About Us

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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 29 May 2023

Day 2

 A slow start on Sunday but by midday the place was heaving, probably in anticipation of the Lancaster's arrival. As official photographer I had the task of being with Norman (ECP&DA Chairman) when he was interviewed first by Andy Twig for Radio Derby and then with the East Midlands today team. We made the evening news and there was even a brief glimpse of FP, fame at last!

Andy Twig, radio Derby

East Midlands today

With 10 minutes to go I found the perfect spot free from spectators. The end of the dry dock, I did ask permission first and I was even allowed to stand on the back deck of working boat Bath.  It was amazing how many folk turned up, a couple of thousand or more, and when the Lancaster arrived it was almost like the whole of Langley Mill came to a standstill. Three flypasts and what a spectacular sight.

More boats had also arrived. They had been allocated a place below lock but historic boat Oakley unfortunately broke down on the way to the rally and was towed by Dove to the boatyard. Without being able to get through the moorings, they were placed in front of Tug No 2 and us. Still amazed at how many boats can be fitted in a small space.

Sunday evening and two boats winded at the end of the boatyard and made their way into the lock ready to leave early next morning. But all went a bit wrong with that plan when we had a phone call to say the pound between Langley Bridge lock and Eastwood was down by at least a foot. Youths had been seen messing with the gates and paddles and sure enough, managed to lift one of the paddles draining the pound. One of the boaters came up with windlass to bring water down but with the boats in the lock, was told in no uncertain terms this wasn't possible. CRT had been informed as well as the Police, the paddles closed and eventually the feed from the river Erewash would bring the levels up. With some reluctance this was excepted.

The evening entertainment was brilliant. The tow tapping duo had us all singing and making merry. A very sore throat was had the next day!

Spitfire tomorrow and the weather is still set fair. The last day should be a good un.

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