About Us

My photo
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, 7 April 2019

No regard for a moored boat

Took myself off for a walk late afternoon yesterday. There is a lovely small nature reserve with a pond and the trees are full of bat and bird boxes. This time of year I expected the bird boxes to be occupied and I wasn't disappointed. Loads of walkers around though and I expect my stalking actions may have looked somewhat suspicious! After being given loads of funny looks and one person asking if I was alright, I gave up trying to take a photo and returned to FS instead.

The Grand National happened to be on and this is one race I really dislike and almost never watch. It's over a  2.25mile course (two circuits) with 30 huge and challenging fences. Ian was glued to it whilst I was preparing dinner trying to block it from my mind. When Ian let out an exclamation and said a horse was down and not moving I was gutted. The horse in it's prime of life 'Up for Review' suffered fatal injuries jumping the first fence, totally needless, mindless and shocking! I sometimes wonder if making a horse tear around at breakneck speed just so punters who don't care a toss about the animal's welfare, who condone the use of whipping the horse to make it run faster and who just want to earn a quick buck, isn't just the worst barbaric behaviour ever! Anyway, before you all get on your high horse (see what I did there?) this is my opinion and mine alone and no doubt there are many of you that totally disagree with me and will let me know in no uncertain terms!.

So back to today. A very short journey for us as we only wanted to get to Alrewas. Leaving the moorings it was a right turn after the swing bridge and immediately in front was Junction lock. Unfortunately, a boat was descending in front so we knew all the remaining 4 locks would have to be turned.

A very busy Fradley

The small tunnel on the exit of Keepers lock
At Common lock, the new marina is coming on in leaps and bounds. Some of the pontoon stagings are now in place and foundations are down for the facility block.

 We could see a boat heading toward us on the final run toward Bagnall lock. With a boat moored on the offside, we slowed right down. That oncoming boat made no attempt to slow and the turbulence and waves it created caused us some difficulties in control but that moored boat bucked and swayed and well if I had been on board, some choice words would have had to be said!

No attempt at slowing and notice no one on the stern. It was front driven.
Down Bagnall lock and into search mode. Would a mooring be found considering it was a Sunday and another very popular place?

Bagnall lock top
 First, we had to negotiate the very narrow section after bridge 48. C&RT in their infinite wisdom had allowed an offside mooring to be built by the bungalow. This effectively narrowed this section to a one boat channel. I remember when this mooring was being developed. I thought then that this would cause problems and I was not wrong. Ahead is also difficult to see so as we came through the bridge suddenly another boat was seen coming towards us. Oh, help. Now what. Do we reverse back through the bridge or try to tuck ourselves into a gap towpath side. We choose the latter.

Oh 'eck. Why was this offside mooring allowed to stick so far out? It could so easily have been recessed.

This shows the narrowness of the channel because of that boat moored on the offside. Towpath side is 14-day mooring.
 We easily found a mooring, in fact, there were quite a few gaps before bridge 46. We stopped at the first rings to allow for boats to get in behind. Tomorrow morning it's a trip to Coates the Butches. Good quality meat and the sausages are out of this world. The pork pies are quite yummy too.

Oh and one race I do enjoy watching, Oxford and Cambridge boat race. Well done the Cambridge girls and boys for their win.

And seen on the nature reserve,


Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Female Tufted Duck


Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

I don't like the steeplechases either and cannot watch them.

I know you will have left Alrewas by now, but for next time, the Crown Inn there does very yummy food - we were there a few years ago (possibly the first year we had Waka Huia, I think - nope, it was the year of the Rugby World Cup, so 2015 - you'll remember that the All Blacks won ...)

If we head back that way, we will try it again - it is on the way back to the cut from the butcher shop ...


Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks Marilyn, will do. Oh and we remember the World cup Rugby very well! We attempted to do the Haka whilst in Milton Keynes. It was part of a world record attempt which failed miserably. Check this out https://nbfreespirit.blogspot.com/2015/10/world-record-attempt-to-do-new-zealand.html Hope David is recovering well. Hugs Xxx

Nev Wells said...

I'm very surprised C&RT have allowed that mooring (if indeed they have), it's a daft place and puts a massive restriction on the passage. NB Poppy (i think) used to moor below Bagnall lock by the pink cottage to load/unload allegedly as C&RT had refused permission for their end of garden mooring and that was less problematic than the one just past the bridge.

Personally I think the Fradley marina will overrun the place, people, boats and traffic, a significant reason why we moved. Ironically I enquired about that land and C&RT said unlikely to get mooring rights there under the online mooring reduction policy.... I guess marinas solve it but I'd wager at some point they'll have more than the three boats above the lock below the lock on the cut.

Blog Archive