Thursday, 13 September 2018

Piling on the pound

Before we set off from Buckby Top this morning I got talking to the owner of Evening Standard. I asked the obvious question and, yes, it is named after the London newspaper. It was built as a "concept boat" for the Ideal Home exhibition some 22 years ago, sponsored to the tune of £100,000 by the Evening Standard. At the end of the show it was given away to a lucky ticket holder. Can you imagine that? A random person, unlikely to have any boating experience or desire, suddenly handed the keys to a brand new narrowboat! Unsurprisingly the winner didn't want the boat but apparently dithered a bit over its sale. Eventually the present owner bought it at a considerable discount and is obviously still happy with it more than two decades later.

I didn't get the promised tour of the boat as the boat he was to share the locks with was leaving. Another time, perhaps.

The section of Grand Union immediately west of Norton Junction has long suffered bank erosion on the towpath side. For more than a year a rash of orange netting has prevented mooring here - but, at last, CRT has been doing something about it.

Yes, brand new piling. I bet many people can't wait to get their hooks into it.

There is still some back filling to do but it looks like all the difficult stuff has been done.

As we were just about to come out of Braunston Tunnel a boat entered and kept going fast. It hit us a glancing blow, the first time I have suffered contact with another boat in a tunnel for as long as I can remember.

The handrails at Lock 2 at Braunston were being repainted by a team of volunteers. One of the wheelbarrows contained essentials such as a big flask of coffee and boxes of biscuits.

The team must have been up against the clock as they asked us to wait while they painted.

Very unusually, we carried on through Braunston without stopping. We plan to meet friends in Hinckley tomorrow so we needed to get at least as far as Hillmorton. On the Oxford Canal I slowed and pulled in to the side to allow a working boat to pass unhindered. The level was a few inches down on normal which won't help deep-drafted boats. As the steerer passed not only did he not thank me for getting out of his way, he completely ignored my greeting. What did I do wrong?

Hillmorton Locks were the busiest I have known them, but we got through without much delay.

After tying up I cycled back down the A5 to get the car.


stevecarter said...

It is extremely difficult to get any response from Trevor Maggs. He's a lovely chap really, but taciturn and reserved in the extreme.

Anonymous said...

Trevor passed away a few months ago and the boat has new owners. Paula