Unfortunately, to follow our last post, we did not get the opportunity to own a pair of historic narrowboats, but our chance will come. Right place, right time...
Another completed project for the gift shop
The weather was pretty rubbish for the bank holiday, but we persevered and managed to open the gift shop each day. Mum came down to stay over the weekend and ended up taking Scooby our 14year old terrier/yorky back with her, to retire gracefully in her bungalow.
No more sunning himself on the roof of the boat
His front legs were getting so badly bent, despite losing some weight, that we thought he would cope better without steps. We do miss him, but apparently he has made himself at home nicely!
Scenic canal all the way back to Crick
So the other day, we began the 2 day journey back to Norton Junction. Beginning with a late evening start to get through Market Bosworth tunnel avoiding as much of the Crick Show traffic as we could.
Road bridge on the way to Crick
Most boats had moored up the next day as the weather was awful, but this played into our hands, as Richard could put me on a line rather than cross straps.
Boat moored across the canal?
Passing Yelvertoft Marina, we both refocussed our eyes on the boat in the distance on the bend, apparently on the offside. As we approached, we realised that it had gone adrift, creating a barrier from both directions. Richard got our boat into the towpath side as a couple also arrived to lend a hand tying her back up safely. Meanwhile, I hovered in the middle of the canal, thanking our lucky stars that the canal was fairly quiet!
Still some boats moored at Crick following the show the previous weekend
Crick tunnel was superbly wet as usual! Crick end of the tunnel felt like someone was throwing water at us from the brickwork above!
Love this! Always makes me smile when I see it
We ploughed on to Watford locks, but had a 2 hour wait for our slot to go down the flight due to the volume of boats coming from the show.
Reckless in good use after it's 'makeover' by Guy Martin and his buddy
Mooring that night at Norton Junction, we had a day off boating to get some painting done (me) and Richard did an oil change and sorted fuel leaks.
Below Norton Junction, the gardens are just gorgeous
This morning, we started at about 8 for the waterpoint, getting the washing machine on and sorting the rubbish and toilet cassettes out.
Breasted up, Richard steers the boat into each lock, whilst I wind the paddles and struggle with the gates! They are terrifically heavy and stiff. Richard does close his side gate as he enters the lock using a rope. Quite clever really!
The M1 roars in the background like an ever present headache!
Lister and I chase after Richard after struggling to close the gates
Much needed brew 1 lock below the bottom of Buckby flight (7 locks)
Tonight we moored on the straight route through Weedon ready for our long awaited chinese meal!
Weedon Ordnance Depot - former canal gateway
Next to the canal is the former Napoleonic War era Military Ordnance Depot (established by Act of Parliament in1803). The depot, which was the central small arms depot for the British Army, was originally served by the canal, by its own branch which entered through a portcullis (above) Designed by Colonel Pilkington of the Royal Engineers, the depot was largely built between 1805 & 1806.
The depot consisted of eight large storehouses, built either side of the central canal and surrounded by a high stone wall. The upper floors were used for storage of small arms and the like, the ground floors for larger items (field artillery etc.). There were canal gatehouses at each end of the precinct; beyond, at a safe distance, the canal entered a further walled area, likewise gated at either end, which contained a row of four gunpowder magazines (each separated from the next by a 'blast house' filled with earth as a precaution against explosions). Later, another magazine was added, as well as a large 'clothing store', between the two precincts, in 1902. All the aforementioned buildings survive (among others) to this day, and they (together with the enclosure walls) are listed Grade II*.
There was also a barracks in the village, holding a standing battalion, plus a troop of cavalry and a troop of horse artillery. The barracks were demolished in the 1950s. Three large pavilions were built between the depot and barracks to house the senior civilian officers of the Depot. These were demolished in the 1960s. Next door to the barracks was the Army School of Equitation, also demolished in the 60s. The depot became redundant in 1965 and was finally sold by the Ministry of Defence in 1984. It is now used for storage and light industry. (ref. Wikipedia)
View to the ordnance buildings flanking the canal
Tonight we have enjoyed a fantastic chinese from Weedon House Chinese, ready to get to Stoke Bruerne for the first time this year and a sunnyish weekend!!!