Friday, 31 July 2009

Wednesday 29th July

We upped sticks this morning to move on from Campbell Park as we were in dire need of water and a pump-out. We had hoped to moor at Fenny Straftford tonight, but unfortunately when we turned into Milton Keynes Marina we were told that they were no longer in business, we had been trying to telephone them all day yesterday and this morning on the way to arrange for their services so we continued south.

A motor and butty in good livery

this heron was perched up in the tree!

We met Pip and Roger on Windsong as they were coming up the lock at Fenny Stratford - they were returning from the Aylesbury Arm.

Looking back once we'd locked through Fenny Stratford.

Another heron - we've seen more today that we've seen for the last week or so!

We eventually sorted the pump out at Willowbridge Marina and also took diesel on board as it was very reasonably priced - all self-service - presumably to keep costs down. Just
The rain came down in buckets from about 3pm before we arrived at the marina and we were rather wet indeed by the time we found a nice quiet mooring after bridge 102 before Stoke Hammond Lock.

Saturday 25th - Tuesday 28th July 2009Back at Campbell Park - had a bit of a calamity when Rock n Roll crunched into the bole of a tree which was leaning over the water as we approached our intended mooring space. It has broken the side and bottom frame on the front cratch, but fortunately it did not break the stained glass window - it's a good job it happened on Saturday as our boat fitter Graham came as arranged on the Sunday - he has taken the measurements and will build a new cratch frame for us.

These are two views of Campbell Park taken from the boat once moored.
We will stay in the area few the next few days so that we are not too far away when our new cratch frame is ready for fitting.
Thursday and Friday 23rd/24th July 2009 Winded and cruised up to Gifford Park to collect post and water - walked into Great Linford on the other side of the canal - a lovely walk - the area around the hall, church and almshouses was well worth the visit. There is a very good Indian Restaurant/take-away in the village.

Unfortunately, the church was locked

the almshouses were most unusual - apparently they were still being lived in up to the last few years - they are now art workshops.

we saw quite a few rats whilst filling with water at Gifford, (just disappearing from view bottom right of picture) we also saw one dash across the seating area whilst we were waiting for our meal to arrive!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Saturday 18th - Wednesday 22nd

Saturday - Well Adam and Tomas have been safely seen onto the train to Crewe for their connection home to Scotland - and we are bereft!

Graham, our boatfitter came today as well, to measure for secondary glazing - to stop the condensation from dripping on my head from the window above our bed and to keep Rock n Roll warmer in the winter.

Sunday - my godparents (Aunty Win and Uncle Ted) came to Milton Keynes for a day out on the boat - we saw them last on the Trent and Mersey at Trntham nearly 12 months ago. We enjoyed our day - we winded south of Campbell Park and cruised to Gifford Park for Sunday lunch - thanks Ted - winded again and travelled back again to MK. It was so lovely to see them and to talk about Mum and old times.

Campbell Park is a lovely mooring - like most of Milton Keynes there are lots of well maintained grassed and park areas and numerous trees of all varieties - all in all from what we have seen from our walks to and from the city centre and our walkes with Molly- we are very impressed with the area.
This sunset was taken just after 8pm on Monday 20th.

Friday 17th July 2009

Happy Holiday!

Goodness me there's a stranger in the picture! - I don't often see myself on the other side of the camera!
Time to relax.

An early night tonight - we don't want them falling asleep on the train home and missing their connection at Crewe! Tomas reassured me that he can't sleep during the day (even if Adam can)and he had no intention of missing that connection.

George and I have thoroughtly enjoyed our few days with them - thank you for visiting Rock n Roll Adam and Tomas.

Thursday 16th July 2009 Glad to be moored up after a long but fun day - today we have travelled north through Blisworth Tunnel, winded (turned round) at Gayton Junction and back through the tunnel.

We eventually moored up by Bridge 57 which is south of Stoke Bruerne locks, to give us a good start for tomorrow - a total of 11 miles plus 6 locks = 17 lock miles @ approx 3 miles per hour.
A BBQ rounded off a puuuurrrfect day!
Wednesday 15th July 2009

The boys (and George) are working hard locking me through Stoke Bruerne locks - we will moor before the tunnel - another experience for them tomorrow!

The flag of St Andrews - it's one redeming feature is that it's blue!

We rounded off a great day with a meal at the Navigation at Stoke Bruerne - blimey I'd forgotten how much food 16 year olds could put away!!
Tuesday 14th July 2009Adam and Tomas arrive safely in Milton Keynes at about 3pm - we ate and set off straight away as we would like to be able to get to the other side of Blisworth Tunnel and back before having to take them back to Milton Keynes station for their journey home on Saturday morning. This is Adam and Tomas's first lock - at Cosgrove - they were pleased with themselves - we moored just before Soloman's Bridge for the night.

Monday 13th July 2009
We saw some wierd and wonderful boats on the way from Cosgrove to Milton Keynes

Are these BW officials making important decisions at the Great Ouse Aquaduct - I couldn't believe that there was no parapet on the right (west) hand side of the aquaduct - I promised myself that I would be inside the boat the next time we come this way as I'm not at all good with heights!!

These canal side-side dwellings looked very nice

This wall was interesting, showing all sorts of transport and places of interest in the area - it was restored by the IWA in 2005 with help from Jewsons (who I think have premises behind the wall) but there was no information about when it was originally painted and by whom.

more interesting boats along the cut before we moored at Campbell Park in Milton Keynes - a very good mooring within walking distance to MK Central. We are picking up our eldest grandson Adam (16) and his friend Tomas tomorrow, they are travelling down by train from Glasgow in the morning - hope they arrive alright in one piece!!

