Friday, 31 August 2012

Friday 31st August 2012
Hazelford Lock let us through at just gone 9.30 this morning. We were joined by Ragged Roy, another narrow boat for the journey. he's heading for Torksey so we'll stay together until then.
Our next stop was for Newark Town Lock at Newark on Trent. This is a lovely place, we've been before but would like to stop again. Not so this time, as we want to get home to Leeds, this time it's only a bit of shopping and then off again though Newark Nether Lock, heading for Cromwell Lock.
At Cromwell the moorings are full, so we breasted up to Ragged Roy for the night. He's very kindly lent us his Trent Navigation Charts to photo copy, they look very helpful.
The lock keeper tells us the best time to leave tomorrow is between 10 and 11 o'clock so hopefully we'll get to Torksey in plenty of time to find an overnight mooring.
The Trent around here is lovely (when it isn't raining). In today's sunshine with no wind it was glorious.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Thursday 30th August 2012
Just gone 08.00 this morning we set off from our mooring in Nottingham heading for the first lock. We did notice that the only 48 hour moorings were the ones very close to the supermarket. The rest, and there are quite a few of them, are 14 days. For a city mooring that was unusual. 
The second lock is where there are services and we dumped a can and some rubbish before going through to rejoin the river. These are new services, when we were here before they were on the other side of the water. Sad to relate though, the showers already had a notice on them "out of commission due to vandalism". 
On the river I was pleased with our speed, we seemed to be making about 6-7 mph towards the first large river lock. Here we joined a convoy of about 6 other boats heading our way. A big contrast to the last time we were here 6 years ago when we were the only boat into all the locks.
My pleasure at our speed was soon taking a knock. We were the last boat out of the lock, and were soon being left behind. Increasing the revs to keep up with them my satellite speedo was showing 8mph, positively flying, but we felt that we should keep up so as not to hold up the next lock.
The weather was once again deteriorating, the wind got up and was whipping up white horses on the river. There was the occasional flurry of rain, but not a huge deluge. If it wasn't for the weather this would be a pleasant trip because, unlike the Severn, you can see over the banks to open countryside. All you need is sunshine.
Our intention had been to get to Gunthorpe and moor up for the night, but when we got there all the mooring was taken so we pressed on to Hazelford Lock, hoping to find some there. luckily we did and we're now tied up ready to take the first cycle of the lock at about 9.30 tomorrow morning, so we'll get a lie in.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Wednesday 29th August 2012
With one wary eye on the weather forecast we decided to get an early start, get to Nottingham, shop and then see what the sky was doing.
We got going before 8.00 o'clock and were only about 5 minutes down the canal before the first drops were falling. it didn't amount to much, thankfully, but tried several times during the trip.
Once we got near the city we found a good spot to moor up, not too far from the local Sainsbury's, and an open view of the sky to see the satellite. Most of the mooring around here is enclosed by trees so we were lucky there.
Just after tying up the rain started in earnest, so we grabbed our brollys and set out to make a raid on the supermarket.
With that finished, we trundled back to the boat and put everything away. It looks as if the weatherman was right and it's set in for the day so we'll stay here and see what tomorrow brings.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Tuesday 28th August 2012
On Monday Paul and I took a wander along the riverside while he hunted out some more caches. The walk yielded 3 more before we returned to the boat. This was their last day with us and they planned to take us out for lunch before leaving. The Basin had provided a great meal for us on Friday evening that they had decided it was the place to try again. Once more they turned up trumps with a wonderful selection.
After they had left, we had a bit  of tidy around, and I finished off the tin of biscuits they left behind, I'm greedy!
This morning we set off hoping to make it to Trent Lock. At Loughborough Lock we teamed up with a boat also intending to go to the end of river.
As we travelled north out of Loughborough the river widens and the scenery once again becomes a wide view of the Soar valley. Here the river also appears to deepen and our speed increases with that depth. We're making good time, and realise that we'll easily get to our goal and will have time to go further. We decide on Beeston, where there are full services, and hopefully room for overnight mooring.
At the services there was a boat already on the mooring. The owner had only just recovered his boat from being sunk. Apparently, while moored against a hard side, a log got trapped inside between the wall and boat. Another boat came down the canal a bit too fast and the resulting wash jostled his boat  so hard the log damaged his wooden hull.
Tomorrow we will get to Nottingham fairly early and do some provisioning. The weather forecast isn't good so we may elect to stay there if it does. If not we'll press on to Holme Pierpont, where the National Water Sports Centre is located.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Sunday 26th august 2012
I've been very remiss at posting for a few days , mostly because the connection is very poor here. Plenty of bars, just slow. I talked to 3 about it and they tell me  there's maintenance/upgrading going on.
Anyway, we got to Loughborough on Friday and managed to bag a good mooring despite the crush. we are fairly close to town, a very short walk from a pub, and for all that it's quiet.
Paul and Jacqui turned up late  afternoon, bringing all the usual stuff - food, plenty of booze, loads of biscuits. There go any thoughts of diet!
Friday evening we trooped off to The Basin, an Oriental restaurant situated as one would expect, right on the canal basin. We can thoroughly recommend this place, reasonable prices, good service, and excellent food. 
When we were last here this whole area was a building site, and now it's finished. The only complaint I can make is that the basin is too small to wind our boat. The book says 50' max, I reckon a bigger one would go but I'm not willing to chance it.
On Saturday Paul and I took a wander up to check his car was OK. He'd left it in the local pub car park. There was a note on windscreen pointing out, very reasonably, that the car park was for patrons. We had intended to eat there on Friday evening, but The Basin sounded very good so we gave it a miss. Calling in on the landlord, he apologised and asked if he could leave the car for the duration of his stay for a reasonable fee. The landlord said, it's for patrons, are you a patron? So we all had lunch there, it was very nice, and all was happy. By the way, the pub was The Albion, it doesn't look very much, is difficult to get too by car, but the food was good honest stuff, and plenty of it.
This morning, while P&J went out chasing their caches, Cath and I went over to B&Q to look for a folding table, new blind for the kitchen window and some new hinges for the bedroom door, which suddenly collapsed the other day. No table, we got an idea about the blind but didn't buy it.
The hinges were all we got, now they're fitted and the door moves smoothly again, I also got around to putting a hook up to hold the jigsaw case up against the wall. Whenever we moved the table away it used to fall down and I said many time "must do something about that" but nothing got done. Well, it is at last.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Thursday 23rd August 2012
Had a good time in Leicester, in the morning we caught a bus to town and changed to one heading out to a supermarket. This is another place where it's easy to get confused on buses. After checking the bus stops I noticed that the bus which went passed our mooring was the same number which passed the supermarket. Wonderful! Only one bus, no need to change. Wrong! the 48 from mooring to town was run by Stagecoach, the 48 out to the supermarket was Arriva. One town, two bus companies, and they run buses with the same number to different places. Really sensible, great co-operation, eh.
Anyway, this morning we set off again, heading for Mount Sorrel.
The river heads north out of Leicester, passing small industrial units, but once again the countryside soon makes a re-appearance. The scenery's great around here, and thankfully the river is calm, in fact it's a pussy cat, just how we like our rivers to be. We dropped through 8 locks today and travelled 10 miles, making good time as the flow was with us, the river is deep and we just seemed to fly along.
We pulled in at The Waterside pub at about 1.00pm. We'll give it a try tonight.
Tomorrow we'll probably move on to Loughborough.

