Sunday, 31 October 2010

More of Jill's Stratford

Beautiful autumnal colours
Cox's Yard seen from the River
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre as seen from the River Avon
Caxton entering Bancroft Lock with 'MR' leaving moorings in the Basin
'MR' entering Bancroft lock with Shakespeare's monument in the background

Friday, 29 October 2010

Jill's Stratford on Avon (so far)

Shakespeare's resting place.
Firemen practising their water rescue techniques, in Bancroft Basin, how to straddle a weir with their hoses.
Stratford's Racecourse
Swan Sculpture in the park beside Bancroft Basin
Just wonderful light and colour

Engine makes a break for it

On our descent into Stratford on Avon I heard a nasty rumbling from the engine, initially it sounded like we had something wrapped around the propeller, I put the engine into reverse and tried to throw off any plastic bag that we may have picked up. yeah sound gone.... except that every time I put the engine into gear there was a low level rumbling, which was not the norm, but as soon as I put a few revs on the noise disappeared.

Port and Stbd engine legs Vetus 4-17
We carried on down the last 6 or 7 locks into Stratford, no probs except for that low grumbling noise. On arrival at Bancroft Basin I went down the engine hole, I could see absolutely nothing wrong , until I stood on the rear stbd engine mounting, which fell over 90 degrees. oops what have I done........

4.30pm Wednesday afternoon a phone call to River Canal Rescue, no probs sir we have two rear engine legs at Middlewich, we will post them to our engineer and he should be with you Friday. Friday pm Aaron, from RCR, arrives with the two new engine legs and after an hours graft, job done.

Thank you Aaron Forman.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Down the Stratford

Preview for Bones
We started down the Stratford Canal two days ago, and what lovely weather we have had. The days have started cold and crisp but when you see the views down this Canal one doesn't feel cold.
Lovely Autumnal light
What Style?
sympathetic bridge repair
If you see this Bones this is a Lock Cottage and a Half  which is up for Sale

And this is the view that would greet you each and every day

Friday, 22 October 2010

Hatton in the rain!

The morning was spent helping Joe on Caxton replace his batteries, unfortunately it didn't do me any favours as passing Joe a battery into his engine hole I trapped a nerve, Ouch said I, that's it I'm going to have to walk it off, so we strapped the two boats together and I left Joe at the helm whilst I helped the girls with the Hatton 21. Big mistake after doing the 1st three in glorious sunshine the heavens opened and didn't close until we had completed the rest and moored up at 5.45pm.
Graham strapping Caxton and Matilda Rose together.

BW workshops towards the top of the Hatton flight.

Dragon fly in the side pound, it didn't have a problem with the rain!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Another That Sunday Feeling

Your So Vain

Hey checkout my cousin's sons new single.


After 2 longish days of travelling we have arrived in Warwick, we have been through before but have never really explored the town or its environs. Joe and I are setting off early doors and the girls are setting out about midday, we men don't do architecture, museums nor galleries, we're doing the DIY and then back to the boats to chores, no rest for the wicked.
We had a couple of pints in the Cape of Good Hope on arrival, a lovely waterside pub with great real ales and a lovely boatie atmosphere.

Thursday, 14 October 2010


Last Friday evening saw the getting together of 4 blogging boat crews, albeit we and Caxton travel together. We that is Lesley, Jill and I had been talking about how and when we met and had it not been for blogging Friday nights meal at the Plough in Braunston probably would not have happened. We first met Pip and Roger off NB Windsong, who were in the middle of their boat build, when they came out to Foxton Locks to visit Lesley and Joe.

Pip, Lesley, Joe, Derek, Roger Graham
Now our antipodean friends were a different matter altogether, no not really we had, or at least I had been reading their blog from before we had our boat, Dot and Derek accosted us as we were leaving Rugby area on our first cruise, we were filling up with water when they pulled up behind us and offered us a cup of tea. we've been friends ever since. They had also seen our blog and had put Contented Souls and Matilda Rose together, our anonymity had been lost.

The power of blogging!

We have met other boaters on our travels but they seem to be passing acquaintances, with no means of keeping contact they fizzle out until maybe a chance meeting somewhere else. This has happened this weekend at Foxes Gate just outside Braunston where we again met up with 'The Old Bovine' Leon was hanging around for the return of his beloved Ray who was away looking after her mother. Yet another couple of hours lost.!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


Jill and Lesley were out on one of their long walks, Joe and I had been working on the boats and as is normal with any guy when work is finished it's time for a beer. Joe and I set of for The Narrowboat on the A5 next to Stowe Hill wharf, only to find it was closed for the afternoon. Undeterred we set off for the Plume of Feathers in Lower Weedon, and guess what it was open.
Just as we settled down for a couple of pints we were invaded by a crew off Narrowboat Teal, Ben, Judie, Greg and Becky, who were heading out onto the River Nene for a couple of days.As is always the case with us lads, two beers lead to three.... and when I arrived back at 'MR' I was in the P.... well only for failing to ring and let my beloved know what was happening. C'est la vie!
Here is Judie on the way back up The Grand Union and then onto Rugby.
Thanks guys Joe and I had a very pleasant afternoon, must do it again!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

94.3 lock miles in 3.5 days

94.3 lock miles on the way down the Nene took us the best part of a month, which is our normal pace, but 3.5 days to escape was a record for us, that's Caxton and MR, we both needed a week off to get over our exertions!

The water coming over the sluice was in almost as much of a lather as I was, trying to get off the Nene before the weather changed. 
Here is Upper Barnwell lock, the Mill restaurant on the right has two bright LED red lights underneath the board-walk, which cause confusion when approaching under the road bridge from downstream, all one can see when approaching the bridge is the right hand light on constant red.

The approach to Irthlingborough bridge from downstream, not a problem today as there was hardly any stream running, but has the reputation of being somewhat tricky.

Weed cutting combine, cuts and collects, however collection is not very efficient!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Departing Peterborough

We departed Peterborough at an unearthly hour, on a beautiful morning, Here's Caxton looking good in the mist with the rising sun, are we privileged or what?.

We have had a wonderful 3 months out here on the Great Ouse, Middle Levels and the River Nene. However, with the Winter on the way, it is time to go back to the safety of the canals especially as it's well known I only have a little one!
From sunrise to sunset the light was stunning.
Heard it all, here we are at the 1st lock leaving Peterborough, below the lock were two anglers and a cyclist, the cyclist shouted at me that I should have sounded my horn to allow the the anglers time to retrieve their lines, firstly they were fishing between the lock landing and the lock and secondly, two quite long narrowboats approaching the lock are not really missable, or are they?