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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.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Wanted...help needed for the Lock Keepers.

Monday 11th Sept,

Not a bad meal at Jack Myton last night. Bit pricey and not a massive choice but sevice was excellent. Would recommend for that special occasion or if you fancy more than the usual pub meal.  

With a lull in the rain this morning we made a break for it, bit earlier than normal but in a way fortuitous as on arrival to the junction of the Montgomery, 7 boats already waiting. Passing a couple of boats still moored but ready to set off, they too ended up at the junction. Turns out a festival at Maesbury at the weekend was the cause for the sheer number of boats wanting to descend. All in all 13 boats went down the flight which would normally only have 12.  One had booked with notification proof but was not shown on the Lock Keepers records so was allowed to continue. We knew nothing of this festival which caused a bit of concern as moorings on the Montgomery has limited numbers. With so many boats we decided not to delay coming back up the flight until Wednesday deciding instead to wind at Queens Head, moor there if space available and ascend the Frankton locks tomorrow.

top left. Damage to the piling at the right height to make a mess of the paintwork.
 As I mentioned yesterday, the lack of boat crews coming to help was very noticable. I walked up to the lock keeper (Chris) to ask if he needed help. 'Finally' says he 'Someone to come and help'. All those boats waiting and apart from Margaret and myself, not one person made any effort. 7 boats we locked through with Chris before it was our turn. A story was told by Chris of a hire boat coming up the flight expected Chris to do all the work. At the top he lifted a paddle and walked back to his hut. Took the hirer's 10 minutes to twig that they would have to open the gate to let themselves out. This they did leaving the paddle up and lock gate open!  

Look at that. Margaret and I are now seeing FS and Icing down and Chris left doing all the work. That hire boat had three people on board. Where was the help!

Fixing end stops to the lock beams.

Is it to do with health and safety?

 We made it to Queens Head and thankfully there was two spaces available. With the wind blowing a gale it was decided not to wind until the morning. Then Margaret found out the weather forecast was for even stronger winds tomorrow so once the wind dropped late afternoon it was reverse back to the winding hole and attempt to wind. Hmm easier said then done, for us at any rate. FS is a bit of a cow when it comes to reversing and was being very temperamental when it came to getting round. Successfully completed it was then Dennis's turn. Icing reversed beautifully and performed impeccably much to Ians annoyance. Why cant FS behave as well! Anyway tomorrow we need to be at the bottom of the locks by midday. As the lock landing isn't the longest we may well try to get away a bit earlier.

 And seen on route,

Above right and left. Lock named after Graham Palmer who was the founder of the waterways recovery group and worked tirelessly to restore this canal

John Baylis is an active member of the ECP&DA canal society
 And wildlife seen on the Montgomery.,

Caterpillar of large white cabbage butterfly.


nb Chuffed said...

I could have done with one of those lock beam extension things this morning on the bottom gate of Curdworth bottom lock. I just couldn't get it moving when it was time to close it and Dave had to climb up the ladder to help. So annoying.
Debby x

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Debbie, found out from the volunteer lock keeper today that those beams are for the safety of those doing the locks. Last year they had a lady miss her footing and fall off the edge. She was lucky to survive. They are now thinking of putting them on all the lock beams.

alan baker said...

Know Colin who used to be the locky for years there, insisted on having someone to work the opposite side and tended to work the top 2 until he got boars coming up because one of the locks is different volume and could cause problems with water supply on the flight.I think Chris ought to refuse to let people down if someone does't come to help (Lone boaters an exception).

Alan Baker (ex nb.ebony)

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Alan, I don't suppose Chris can turn boaters away if they have booked but I agree one hundred percent with you. It was shocking how much work he was expected to do.

stevefree said...

Plenty of help on New Morton locks yesterday. Though the 2 people at the boat in front who were stood holding ropes whilst stood by bollards gave me a funny look when I tied up and went to the lock to help. People off both hire boats behind came up to help as well and when I mentioned Angela's bad back, they told us they would do the Lock so I didn't have to climb up the ladder.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Steve, Very glad to hear that. They don't know what they are missing by not participating and some could even benefit by watching.

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