Couldn’t believe how many locks we did today. We’d cut our journey into ‘chunks’, and had the choice to do 8 locks, or maybe 14 locks? Never thought we’d do the whole hog, cracking on to do 23 locks. John welded the windlass for 21 locks, and I did 2! I have to say though, the two locks I did were the spookiest (yes I know, I’m a martyr to my vivid imagination!).
The locks are mainly in pairs, which originally was used to quicken traffic though the locks, even 200 years ago, ‘time was money’ apparently.
Approaching one set of locks we were faced with the scene below, and from afar we couldn’t understand what was happening.
It looked to us for a time that one of the locks had a serious problem.
Luckily for us another boat was coming down the ‘left side’ lock. As we were coming out of ‘our’ lock, we left the lock gate open for them, and they did the same for us. On the towpath, John met the lady boater who was doing the ‘locking (the first of three antipodeans we’d meet today), she explained to John that she’d left the gate open on a lock further up because she thought there were boaters going up the lock. She said it turned out the ‘boaters’ was a film crew. John told her not to worry, and that we’d sort out the gate.
As we left our next lock, we could see the ‘film crew’ in the lock in front. Must admit that it did occur to me; I should have taken time that morning to put on some makeup! There appears to be quite a few TV programmes recently about the Inland Waterways, the latest being ‘Barging Brits In The Sun’. Perhaps they’re filming ‘Celebrities Barging Around Britain’, and we’d get to see a celeb or two?
This is the film crew on the bridge, and we actually heard the phrase, “Well that’s a wrap”!
It appears they were filming a safety film on behalf of the Fire Service, it’s a film to be shown in schools about the dangers of larking around electricity sub-stations. Nothing ‘sexy’, or even to do with canals!
These are the two spooky locks I set. I do feel apprehensive about things being ‘derelict’. The image shows two pairs of locks (four locks in total) the locks on the left of each pair is derelict. John with Cyan is just beyond the bridge in front and out of view. Looking up to the next pair of locks, I realised that if a boat was coming down this lock, there’d be a problem with having two boats pass each other in this small pound, would hate for the boats to get stuck. So I ran up the lock (where I’m taking the pic) and let out the water. I ran back down to the first lock and opened the gates for Cyan. While Cyan’s lock was filling I ran up the hill again to open the gates, for Cyan to go straight in.
The water looks really brown, with brown residue sticking to the walls of the lock, and to Cyan’s hull. I believe it’s the element of iron.
Some of the houses are built very close the canal, it’s like we’re sailing through their gardens.
This is picture postcard stuff!
Remember the song, “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White”, some kind farmer has planted a whole avenue of cherry and apple trees, their blossoms are amazing! No picture can do this scene justice, and once again I wished I could paint!
Couldn’t resist taking a picture of this motley crew, especially the magnificent beast with the ‘handlebar horns’! At a rough guess there must be more than seven ‘breeds’ of bovine here.
We started at 10.30 a.m. and didn’t stop until we eventually arrived at 5.30 p.m., 23 locks, and 8 miles later, outside the C&RT Office moorings, just before Red Bull Lock (#42). John insisted on having steak for dinner, because he said he needed (deserved) it!