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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.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Sandiacre Lock open day and a meeting with Richard Parry.

Considering the horrendous weather we had yesterday the open day was a triumph. All credit to C&RT for putting on a good show in very difficult conditions. One of the benefits and much appreciated by one and all was a clear tarpaulin that had been slung over a mountain of scaffolding protecting everyone from the pouring rain. When the scaffolding was being erected earlier in the week we all thought C&RT had lost the plot with  their OTT design, and it was a real bone of contention by the many canal enthusiasts around these parts about how much it must have cost them. However, with the lock walls needing not just brickwork replacement but pointing as well, the covered lock now provided the perfect conditions for C&RT to carry out the work; so it seems it was needed after all. Anyway to get back to the day. It all kicked off at 10am with a few bodies turning up early braving the conditions. Within half an hour there were a steady stream and by close of play so to speak (4pm) the footfall count amounted to well over 600. ECP&DA did a fantastic job showing people around the cottage. Micheal Golds showing a slide show about the Great Northern Basin restoration and for the children there were plenty to keep them occupied upstairs with crayoning and painting. Tea and coffee were in great demand and at one stage they ran out of milk and worst of all, the biscuits! My main job was to stand at the exit point from the lock with a donations bucket to which the public seem to donate quite generously.  All in all it was a fantastic day. We did have Richard Parry and Sean Mcginley in attendance and it wasn't until mid afternoon that Ian and I got to have a chat. We expressed our concerns over how our licence money was being spent especially on non boating issues such as the footpath at Langley mill and upgrading the towpath to a race track for those cyclist who had no respect for boat crews or walkers alike. He assured us that on the cycling issue it was very much in the forefront and one of the many important items to be sorted on the agenda this year. He went on to say that, in some of the inner city area's, Rangers had been put into place to 'have words' with those that speed and have no regard to those that share the towpath with them. Apparently they are given a severe reprimanded and told to conform to "towpath etiquette". Hmmm.....do you really think that will work?. I think it's more like trying to brush it under the carpet and hope it will go away! As to the footpath at Langley, Richard said it was out of C&RT's hands as the council had insisted that the path be reinstated and basically both BW (as was) and now C&RT didn't have the stomach to argue the case so just paid up and got on with it!! So a lot of answers are still to be had as we didn't feel our questions had been properly addressed and going to the meeting at Nottingham on the 8th February is now top of our agenda!

  Anyway, enough said and I'll leave you with my many photo's of Sunday. Oh and to let everyone know that Jade is well on the way to recovery (:

A very wet start. From L to R, Ian, Mark Owen, John Baylis and Stuart Gadsby

John Baylis, Richard Parry, Sean Mcginley

A welcoming cup of tea or coffee made this the most popular room

Watching the slide show


My walk through the lock

Pointing started on the walls

The hole and reason for the stoppage.

And the stone to be replaced

Looking inside the culvert

Doing a good job in keeping the water out.

We even had a boat turn up. Good job it was only little!

First boat on the Derby perhaps? Unique design from the Derby and Sandiacre canal society to carry there merchandise.

Derby and Sandiacre marquee.

1 comment:

Wozie nb Oakfield said...

Well done you and thanx for the great pics of the lock chamber. We enjoyed visiting your canal a couple of years ago and moored above Sandiacre lock. It was good to see the towpath being tarmacced, but, how to stop speeding cyclists and motorbikes is a problem. Glad Jade is on the mend. The Wagtail with his puffed up look of self importance is brilliant too!

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