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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, 11 June 2016

Oh dear...Police presence needed after all

It all started late afternoon. Preparing dinner we realised that we were being joined by another two boats, Winedown and Eleventh Heaven.  These two boats had been moored by the bridge but trouble had occurred in the shape of several youngsters throwing stones. Burnt Oak with John and Martina (who we travelled down to the village with) was moored on the opposite side by the bridge and Martina had been struck by a small pebble. Eleventh Heaven and Winedown had more then just one stone thrown. More like a handful! The Police were called and Harbour Master informed. He then moved Burnt Oak to breast up to another boat further back and Eleventh Heaven and Winedown to move by us.

Thankfully Martina was okay and we had two Police ladies call on every boat explaining that from now on their would be a patrol on 24/7. We were given phone numbers just in case and I must say all of us felt much better at the prospect of going out that night knowing the boats would be looked after.

So now for the talk by Mike Clarke. There was more to the L&L then we thought. The history was fascinating and too much to put down here so Wikipedia has an extensive history if you fancy a good read. The talk lasted a couple of hours with questions being fired at the end. Only downside (and that was for Ian only) was the beer. No cask ales and only Worthington and mild on tap. But my glass of wine was very nice, thank you.

Today we received our boaters packs and decorated the boat.

After lunch walked down to the docks. Weather not so good today, rain overnight and very overcast. Humid it is though, which makes for uncomfortable living in the boat. Mind you, it was the second attempt to walk down to the docks as no sooner had we arrived at the locks, watched a hotel boat entering the first lock, when the heavens opened! Soaked through by the time we got back to FS and made it in time before the thunderstorm hit! So after an hour, when the rain did finally stop, we tried again.

Thunderstorm heading off on the horizon
I have put together roughly the route to the docks as walked by us from the bottom of the locks. There is much more to this passage but can only be shown travelling on the boat

This is looking back at the short tunnel after the locks.

Through the bridge towards the clock tower

At the clock tower turn L

Keep the red bouys to your left. Highest bit of the bridge.
Make sure you head for the highest point. Bouy to the left entering the dock

Down these locks (only a short drop) and through the tunnel.

Looking back

And into the dock. Our pontoon S2 (Wednesday) is where the cream and blue boat is. Hotel boat moored on the right.
We must have walked over three miles there and back and I was that shattered that we gave the evenings dancing a miss. Thought about having an early night but youths were at the bridge shouting and screaming (Police presence was still apparent but while the kids were not doing any harm left them alone) and then the fireworks started around 11pm! For the Queens birthday perhaps? Anyway all idea of sleep went out of the window but thankfully by midnight peace was once more restored.

And arriving on our boat today,

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