Sunday 12th July 2009
Early start this morning to decend the Stoke Bruerne 7 locks - managed to share all of them which made it not such back breaking work for George who was lock wheeling.

Another new marina in the making - at Thrupp

Soloman's Bridge at Cosgrove where we moored for the night

This tunnel goes under the canal at Cosgrove

waiting for his dinner!

Saturday 11th July 2009

I set off this morning and did the 'tourist' bit - I visited the museum, took the hand held information recorder and wandered round the site for quite a few happy hours (had to smile to myself as I paid for a 'senior persons' entrance ticket - neither of us can believe what perks being 60 brings - especially free bus rides)

The JE Cook fuel boat came along in the afternoon and we had a laugh and a joke or two as we purchased fuel and gas.
Pip and Roger from narrowboat Windsong introduced themselves to us; they had been in touch with Moore 2 Life who mentioned Rock n Roll to them, and then were most surprised to find us moored in front of them!
Friday 10th July 2009 Off into Blisworth Tunnel - 1.75 miles - it was very wet in places especially under the air vents - it was not good idea to look up to see how far under ground we were! We moored up at Stoke Bruerne just half way between the tunnel and the locks.
We stretched our legs and walked through the village - the copper on the roof of the church was beautiful in the sunlight. We rounded off a very pleasant day with a meal at the Navigation.

Thursday 9th July 2009
Upsticks this morning and cruised to Bugbrook. We moored between bridges 45/46 and walked into the village to collect our post from the post office - this is St Michaels church.
Spent a very social hour or so with Chas and Anne Moore 2 Life later in the evening - the two Molly's got on very well.
Wednesday 8th July 2009
We moored last night at Norton Junction as I'd arranged a Tesco delivery first thing in the morning - we locked through the Buckby flight as soon as the cupboards were full once again
this is us just arriving at Buckby bottom lock. Some boaters had problems with water on the way up the locks - it seemed that some of the paddles or gates had been left open and they came up the locks to open paddles to allow more water down below; we were told that BW had been informed but no one had arrived. When we eventually moored just past Whilton Marina we met a BW officer and asked him if he was checking the low water and he said that he wasn't aware of any problems, but on reflection he said that there had been a report that there was low water at locks 3 and 4 at Whilton - but of course locks 3/4 are at Braunston and that's where they went to check and of course there was no problem there! The boaters actually meant that the problem was at locks 11 and 10 at Whilton (which are the 3rd/4th locks up that flight)!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Thursday 2nd - Tuesday 7th July 2009
Over these 6 days we cruised slowly back to Norton Junction. On Friday 3rd Sheila Smith - signwriter and artist (Shiela did the logo and signwriting on Rock 'n' Roll) passed us going north - good to see you out and about Sheila. We moored once again at Crick Wharf on the Sunday and had a delicious Chinese meal at the Royal Oak in the village.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Wednesday 1st July at Foxton Lock
Although we didn't do these locks we did of course have a wander around the site. All the lock sites on the Leicester section of the Grand Union are very well kept indeed and Foxton is no exception. They are beautifully landscaped and seeing them on such a clear albeit very hot day made for some good photographs.

The shop at the top lock from across the side pound

looking up the locks from the bottom bridge

the bottom lock.

Foxton Boat Services are still based here servicing boats and the provision of consumables etc., mostly ex-stock so there is no need to prior order. They also have a small general store and the pub 61. We purchased oil, air and fuel filters and oil ready for our next engine service - it was good to see Sam Matts again.

Foxton Locks Inn - a nice place to watch the world go by.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Wednesday 1st July 2009 - Grand Union Leicester Line to Foxton Locks

Yesterday we cruised up to bridge 41 just before Welford Junction - a very nice mooring. George spent the day doing an engine service and we walked down the Welford Arm to the Wharf Inn for a meal. This picture is looking down the Arm from the junction as we cruised past today.
... and this is looking back the way we had come
... just coming out of the northern portal of Husband Bosworth tunnel.
.... these trees looked very precarious leaning as they did over the canal - but a pretty sight nevertheless

.... the views through the trees was beautiful indeed!

We eventually moored just above Foxton Locks.
Monday 29th June

Passing Crack Hill at bridge 14 - we walked here yesterday - it was very hot and muggy - 30 degrees C - and the rain came down in buckets from about 6pm.

Another new marina - this one is at Yelvertoft.

We moored at bridge 24 and had a BBQ

Saturday 27th June

Found a small wildlife park by bridge 14 just north of Crick Marina - Molly enjoyed a good old romp with this other terrier!

Crick village in the distance

Friday 26th June
Very muggy today - we moved onto the Leicester Line.
Started out from Norton Junction at 6:15 am hoping to get through Crick locks before anyone else got up - this lovely canal side property was up for sale, the house on the right is a holiday let in a very nice setting

we were most surprised to find a queue at Watford Locks as they are now keeper operated (we need to update our Nicholson Guide).
...... not to worry though we had a smooth journey through.

....... and the journey through Crick tunnel went okay too, except that it is very wet at the northern end!

We moored at Crick wharf and walked through the village - lots of houses were in the throes of having their roofs re-thatched - this one was rather spectacular.

Just after our walk the heavens opened, but it didn't get any cooler or fresher.