Following our first visit to the annual Stoke Bruerne Village at War, where we enjoyed a fun weekend trading and taking part in the dressing up, our gift shop is now officially closed for the summer!
Leaving our overnight mooring at Norton Junction
We had our first encounter of ignorance on the canal for a long time on the way to Weedon, where we planned to stop for fuel. A boater, beligerantly refused to allow us to pass, as we had caught them up, and caused a confrontation which was so avoidable. The skipper had steadfastly stuck mid channel despite confusingly repeatedly going into 'neutral', in order to cause us to catch up. We go so slowly as we are a pair and not in any hurry, so to catch them up was quite dramatic, going slower than tick over isn't possible! I found it quite upsetting as they decided WE were being 'inconsiderate' and would report us. As we had pulled in later to get fuel, the vocal passenger, gave us a tirade again, but Richard beautifully told him, that he needed to check the CRT 'rule book' ~ Overtaking You will rarely need to overtake on canals and narrow rivers. There isn’t usually enough space to overtake safely. So just keep your distance and stay behind. If another boat wants you to overtake, the skipper should slow down and tell you on which side to overtake – usually the left. If you’re the one overtaking, it’s your responsibility to stay clear of the other boat. Both skippers should go as slowly as possible to avoid the two boats being drawn together.
Usually these situations command common sense and good old fashioned 'canal etiquette' and manners!
Heading towards Braunston tunnel and peace and quiet. Because we were now loaded down with a couple more tons of coal, I was on a short line instead of cross straps and about to go through the tunnel! All was fine and actually not as hard as I had imagined, as I was in control of my boat a little more. Don't know how she would behave if the traffic was oncoming!
Our friend Nick Wolfe off his boat Aldgate, helped us down the flight of locks at Braunston
Admiral Nelson pub
Reilly and Lister wait patiently whilst we work the boats down
Some major rebuilding works needs to take place on this flight!
Heading down to the last lock
The butty on a short line
Through the bridge hole
Sheep on the bridge
Lots of rain as we leave Hillmorton locks first thing in the morning
3 bridges all in a row
Another motor and butty ~ 'Opposite Lock' is the motor but no name visible on the butty (don't know this couple or whether they trade?)
Back to Alvecote and a brief overnight stopover.
Passing through Polesworth, we gave a friend Andrew Burge (Drew) a lift on the butty to his dad's pub Samuel Barlow at Alvecote. Later he kindly volunteered to supervise/instruct me on our motor towing the butty on a line, to help me understand the mechanics of winding a pair when lined out. Richard took his turn on the butty with friend Rod, to gauge my perspective of steering. It was quite involved as I had trouble reaching the controls and pushing the tiller at the same time!
Horses looking relaxed in the morning sun
Over the aqueduct
Another commission successfully completed and off to it's new life fully up-cycled!
So now the gift shop is packed away for another season, but the work carries on as we strive to complete commissions for customers. The website is fully operational (www.chamberlaincarryingco.co.uk) however, and now taking orders for Christmas!
I will try to get more items in the online shop on the website as I sort through stock, so if there is something you would like or have seen in the gift shop, please ask about it's availability and I will provide details.
I would like to thank everyone for an even more successful season than 2015 and hope you will support us in our next, beginning around March 2017!