The Nene Valley Railway Museum

It’s was going to be hot today; so to beat some of the heat we left our mooring at Ferry Meadow just before 9:00 am.

The weather, though hot, was calm, as was the water.

We were quite lucky at Alwalton Lock, our first lock of the day. Just as John took Cyan out, another boat sailed into the lock. The other boaters were happy, as we were, it saved us having to empty the lock, and saved them having to fill it. On the Nene boaters are obliged to leave locks empty with the bottom gates open, or the guillotine in the ‘up’ position.

At our next lock, Waternewton Lock, a boat behind us caught us up just as Cyan was again sailing out of the lock. One of the crew from the boat behind kindly said she’ll take over from me setting/emptying the lock. Well that must be Karma, as I did the same for this lady at Ashline Lock on the Middle Levels when we were behind their boat, guess it was pay-back time.

The church by the lock is beautiful, and it looks like there’s a wedding being prepared for tomorrow. How lovely for the church to host a marque in its grounds.

This time we managed to moor at Wansford Station Railway Bridge mooring. John was hoping get on this mooring as it was occupied last time we passed, and he did so want to look around at the railway museum.

When we were working through Alwalton Lock, a man came to watch us go through. After chatting to him, it turns out he’s the lock keeper for the Dog and Doublet Lock, and his remit stretches to keeping watch on Alwalton and Waternewton Locks. John mentioned we were hoping to stop at the Nene Valley Railway Museum, and perhaps see a steam engine ‘fired’ for action. The lock keeper told John that due to dry weather, the museum has had to stop firing up engines, as sparks from the train could start landscape fires. We were left wondering; what did they do in the ‘old days’?

John was delighted to find the steam engine ’92 Squadron’ (see their website) was fired up and running.

Today at the museum was ‘Driver Experience Day’, meaning two (paying) passengers get to ride on the ‘plate’, and even have a go driving the engine for about an hour; food, drink, and professional photographs all included. Each time the engine is fired up, it apparently costs c. £1,400! The cost for one passenger is around £300 for a trip, and we can understand why.

In the evening, the engine was hitched to several carriages, including a diner, where passengers were treated to a ride with an evening dinner included.

Today we’ve travelled almost 4 miles, and through 2 locks.

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