One of the several unprotected weirs on this river

Looks like we're back in mill country again

They always seem to have magnificent chimneys

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Tuesday 21st August 2012
Despite Cath's shoulder still giving her pain, we decided to move up to Leicester anyway. Luckily, at the first lock we met another boat going our way and we paired up. After 2 locks we came across a single boat, but decided not to break the pairing, we've had it done to us several times now and it's annoying to be abandoned.
Just after Kilby Bridge the character of the canal changes. the wide open vistas we have been enjoying give way to housing estates and a bit of industry.
This outlook continues until about Whetstone Lock, when countryside once again predominates. Continuing along we reach Kings Lock where we get our first taste of the river. It hasn't been raining much and the indicator is well in the green, and flow looks very slow. the scenery once again changes, but this time it's a more intimate scene. Open fields have given way to the trees, bushes and wild grasses of water meadow.
The navigation continues to drop through a further 3 locks before reaching the straightened section which runs though Leicester. the mooring for the city is at the northern end of the 1 mile straight, a place called Castle Gardens, where there is a floating pontoon on a secure mooring.
The pontoon only has enough length for 3 average sized boats, and there were already 3 there. Luckily one of them was a hire boat we had shared some locks with a few days ago and they happily called us in to moor alongside.
We'll stay here tomorrow and probably move on Thursday

