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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Lock landing idiots!

So we took a trip along the welford arm this morning. It was originally planned anyway so we could empty the loo at the end but a comment from Ali and John on nb triskaideka reminded us about an elsan at Foxton. Having by past this waterway every time we have traveled the Leicester section we decided to go for it anyway.  It is 1.5 miles long with1 lock, has a pub at the end and a small post office general stores about quarter mile up a steepish hill. Now you would have thought that it would be pretty devoid of boats and I expect that to be so in most cases but not today. In fact we were very surprised to find a queue at the lock. One boat appeared to be on the lock landing, another boat was in front of us and waiting before the narrow bit, one boat was descending and a further two waiting at the top. Once the descending boat had exited I fully expected the boat on the lock landing to enter. Thats when it suddenly dawned on me that the boat was a Canaltime and facing in our direction. Not only that but the passing boat told us they were having their breakfast!!! I fully expected the boat in front to say something to them as he went into the lock but nothing was said. I was still hovering mid channel with nowhere to go and by now the wind had picked up making it very difficult to stay in the middle. By the time I had struggled for the best part of 15 minutes my mood was anything but good. So when it was finally my turn and, on going past the hirers, I said in a very loud voice 'mooring on a lock landing eating breakfast is not a good idea'! Well thereby a slanging match ensued. A man came rushing up from below and said what right had I to tell him he couldn't be there. Well I'm sorry, but I actually used some words I'm not supposed to in my answer to him. In the end I told him to shift the boat as the problems he had caused by being there was beyond believe. Once in the lock I heard the engines roar into life and with throttle fully open they disappeared toward the junction. I apologised to the lady waiting at the lock for my bad language and she then told me that the boat had moored overnight in the winding hole causing all manner of problems for those trying to wind. Why oh why didn't anyone say anything.  I hadn't realised at the time but 3 other people, all boaters and walking their dogs, had heard me having a go at them and applauded me for having a go.  Surely if no one tells them that mooring in winding holes or on a lock landing isnt permitted, they will think it alright to moor where they like. And I don't believe the Canaltime hire company would not have stressed the importance of not mooring on lock landings. Winding holes may have passed them by but not the landings!

Couldnt moor on the piled edging through the gap as not enough room to allow the exiting boat to make the turn.

The actual canal is lovely. Not many places to moor but once in Welford there is a good stretch of 48 hour moorings. At the facilitie there is also room for three boats to stay for 48 hours. We found it easier to wind first (ignore the first winding hole and go right to the end) and back into the facility mooring.

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After mooring we made our way to the shop. Found on the way was Postman Pat and his black and white cat. Not sure what the significance of the book and TV cartoon in Welford is.

After leaving and having made our way back to the Junction we turned R toward Foxton. Husband Bosworth tunnel loomed all to soon and boy was it foggy inside. A working boat had not long exited the south portal and the smoke and fumes were really bad. Ever so glad to come out the other end. As we left the tunnel we spied more wood. Another quick reverse for Ian to get off and have a look.

This time we were unlucky as Ian couldn't shift the huge log underneath the branches. Still you win some and you lose some. But at one of the bridges Ian saw logs lying on the towpath. This time he was able to get them so another couple of logs collected to stash on the roof.

Waiting in the bridge ole

Logs on the left.

Now moored before the top lock at Foxton ready for our descent tomorrow. Hope the weather tomorrow will be as good as today because its been right grand.

1 comment:

nb Chuffed said...

Well done for speaking out!
Glad to see Postman Pat and friends have had a coat of paint too

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