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.
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.
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.
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?
Lamps - Sebastian bought me a couple of fabulous GWR-related Christmas presents, including these lamps, which I put up using the drill that he (and Jim) gave me fo...
20 hours ago