Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Saturday, 2 November 2019

April 2020

The Friends of the River Nene calendar has arrived, and my photo is April.  Rather nicely, they also sent me a print of the photo — I can’t actually remember the last time I had a physical photo.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Hanbury Wharf

A quick visit today to Hanbury Wharf for a boat test.  For some reason there’s a lighthouse there.  My route took me up the M5 over the River Avon not far from Tewkesbury.  The river currently fills most of the flood plain — very different from when we went under the motorway by boat last month.  Then the river was is anything a bit low, and people were out paddle boarding.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019


A quick dash up to Northamptonshire today.  I first went to the marina to pick up a couple of things from the boat and drop off a couple of other ones.  Then on to Weedon for a feature article I’m working on.  After that, just to stretch my legs, I went for a look at the Weedon Royal Ordnance Depot.

Bearing in mind the number of times we’ve been through Weedon, it’s amazing that this was my first visit.  The canal arm used to join up to the mainline.  These days, the buildings are rented out as offices, and there are a few specialist shops too.  Then it was back in the car to head home.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Autumn Cruise: Stats

Here are some stats for our trip.

290 miles and 303 locks, of which 138 were narrow locks and 165 were wide.  67 of the miles were on rivers, the rest on canals.

CanalPlan says we could have done the trip in 22 days, but it took us 29.

We travelled on the following waterways:
  • Grand Union Mainline
  • North Oxford Canal
  • Stratford Canal
  • River Avon
  • River Severn
  • Worcs and Birmingham Canal
  • Droitwich Junction and Barge Canals
  • Staffs and Worcs Canal
  • BCN -- Old and New Mainlines, Gower Branch

We went through the following counties:
  • Northamptonshire
  • Warwickshire
  • Worcestershire
  • Gloucestershire
  • Staffordshire
  • West Midlands
  • Buckinghamshire

We went through lots of tunnels:
  • Blisworth (twice)
  • Braunston (twice)
  • Shrewley (twice)
  • Dunhampstead
  • Cookley
  • Dunsley
  • Wolverhampton
  • Coseley
  • Summit
  • Edgbaston
  • Brandwood
Just over seven miles of the trip was underground.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Yelvertoft spec boat on test

The November issue of Canal Boat is out, and includes my boat test on a spec boat built by Yelvertoft Marina.  The front cover is one of Andy’s fantastic drone shots.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Autumn Cruise: Day 29

It was raining again this morning, but at least it was fairly gentle and it was very calm.  I set off at 8.30 and found Cosgrove Lock was empty so I could go straight in.  As I was leaving the lock a Wyvern hire boat arrived so I could leave the gate open for them.  They eventually made it into the lock.  I stopped by the service block and dealt with the loo and the rubbish, then continued to the marina.  With the calm conditions is was easy to reverse into our berth.  It wasn’t long before I was in the car heading home.

1 mile, 1 lock.  (290 miles, 303 locks)