Monday, 20 August 2012

Monday 20th August 2012
Still sitting at Kilby Bridge. The sun is shining and I don't know if we will move tomorrow yet. Decision will be left until the morning when we see if there's any improvement  in Cath's shoulder.
I took another wander into Leicester this morning to get some oil from Wilkinsons. They do a really cheap diesel engine oil and since this engine seems to require oil changes far more frequently than any of the other major suppliers of marine adapted engines I don't have any qualms about using inexpensive oil.
The last time we were in Leicester there was a fabulous street market going on and we thought it was permanent, but it turns out that we were just lucky to land there on one of the twice yearly times that it is held. Disappointed there, I was looking forward to it, but there is still a permanent covered market.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Sunday 19th August 2012
We didn't get as far as expected today. Cath has pulled a muscle in her shoulder and is in some discomfort. Steering the boat is painful, and of course, working locks is totally out of the question.
We've stopped at Kilby Bridge, and will probably stay here tomorrow, maybe even longer if the problem persists.
I walked up to Wigston to see if there was a pharmacy open. There wasn't, so I managed to get a bus into Leicester to find a Boots to get some pain reliever for her.
The bus ride gave me some interesting insight into the layout of things around here, and we now know how to get to several necessary services like supermarkets easily.
The weather has been glorious, but there was a single crack of thunder and just a few large rain drops this afternoon.

Friday, 17 August 2012

A tale of bus routes and chaos.
We're presently moored up in Market Harborough, a delightly  town, with good shopping and an interesting bus service.
Yesterday I took a walk into town, and noticed that there was a bus stop on the side of the road which faced into town, so concluded that we could get a bus when we wanted to do the "big shop".
This morning we set off, not knowing the time table but hoping it wouldn't be too long.
When we got to the stop there was a notice on it saying that due to road works it was not in use, please use the one on Fairfield Road.
Well it wasn't too far so we wandered along to it and waited. Soon around the corner came 2 buses, one an X something, the other a small local style bus. So we let the big one past only to see the small one turn again up another small road and stop. I legged it over to the bus and asked if it went onto town. Yes it did. So we boarded, but noticed that there was no bus stop sign where it had stopped. We were told that you just had to know where to flag it down!!
When we got to town I asked the driver where to get the bus back to Union Wharf and he said "Right here, same number 33".
After doing all we wanted to in town we went back to stop and looking at the time table all it said was "hourly", no time, just hourly.
After about 10 minutes along came a 33, so we boarded and asked for Union Wharf, the driver said "Don't go there" What! That's where we picked up the 33 to get to town. "Well, this one goes to ......... but then comes back here and heads towards Bowden.
Now, that was at least in the right direction so we got on and hoped to recognise the area to get off.
The bus duly went out, and came back without going near where we wanted to go. Back in town again the bus changed drivers and this one said "Ah, this bus does 4 separate routes, where are you going?"
Union Wharf, says I. "Don't know that" he says. Leicester Road? I tried. "Yes, eventually". So we stayed on and duly, in the fullness of time we passed Union Wharf. A large sign declares  "Union Wharf" and yet none of the drivers we spoke to knew where it was!
As we got off I said to the driver, This is Union Wharf, the sign's just there. He replied," we call it Logan".
What a system! Speaking to locals THEY even say it's chaotic, and sometimes have to ride around 3 of the 4 routes to get to where they are want to be.
What ever happened to bus drivers who knew their route intimately?
Rant over.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Thursday 16th August 2012
Although the sky looked fairly threatening this morning we didn't think it would actually rain as we set off for the top of Foxton Locks.
As we travelled along the surroundings changed, herald the coming drop. From open, gently rolling countryside, it quickly changed on one side to a steep drop, and you could see across a valley.
It took us about an hour to get there, and when we arrived we found we were second in the queue to go down.
Checking in with the lock keeper we were told that the wait would be about an hour while 3 boats, which had just started the climb, came up.
I wandered around taking pics while we waited, the museum wasn't open so I didn't get a chance to mooch around in there.
The lock keeper's estimate of about and hour was spot on, and we started down at 9.30. 
Foxton is one of wonders of the canal system. Two staircases of 5 locks each. Each lock has 2 paddles, which should be open in sequence. Red first, followed by the normal black one. This is to ensure that the side ponds remain full, but don't overflow.
We finally reached the bottom and turned right, down the arm for Market Harborough. We were expecting a swing bridge on the arm, but not as soon as we turned. It seems like they''ve added one at the junction which isn't yet on our map.
We chugged off towards the end, the only notable thing on the trip was finding some cattle wading in the canal, they were perfectly happy and took no notice of us cruising past.
We've managed to get a mooring right in the basin, with a power hook up and water on our pontoon. We'll spend tomorrow here and do some provisioning.
I know there's a lot of photos of the locks, but they are very picturesque.
Side ponds for the top 5 flight at Foxton

