Thursday 4th October
As we left the mooring today we went through the Shirley Drawbridge which I travel over every week when I go to play golf. How nice it is to be the cause of the traffic hold up rather thinking should I not wait and go the longer way round when in the car, as you see some right antics with the boaters trying to work out how to operate the bridge.
We the passed a hire boat which had winded and just moored up on the offside needing the gangplank to get ashore when they could have moored on the tow path side with no problem at all. Strange people.
* Hire craft mooring.
Later we went through the new development of Dickens Heath with the smart new houses visible through the trees and the Porches parked outside, then we came to the Waterside development of high rise flats.
* Approaching Waterside
* View of the water feature
Motoring on we passed the Earlswood Motor Yacht Club at Lady Lane Wharf and went on to Bridge 20 where we moored up to go to Wedges Bakery and buy some of their lovely produce, it is always busy no matter what time of day you go and they sell some great produce. Whilst there we met a Swiss family who enquired if we had found their BW key as they must have left in the Drawbridge last night. We hadn’t and told them where they could get a new one for their return journey and for filling with water tank.
Lady Lane Wharf
As we approached Lock 3 we heard an ambulance siren and a paramedic vehicle pulled onto the bridge in between the locks 3 and 4. Apparently a lady guest aboard Duke and Duchess had fallen and hit her head and rather than take any risks they had called for help. The hotel boats were moored between the locks about to go up but now signalled that we could fill the lock and proceed down without adverse affect on the patient.
* Medics for Duke and Duchess
We carried on to the top of the main Lapworth flight and at locks 7 and 8 encountered a hire boat coming up. Why is it that locks always seem to be built with sharp angles between them, we had to put our nose into the side pond so they could get by and into the lock as the bend is so tight. We then realised that we were following the hotel boats Snipe and Taurus down and would have to fill every lock.
The gates and paddles were so hard for June to operate that she said she would sooner do Tardebigge twice than do this flight once.
We found Snipe and Taurus moored up after lock 14 so had most of the remaining locks in our favour although there was so much water coming down the by-washes that June had to open the paddles to equalise the pressure before she could open the gates.
* Snipe and Taurus moored up for lunch
We turned onto the GU Arm and met hotel boats Oak and Ash coming the other way.
Three sets of Hotel Boats in one morning strange!
We turned onto the Grand Union and reversed up towards Bridge 65 where we moored for the day as we were meeting my sister for dinner at the recently reopened Navigation Pub. We had a great meal there and the bar was full of locals who had returned since it had changed hands and been renovated.
After our late lunch I took
Phoenix a walk along the Stratford Canal and met a boat who had just come up from and in casual conversation about how quiet the Hatton flight had been he mentioned that a boat had been deliberately swamped by the Hotel Boat OAK & ASH and it had ruined their electrics. Warwick
I knew Nb Chance had been going down the flight that morning so texted Doug and James hoping that it was not them who had been swamped. Doug rang back to tell us that it was indeed them and that thanks to the help of the C&RT lockies they had been able to get to Saltisford Arm and begin to sort things out.
The ex Rev Reed must have something wrong with him to take the approach he did with Nb Chance. But is does confirm the other confrontations he has had and reported on the Canal Forums. I hope I never have the misfortune to meet him in such a situation. See the Chance Blog for more details.