Thursday, 10 April 2014

Easter 2014 cruise: Crick to Foxton Top

In order to ensure getting away before the slow boat we were behind yesterday, we set off at about 0845 from Crick. I was pleased to see the boat in question still tied up as we passed. We made good progress in glorious sunshine to Welford Junction, where we tied up for a spot of lunch.

North of Welford Junction we encountered a fair amount of reeds and other vegetable matter floating on the water, and had to stop and reverse twice to clear it from the bow where it had been collecting. Jan had discovered from Facebook that James and Amy were moving a boat to Cambridge for a friend, and that we'd meet them on the way to Foxton Locks. This we did, encountering them tied up having yet another go at sealing the weedhatch. We swapped brief guided tours of our respective boats before setting off again, James and Amy heading south, and we heading north. It was possible that we'd make it to the locks before the flight closed at 1615.

We got there at exactly 1615 ... and the lockie was just padlocking the top lock. Oh well, it didn't matter as we hadn't planned on going down today anyway. While Jan cooked tea I talked to the person looking after the museum who was bringing in the A-boards from near the locks. He let me wander round the museum as we were going there later that evening for the IWA Leicester Branch talk.

At 1820 we walked across to the museum where we each paid our £2 and were given a clip board with a quiz on. The questions all related to Foxton Locks (with one or two about the inclined plane). We had a few minutes to try to find the answers, and then Mary Matts from Foxton Boat Services gave an excellent talk on Foxton Locks and the history of the Leicester Section of the Grand Union Canal (as it is now called). We then had some more time to find answers to the quiz, both from within the canal museum and around the lock flight, before assembling in the Bridge 61 pub for sandwiches, quiz answers and a raffle draw. Oh, and some beer.

We didn't win the quiz, but Jan held the first number drawn from the raffle, winning a bottle of wine. (She actually had two more tickets drawn, but declined to claim more prizes. Perhaps we bought too many tickets!) We then chatted to our new-found friends, before climbing up the flight and returning to the boat for the night.

We'll be the first boat down the locks tomorrow, at 0800, and then we'll turn right to Market Harborough.

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