Monday 4th April
It was so quiet last night that we didn’t stir till well after 8. A hire boat which moored nearby last night soon left, the steerer well wrapped up. We were in no rush and started down the locks after 9.30. It was cold and raw but soon warmed up. At lock 7, with its pretty bridge and cottage, is this interesting device like a cotton reel on the bridge.
The towpath changes sides at this point, and the interpretation board said the tow-rope on a horse-drawn boat would have run round this reel to avoid getting tangled as the horse crossed. I couldn’t see how it would work though, as the rope would have had to pass through the split bridge too. It’s a photogenic little area and here is Dave leaving the next lock. Shame about the unsteady photographer.
There were a few boats coming up, including a single-hander on his way up to the Lancaster via Llangollen, Ellesmere Port and the Weaver. The volunteer on duty was helping him up. We were down to Kingswood junction quite quickly, and slipped into a space by the little picnic area on the Link. With the cassettes emptied and the dog entertained by the lad on a neighbouring boat we relaxed and had lunch in the weak sun shining through the window.
When we went up to the village shop, the travelling fishmonger arrived, so we bought some home-made fishcakes for tea, dropped them off back at the boat and then gave Meg a walk up the Grand Union towards Knowle. It was freezing cold walking back into the wind. There was some very squishy black mud too and Meg managed to land straight in a puddle at one point getting even more muddy than she was already. Dave took advantage of the showers in the facilities block but Meg had to make do with a sponge and bucket.
1 and a half miles, 15 locks