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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.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

First lock finally started on the Derby canal.

Good news that Whitby (boat who left yesterday to beat the stoppage) was able to just sqeeze under the bridge at Trent Lock. Seems Paul was watched by Pip and Mick Nb Lillyanne (can read their post here)  and they left a comment for me so I would know his passage was successful. (Shame I didn't get to see it last night first though!) Still Paul and Vivee arrived later in the evening with tales of the great escape and apparently had no problem pushing against the flow and arriving at Shardlow.

Now anyone who knows me know that I never go anywhere without my camera. Well I failed miserably last night!!! Forgot completely until half way through the evening and was just about to go back to FS to fetch it when the call came for me to attend to my station! I serve the mushy peas, a very important job....or so I was told, and memory not what it was, I forgot after my duties were done.

It was a brilliant night. The entertainment was from the Boothill Toe tappers playing guitar and fiddle and a thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all. Little did we expect an early start then this morning. No lie in for us as Carole on the boat next to us crossed over our deck around 7ish and woke us up. Then Margaret, Dave, Heather and Dennis followed suit so we gave up. Reason for the early start.....get the cottage cleaned and then depart for Langley Mill before the other boats. By 8.30am they were on their way.

It it didn't take long for the rest to leave and by 10.30am we were the only boat left. Then a load of cars came over the Derby canal bridge. Wondering what was going on we wandered over to have a word and to our amazement it turned out to be the Derby and Sandiacre work party. It's finally official. The first lock on the Derby is going to be reinstated. Going to take the best part of the summer but wow progress at last.

So first came the clearing of land and our neighbour was to lose 8ft of his garden.To compensate he will get a new fence but I'm not sure he realised quite how much land was to be taken back.  All along the filled in canal, home owners have been pinching bits to extend their gardens. With work now starting the Derby and Sandiacre society quite rightly wants to take it back. Our neighbour was okay about it but a lot of unrest is now being generated all along the length by the home owners so I can see a fight on the hands of the society. 

Work starts

Think walkers and riders will be a bit miffed when this section gets closed.

 All this work will happen over weekends so looking forward to seeing the progress made on our return in September. One good thing for us is the amount of wood they allowed us to take. Our wood shed is now nearly full!

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