a period of of more than ten years. I am really pleased for you and possibly for other boats in the future.

The problem you will find, though, is the section of the bief immediately below l'écluse Saint Nicolas where the river joins the canal and drops lots of sediment. If I am not mistaken the draft of your ship is only 80cm and I guess that will be the maximum the CUA will allow. However, let us wait and see what comes of your negotiations.

Good luck.

Bob
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Bob & Bobbie Marsland
MS La Chouette

Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 17 Jan 2019 19:48 #103306

Encouraging news. The CU - Communauté Urbaine - have been in touch to say they think they can engineer a solution which would allow us to embark and disembark passengers in the Arras Bassin. That must in turn mean that they would have to maintain the St Nicolas lock and not obstruct the waterway with any overly low bridges, but we don't know yet what this means in terms of access and facilities for private craft. We should learn more on meeting the CU in a couple of weeks time.

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Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 28 Oct 2018 08:14 #102125

Lynn, Very best of luck. I battered my barge against the Arras issue in Spring 2012 when the bief had been closed for the French Olympic rowing and canoeing teams for their training. Fat lot of good it did them.
Then the French promised the closure was temporary and I had a copy of the letter, and the canal would be available post Olympics.
We're still waiting!!!

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Colin Stone
KEI
www.luxe-motor.kei.co.uk
DBA - The Barge Association
DBA - De Binnenvaartvereniging
DBA - L’Association des Péniches de Plaisance

Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 28 Oct 2018 02:08 #102124

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Lynn Woods wrote: Somme Tourisme are going out of their way to support our commercial cruise and tour initiative with a dedicated boat planned for 2020 in Hauts de France and some proof-of-concept tours running between Abbeville and St-Quentin (via the Canal de la Sensee) in March and April. Local press coverage only last week.

I have already tooted at them about getting the Ham section of the Canal de la Somme reopened (well, don't ask, don't get) and I'll flag our concerns about Arras too. Each of my boats brings c1.5m Euros into the local economy each year.

Lynn


Pleased to hear you are being well received by Tourism Somme. I wish you the very best.

Concerning getting to Arras I regret to say you will have to use your coach for the last few kilometres. As I'm sure you will have read, I have been trying for over a decade to gain entry to the wonderful bassin right in the centre of Arras with no success. The Arras local authority now have control of the last sector and are not inclined to help craft get to their city. By all means try them and I wish you well. If you have any further information please post here.

Best wishes,

Bob

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Bob & Bobbie Marsland
MS La Chouette

Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 27 Oct 2018 21:54 #102122

Somme Tourisme are going out of their way to support our commercial cruise and tour initiative with a dedicated boat planned for 2020 in Hauts de France and some proof-of-concept tours running between Abbeville and St-Quentin (via the Canal de la Sensee) in March and April. Local press coverage only last week.

I have already tooted at them about getting the Ham section of the Canal de la Somme reopened (well, don't ask, don't get) and I'll flag our concerns about Arras too. Each of my boats brings c1.5m Euros into the local economy each year.

Lynn
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Arras and the Scarpe Supériore 21 Sep 2018 10:48 #101282

Very sorry to hear this Bob, you have worked so hard on this for such a long time.
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