Candle Bridge Canal Carrying Company – Archimedes.

This year we had the opportunity to buy our winter coal and diesel supplies from a traditional canal carrying company. We jumped at the chance as it’s not often we see deliveries by working boats on the upper Thames. It turns out that there’s probably a reason for this: Maidenhead and Reading are full of treacle.
I know that sounds a little odd but it’s the only logical explanation I can come up with that adequately accounts for our lack of coal (that we’ve already paid for). The Candle Bridge Carrying Company *did* bring us diesel and a few bags of coal by river and it was marvellous – can’t fault that at all. Loved it. It was a week or so late but it’s narrowboating and narrowboating rules dictate that Thou Shalt Not Be On Time (it’s a pain of death thing. NEVER break this rule. You have been warned).
Achimedes struggled a little in our shallow moorings but eventually was secure enough to enable us to moor alongside and fill our tank. Unfortunately, there had been a problem with the lorry delivering coal to Archimedes when she was in Reading earlier that week and so instead of the 60 bags of coal we ordered (divided between 2 boats) we received 15. Not so bad really, that’s plenty to be getting on with and we were told the rest would be delivered by lorry two days later. Great.
Two days later (Monday) and the coal didn’t arrive - but that’s still okay because we were promised it by the Wednesday…
No coal. Still, we have bags of it and we were *definitely* promised our coal by the following Monday.
Monday came. Our coal didn’t. It’s okay though, because it’ll be here by Friday.
No, I mean Monday… Wednesday… Saturday… Next week… Or the week after… Make that 2 more weeks… Sometime in the future…
Apparently the lorry got stuck in Maidenhead this time. Or was it Reading again? Or both?. Like I said – treacle problems down south, obviously. Traffic is unable to move south of Wallingford. Is the country slowly sinking into a tin of Tate & Lyle?
Or perhaps the narrowboating timing rule applies to lorries too? That might make a little more sense than my treacle hypothesis. Let’s just pretend I never mentioned the treacle…
But still, where’s our coal? It would be nice to have it some time this year. *Please*? <--- There’s a note of begging in the tone with which that plea should be read.

I have since spoken with Jay from the Candle Bridge Carrying Company and he would like to have it made clear that his company is separate from that of the coal merchants who caused the above difficulties. I would also like to make it known, as I wrote in the post above, that we had no issues with the service Jay provided upholding his end of the business transaction by bringing us fuel via the waterways. I was not aware at the original time of writing that the Candle Bridge Carrying Company operated separately to the coal merchants and was under the impression that they were two branches of the same company. I would therefore like to officially state that we would be happy to conduct future business with the Candle Bridge Carrying Company and hope this sentiment is reciprocated. I reiterate: it was all the coal merchant's fault...

No comments: