Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Thursday 31 October 2013

Union Basin Market Harborough..our winter home.

We set off this morning at 8.30am having sent a text message to Caroline at Union Basin to say we were on our way.  We are taking up a winter mooring for the first time and not without a little trepidation, but Market Harborough is a lovely town and the basin is interesting so I am sure we will enjoy our stay. 

   Approaching Foxton Step Bridge

 We had about four and a quarter miles to travel, a short walk for the dogs and myself.

 A bit of industrial heritage...silo's at the old Glue factory beside the A6 and on the canal.  Boats used to bring animal bones and take away barrels of glue. It was till operating in this role the first time we came through here and the smell was just awful!

 Yarwood slips past the former rendering site but now no stench assails you.
 Arriving in the basin 
 Reversing on to our berth
 And that's it for now, no more cruising for a few months but Joe is of tomorrow to retrieve our car from storage so we will still be out and about.

Plugged into shore-power with water next to the boat what luxury..

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Foxton for now

Yesterday we had a leisurely start - still sitting around in a dressing gown with my head in a book at 10.30 kind of start - but once showered and dressed we wandered down to the bottom of the locks and then off to the village shop for a paper and some essential groceries etc.  As we were walking across the car park an unusual and ancient motorcycle arrived.  We stopped to chat to the owner and learnt that he had owned this motorcycle for almost thirty years, he had a number of others, and he was just out for a run in the fine autumn sunshine.

 Triumph Model H motorcycle circa 1919- 30k of these used in WW1 by the Royal Signals Corp, Dispatch Riders. 

 This morning after breakfast we up sticks and took Yarwood down to the services at the bottom of Foxton Locks.
 The swing bridge across the Market Harborough Arm by the cut for the inclined plane.
 Once the boat was serviced Joe reversed off of the service point and I opened the swing bridge to let Yarwood slip away down the Arm. Closing the bridge after Yarwood had gone through I then hurried along the towpath to get to the next swing bridge and get it ready.

 This swing bridge carries a road into Foxton village from the Church.
We moored up just out of the village and I left Joe scrubbing down the roof and the deck while I went walk about with the dogs.
 My Husband, the scrubber..
 How good does that look?
We headed off across Public Footpaths across farmland but all the paths across fields had recently been cultivated and sown and the paths not reconstituted by the farmer so to avoid being caked in mud, I followed the edges of fields. There are no nesting birds to disturb at this time of year so walking the edge of conservation margins seemed the better option.
As I headed back towards the boat my phone rang and it was Adam Porter, of Nb. Briar Rose and Canal Boat Magazine.   Adam had just finished a boat review and was on his way back to Briar Rose but wondered if we might fancy lunch - does a bear etc. etc? - so an hour or so later we met at The Black Horse Foxton where we enjoyed a catch-up and lunch before we all wandered back to Yarwood for tea and cake.
The man himself, Adam.  Lovely to see you..

Monday 28 October 2013

Down to Debdale and Diesel

We waited out the weather this morning, a couple of boats went past in the rain and made their way down the Foxton flight but we looked and went back to bed.   When the rain finally stopped we prepared the boat and moved off of our 48hr mooring and on the lock landing at the summit.  I walked down and told the two volunteer lock keepers that Yarwood and another boat were waiting their services and then I wandered back up again for a cuppa and to await the transit of boats on the way up.
Top lock Foxton
 You can never get tired of the stupendous view down the flight
 One of the volunteer Lock keepers that helped me down the flight
 At the bottom of the flight is the shop and Bridge 61 pub, this building was once the carpenters workshops.
On reaching the bottom we turned left in the direction of Leicester and headed for Debdale Wharf Marina which is just over a mile along the canal.

 Moored at Debdale getting gas and diesel. This is where they lift out boats for blacking. 

