Sunday 30 April 2017

Big Boats and bigger bottoms

We made the turn this morning at Wigrams Turn, technically, we were already on the Grand Union, but here I always like to think we are turning onto the Grand Union.
Locks to do today, of course, that's why we got Amanda here,  "The Lock Nut". 

Looks like he missed the turning but we went around ok.

This came past us, in fact we heard him from a distance and weren't sure what it was, they got level with us and blasted the steam horn making small children and old dogs jump out of their skins.  NB Adamant   HERE  quite a sight and now estimated to be well over one hundred years old.

NB Adam Ant

Not a sight often seen, me driving

Quite a variety of boats on view down here, Dutch barges, narrow dutch barges, wide beams and more of the like.

This one did look emormous.
First of the Stockton Locks and we found a nice lock buddy.

Renovation project anyone?

Just missed the Morris Men dancing, they were all on the beer here at Long Itchington.

We had made really good progress with Amanda on the bike going ahead prepping the many locks and myself and the other lady working the locks. Hardly any boats coming up and  Amanda had to fill everyone of the locks for us.  
Our Lock Buddy moored up here, very little moorings left available there today.  
We carried on as there was still life left in the two old girls yet.  Luckily, we met up with a single boat in front and motored through the remaining locks down into Leamington Spa.

NB Verity, our daughter's namesake.  We have met the owners before.

Is this the same boat that was moored south of Braunston for ages?

It was hard work for those of us who have only boated for the longest period of two hours a day this past two weeks.....  But having a boat to do the entire stretch of 23 Locks with Amanda too was too good a chance to miss so here we are.  

We were told of this nesting pair of swans, the cygnets hatched a day or so ago.

Look carefully for two cygnets.

As we went slowly past, two cyclists past the nest....  The cob launched at the cyclists upper leg and almost made contact too.  
He was accurate in his attack, so much so David changed his own cycling route for tomorrow!

An amusing incident happened to Amanda though, I'll leave her to explain;

As all the locks were against us I took the trusty Brompton and headed off the lock to fill and prepare it to speed up our progress.  Ahead of us was a yogurt pot with three young men and a lass enjoying a day out on the canal with some home brew. 
My first encounter with one of the lads who was wearing tracksuit bottoms, was as he was shutting a lock gate.  His tracksuit, worn with the fashionable low slung look, gradually worked their way down to his knees as he heaved the gate open, leaving a large expanse of white spotty buttocks on display. I averted my eyes and became very interested in the water flow over the weir.  
Biking down to the next lock I rounded a corner to find the yogurt pot being held by the young lady while two of the lads were heaving Mr Buttocks out of the canal, who had fallen in - the weight of the water causing his tracksuit bottoms and boxer shorts to ride down to his ankles. Averting my eyes yet again I stopped to make sure all was well before continuing to the lock 20 yards away to start the filling and prep.   
While I was waiting for the lock to fill I was faced with a shocking sight - yes shocking!  Yet again see the young man stripping down to his birthday suit on the tow path  - bells and whistles on display for all to see. 

Fortunately someone in the party had the foresight to pack some spare clothes and after a brisk towel down he put on another pair of tracksuit bottoms - only to whip them off again when someone handed him a dry pair of boxer shorts to put on.

Dear Reader, it took two large gins to calm myself and Lisa down.   Radford Bottom Lock will always be imprinted on my mind!

No photos.


  1. What a very aptly named lock !

  2. No photos? This is what the iPhone was invented for! Tsk tsk

    1. I carry my camera everywhere, but Amanda sensibly leaves her phone on the boat. Poor chap who fell in took his car keys, wallet and phone with him.