Looking down the top 5

Looking up at the top 5

A boat nearly finishing the bottom 5

Lyra on her way down

Cath enjoying the ride

Nearly at the bottom, ice cream in sight

Unconcerned cattle wading in the canal

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Tuesday 14th August 2012
We started up Watford locks this morning. The flight of 7 narrow locks contains  a staircase of 4. There is always a lock keeper on duty to assist and guide you through. It isn't just a case of opening the paddles here. Because it's a staircase, with side ponds, there is an extra paddle, marked in red, which should be opened first, followed by the "normal" paddle gear.
With the help of the lock keeper we soon reached the top, where there are services, so as usual we threw a can, and some rubbish. We don't need water yet, so that saved time.
After the locks, the canal is enclosed by trees for a short time, but they soon thin out to reveal a beautiful agricultural landscape. We haven't been this way for about 7 years and had forgotten just how wonderful the scenery is around here, and with the motorway now gone it's own way, it is very tranquil.
We basked in sunshine from a sky which held some lovely cauliflower clouds, but they didn't mask the sun very often. I watched a few gliders soaring under the clouds, this type of cloud is just what a glider pilot is looking for. Over one of the fields we saw a kestrel hovering, flaunting its easy superiority over man made planes.
We're now moored up just short of Welford Junction, and we may take the short arm which leads to the town tomorrow if the weather isn't too bad. They're promising us rain again.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Monday 13th August 2012
After a lovely quiet night out in middle of nowhere we set off this morning heading for Buckby Locks.
As we cruised along we found that we were the last in a convoy of 3 boats. This meant that we would probably be once again going through double locks alone as the first two would pair up leaving us behind.
Approaching the bottom lock both of the boats ahead of us turned off into a marina. Ah well, looks like we are still alone. But what's this coming? Another boat, and it's going up, hooray, we're paired.
There are 7 locks on the flight and the first 3 went smoothly, but in the pound for the 4th there was a single boat waiting in the lock so once again we lost our pair. The next lock we did alone, the one after that we had the assistance of a C&RT volunteer. In the next one we met the boat that had shared the first 3 with us. The boat they'd joined had done the same thing to them and gone ahead when meeting another single in a lock, so we were paired for the last two.
Just after the top lock the canal splits, one way goes to Braunston and eventually Birmingham. We turned right, taking the Leicester Arm, heading for the famous Foxton Locks and the River Soar.
Presently we're moored up just below Watford Locks for the night. Once again the M1 motorway isn't too far away, but the noise is reasonably subdued. 
While here I've done an oil change and topped up the fuel tank from our drum storage. It's amazing my ability to lose useful tools. The oil filter on this engine isn't easy to get at and I have bought a filter wrench to make the job easy. Can I find it now? NO! I can find two others that I have, neither of them any good for this job, the other has vanished. It'll no doubt turn up the minute I buy something to replace it.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Sunday 12th August 2012
Before leaving Stoke Bruerne this morning I took  walk around and got some pictures.
After setting off, the first thing we encounter is Blisworth Tunnel. So it was coat on, brolly up, hatches closed. As we discovered on the trip down, this is one wet tunnel. We met only one boat while in the tunnel and we were through in about half and hour.
At Gayton Junction we stopped for the services to throw a can and take on water. After that we continued northward under a clearing sky, soon the sun was starting to show its face and the day warmed up considerably. Around midday the clouds returned and it started to look like it might rain. Sure enough, suddenly it was back under the brolly as the heavens opened. Luckily it was short lived and once again the sun peeked through.
We've now found a nice mooring, out in the country with only passing boats for company.