We had a word with Tim about enlarging Yarwood's gas locker hatch as getting bottles in and out is somewhat tricky. This is a job that we get done during the winter.   While we were getting fuel another boat turned up, some rough bunch on a boat called Nb.What a Lark - Friends David and Lisa and sister Melanie back to moor up after their trip into Market Harborough.

 Nb. What a Lark waiting for fuel
 A cheery wave to Lisa, David and Melanie and we were off back towards Foxton.

 Heading back towards Foxton

Moored for a couple of days by bridge 63 just short of the junction with the Harborough Arm.

Sunday 27 October 2013

Weekend at Foxton summit

It is Sunday evening, we are expecting  hurricanesque winds coming through tonight but all is battened down, we are moored on top of the Foxton summit, exposed to wind but minus large, possibly unstable trees..   I am in the boatman's cabin typing this and the dogs are watching One Man and his Dog on the telly...they are very interested in all the shouting and whistling and are picking up a few tips.

We watched the F1 qualifying on Saturday morning before we left our mooring at Laughton Hills and arriving at the Foxton summit we watered and planned to go down the lock flight.  There was quite a bit of traffic so we changed our minds and pulled back on to a 48hr mooring and took ourselves off to the pub, Bridge 61, the boater's pub of course.

 Watering at Foxton summit
Nb. What a Lark moored at Foxton summit and awaiting the arrival of family

 Himself getting in the first round at Bridge 61. 
David and Lisa had never experienced the charms of Bridge 61 so we just had to initiate them. Lisa's sister Melanie arrived  from Sussex and joined us in pub before having a tour of the industrial archaeology that is Foxton Inclined Plane and Lock Flight and in the evening we were invited for dinner aboard What a Lark

Aboard What a Lark,  l-r Melanie, David and Lisa
 l-r Joe, Melanie and David.......and half of Lisa
 Come Sunday morning we cleared the cabin top of loose items and secured the planks with the centre line...we do not need these to be flying around the roof tonight!

 Planks lashed down
With our boat prepared for the incoming windy weather we then helped What a Lark to lock down the flight and set off on their journey to Market Harborough.
 David and What a Lark on the way down
 The glorious view down the flight
With What a Lark away we then went back to Yarwood to watch the F1 Grand Prix and see Vettel win his fourth championship in real style.  Tomorrow we will lock down and make our way slowly towards our winter mooring.

Friday 25 October 2013

Welford to Laughton Hills

Last night we met friends of Lisa and David of Nb. What a Lark  in The Wharf Inn Welford for an evening meal. The  service was first rate and food was good and the company was grand, so grand in fact that we were to meet again today for coffee and cake.
After early morning rain pushing through at 5am and again at 6am the day had cleared by half nine as we set off from Welford.

 Up and off from our overnight mooring at Welford
 At our first and ONLY lock of the day on the Welford Arm
 Turning on to the Leicester main line from Welford
 Moored immediately prior to Husbands Bosworth Tunnel...in the nettles
 We have moored here in order to walk over the tunnel to visit Jane and Ed, our company of last night, local farmer's and B&B operators and host to David and Lisa when they stayed at the B&B when visiting the Crick Boat Show.

 Jane and Ed owners of the Croft Farm B&B
We spent a couple of hours at Croft Farm, where we were made most welcome, tea, coffee and homemade cakes provided, before alking back across the tunnel to the boats and heading off to today's destination the Laughton Hills.
 Approaching a 'smokey' tunnel entrance
We followed What a Lark through the Husbands Bosworth tunnel but because of a boat that had preceded us the tunnel was so full of smoke we couldn't see David and Lisa until we were emerging into daylight at the other end.
 Emerging into the light again

 Large sections of the canal north of the tunnel is overgrown on the off side and needs and severe trim

 Bank repairs under way

 Following What a Lark

 Laughton Hill
We moored below Laughton Hill, an hour's cruise short of Foxton Locks and after a belated lunch I took the dogs up on to the top of the hill to look at the views, and what views they are! 


 Yarwood and What a Lark moored at the bottom of the hill

Not too bad a mooring