Friday, Saturday 10th.11th August 2012
Friday night, while stopped at Yardley, your's truly pulled a silly stunt which caused us the loss of our sat finder. For those who don't know what that is, it's a small box which you plug into the co-ax between the dish and the receiver and it gives audible and visual signals to tell me when the dish is pointed at the satellite.  While it is possible to align the dish without it, the job is much easier and the results more accurate with one.
So, it was onto the internet to see where I might get another one quickly. Ebay was out because delivery isn't possible, so the first port of call was Maplins. Yes, they list one. No, it's not in stock at any of their outlets! Back to the drawing board (internet). The next thought was that the chandlers might stock them. Yes, but it was a cheap thing, sold much more expensively than better ones available and would be a last resort. Finally I did what I probably should have done first, instead of looking at likely retailers, search for the item. Surprise, surprise! of all people I would never have thought that Screwfix list one, it's in stock and I can get a bus into Northampton to pick it up.
Saturday, we moved up to the services at the bottom of Stoke Bruern Locks, and while doing the necessary another boat came along and made a pair to go up, very nice. On the way down to MK we hadn't bothered to stop at Stoke Bruern, it's a fine canal village which makes the most of its canal heritage. There's a museum, trip boats, and several other tourist traps like good pubs, ice cream and tea shops. After a nice lunch in one of the pubs, The Navigation, I caught the bus into Northampton. This is a 2 hourly service, and I hoped to be able to get the 4.00 pm bus back or I'd be trapped until 6pm.
Getting off the bus I consulted my phone's sat nav which told me I had about 1.5 miles to walk, so off I went. Without the phone it would have been a lot more difficult to get where I wanted. After about half and hour I got to Screwfix and purchased my toy. 
I had noticed that there were buses running along the road I'd walked so after looking at the timetable on one of the stops I thought it would be a better idea to catch one back onto town. That saved me a bit of time.
Walking to where the driver of the bus that brought from Stoke said I could get the return bus I couldn't find any of the stops on that road which mentioned the right number. It was now getting close to the time for the bus, so in desperation I jumped onto a bus heading for the main bus station. 
As we pulled into the station, caught in the usual traffic jam as buses jostle for position, I spied the bus I wanted just in front of us on its way out. the driver of the bus I was on wouldn't let me off to chase it, so I now had a 2 hour wait for the next one. Oh joy.
I got back to the boat just before 7 pm and Cath got tea ready before settling down to watch the diving. Well done Tom Daly!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Friday 10th August 2012
Casting off at just gone 8.00 o'clock this morning, we cruised in glorious sunshine towards Wolverton where there is good sized Tesco. There are some fine moorings here, but they are surrounded by new flats and I feel sorry for the local residents if any boat stops there and decides to run its engine for any length of time. There are some nice metal sculptures around the place.
We walked up to town for the shopping and found the nearest shop was an Asda so we called in, but it was a very small one with limited choice so we decided to carry on to the Tesco.
Having finished the provisioning we set off again, travelling north, crossing the River Great Ouse on an aqueduct, through the lock at Cosgrove and continued on as far as Yardley Wharf where we've decided it's too hot to carry on today.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Thursday 9th August 2012
A good day out. After a lazy start this morning we wandered up to catch a bus into town.
Cath, of course, wanted to raid John Lewis, but unfortunately they didn't have anything matching what she wanted. So after consoling herself with a cup of coffee in their cafe we strolled off for a look around the area. All we ended up buying were a couple of magazines and I bought a belt pouch for my smart phone.
Lunch was taken in Pizza Express, a favourite of ours, then we went to the market to get some salad stuff for this evening's meal before catching the bus back to the park.
On a side note, I was approached this morning by the owner of the boat which had pulled up in front of us last night. The cheeky sod wanted to know how long we'd been moored here! (it's a 48 hour mooring) Later I noticed he was running a gift shop from his boat and reckon that he thought I had a better bit of mooring for trade than he had and was trying to intimidate me into leaving. Unfortunately for him we aren't overstaying. I'm a bit of a slow thinker, and naturally polite or I should have told him to mind his own business.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Wednesday 8th August 2012
Here we are in sunny Milton Keynes. This place does seem to get a bad press. Some call it soulless, and laugh at the concrete cows (do they still exist?). However on the run in we noted lots of parkland, and decided to go further than the place we had identified provisionally as somewhere to moor and catch a bus to town. We wanted to do a wash load today, and rather than just do the short run to the bridge we had chosen we decided as we were running the engine anyway it would be a good idea to motor further to take a look around and then turn around and go back to any place we thought looked good.
It was a great plan, we were really impressed by the surroundings of the canal and spotted a lovely mooring at a place called Campbell Park. it's a fine spot with landscaped parkland and ponds.
I took wander up to the road and easily found a bus into town. The shopping area is a huge mall, complete with kids play area. Tomorrow we'll both go in, an Cath will get her fix of John Lewis.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Tuesday 7th August 2012
Planned a longer journey today, Cath wanted to do a roast in the slow cooker so we decided to go to Milton Keynes in one shot.
Of course, as soon as we set off it started to rain. Just very light stuff, but annoying non the less. It didn't amount to anything, and we continued down the Stoke Bruerne lock flight. All the locks were nearly full as we approached them so it didn't take long to reach the bottom. Here there was a volunteer lock assistant who kindly had it all ready for us. There seems to be more and more of these people turning up at lock flights since the new Canal & River Trust took over, and it's a great idea.
After using the service block at the bottom of the locks we chugged off southward. The weather again started to look threatening and soon it was raining again, only light at first, but then there was a short sharp squall just as Cath, having finished the breakfast dishes came up on deck. She quickly dug me out a brolly and ducked back inside. I don't blame her!
It rained for about 15 minutes, but then cleared again and it looked like it might even cheer up later.
At Cosgrove we did the final lock of the day. There was plenty of traffic around, so plenty of help and we were soon through.
Now we were getting close to Milton Keynes and the surroundings started to get built up. At Cosgrove there are some moorings, but they are right by a railway station so are probably a bit noisy. At bit further is an interesting mural depicting the railway and other means of transport.
We have now moored up about a mile from where we think we can catch a bus into town. It's a lovely place, open fields and no signs of the nearby town.
Waiting for lock 17, Stoke Bruerne Flight

Looking down Stoke Bruerne Flight

Part of a mural near Wolverton, Grand Union Canal

Its a long mural!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Monday 6th August 2012
A nice lazy start this morning. We didn't get going until after 9.00 o'clock. Moving up to the facilities block we found it occupied so pulled in just in front of them and waited. And waited. Although they appeared to be finished they didn't seem to be in any hurry to leave. The guy just stood on the back deck waffling on his cell phone. I was just about ready to ask what was going on when he decided to finally move. The block is very close to the junction and being really bitchy it was interesting to watch him make a right mess of turning for the junction.
Setting off we turned left (southward) heading for Blisworth Tunnel. At over a mile and half long this is one of the wonders of the canal building age. It's the third longest canal tunnel still in use in the UK. It is also very wet in there! I was glad of the umbrella, as in some places there is a proper deluge, particularly from the air shafts.
Near the other end of the tunnel lies Stoke Bruern, a tiny village which has become quite a tourist attraction with a canal museum and other canal orientated tourist traps.
Following the village there is a flight of 7 locks and we've come down just 2 of them and will stay here tonight.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Sunday 5th August 2012
Sure enough, as promised, Leon turned up at 9.00 o'clock ready to help us back up the 17 locks to Gayton Junction.
The forecast was for showers, so, with fingers crossed we set off. The weeds hadn't got any better in the two days since we came this way ( now there's a surprise!). Keeping the revs high certainly helped, and I only had to dive into the weed hatch a couple of times.
Most of the locks were set in our favour, and meeting two boats heading down helped to ensure they stayed that way.
Just after 12.00 we entered lock No 1, the one we'd been looking for all morning.
We said farewell to Leon, what a character he is. A Geordie who seems to live rough and has quite a repertoire of tall tales about his life. He certainly worked hard, and was a real help.
We've now tied up before the junction and are settling down to watch Olympics, specially the tennis, COME ON ANDY!!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Saturday 4th August 2012
We' had nose around the town yesterday. Cath was taken by all the animal models distributed round the place, all in the aid of charity. Many of them have been decorated by local school kids, and some by professional artists. At the end of the season they will be auctioned off.
Today I took a wander up into town again to have a look around the local museum and get some pics for the album. The museum is chiefly dedicated to the shoe industry as it seems that was the major industry around here, although metal working and brewing also played their part.
The weatherman really did get it right today, heavy showers, and boy are they heavy. We're on a river here so I hope it doesn't keep this up too much.
There's a good sized Morrison's right near the mooring here so we've been stocking up. It looks as if we won't come across another large supermarket from here to Milton Keynes, about 4 days away.