Anyone Got Any Change? 27th July

Broxbourne Bridge to Ordnance Road Bridge

After a hunt round on the internet Mick found the other circuit board, the one that now by process of elimination must be the problem with the washing machine. He had tried removing this one about ten days ago and decided that an engineer would do it better than he could. A phone call to the company was made and the circuit board has been ordered, we need to call them back later in the week to see where an engineer can come out to us as we’ll be making our way back through London to the west.

Just as we were about to push off a boat came into view, hopefully a lock partner. As the boat came past we noticed that it was NB Driftwood that we’d seen yesterday heading up the River Stort with the high cratch, they’d obviously not made it under the bridge.

NB Driftwood ahead

We pulled out shortly after them just as the local number checker arrived and tapped on the roof of the boat behind us. Would today be a day when everyone shuffled round to get the maximum time on a mooring? Is moving as your number gets checked a good thing? How many times would our number be taken? We seemed to be keeping up with the chap on the bike.

Moving day

Back past the busy Lee Valley Boat Centre, we’d already had a couple of day boats go past and now people were arriving to collect smaller craft for a few hours.

Under a bridge I noticed a sign listing the Greenway Code for Towpaths. 6 is especially good. ‘Give way to oncoming people beneath bridges’. Very sensible except the positioning of the sign was under a bridge and it would take someone time to read it all the while being in the way!

A postcard from C&RT

At Aquaduct Lock we caught up with NB Driftwood and the number checker, who’d just stopped to take a photo of a widebeam just before the lock landing. Notices posted on boats regarding their lack of movement used to be paper with the C&RT logo slotted into plastic for protection. Today it seems that picture postcards have taken over.

Quite a few inches higher than us

Rod on Driftwood chatted away. Yesterday he had to reverse quite a distance when they realised their cratch wouldn’t fit under Roydon Railway Bridge. He could have collapsed the structure, but then would also have had to remove a lot of things from his roof to get under, so they’d decided to abort the trip up the Stort.

‘OOOOO ooo OOOO!’ As Frank would say

We accompanied them through several more locks, enjoying their company. Rod and Nor have had their boat since October last year and have refitted quite a substantial amount of the interior, still more work to do but for now it is time to cruise and enjoy owning a boat.

Moving up, just enough

We passed boats we’d seen on the way up and kept passing the number checker. Boats were certainly on the move today. The narrowboat with a mass of fenders was being polled along to the next space and a wider than narrow boat complained when we started to shut gates on her. She’d apparently been waiting for ages, yet hadn’t shown interest and had just melded into the moored boats. We apologised and opened the gates back up for her.

Hot Compost bin

There was sighting of a hot composting bin on a widebeams stern deck, tucked behind some nasturtiums. Sadly these are too big to live on a narrowboat, but trials are being carried out by several of the Composting toilet group on facebook with smaller containers that will speed up the composting process.

New services

At Waltham Town Lock I decided to walk on ahead so that I could see what the new facilities block had on offer that we’d spotted the other day and get it’s location to pass on to Paul for the next update of Waterway Routes maps. NB Driftwood pulled in as they were after using the services.

Back within the M25

We waited for a widebeam to finish dropping down Rammey Marsh Lock, refilled it, then dropped down ourselves. Now it was time to find a mooring. Plenty more boats along this stretch than when we came up ten days ago, but luckily we found a couple of spaces free. Depth and underwater lumps and bumps were a touch awkward, but we got in in the end.

Such a funny face

After a late lunch Mick packed the hold all. We’d only got a few pairs of socks and pants left each, so it was time to visit the launderette. There was one close by on Ordnance Road, so not too far to drag our underwear. How much change did we have though? I don’t bother carrying money around anymore and the 46p I managed to find must have been on my bedside table for at least a year.

Those were clean Tilly!

Luckily the shop next door to the launderette could supply enough change, so we now have freshly laundered socks and pants.

Are we getting a new neighbour?

5 locks, 4 shared, 5.29 miles, 1 dribbley roof, 37 fenders, 1st 5 blackberries, 10 point code, 4 to 6 inches higher, 643 babies maybe, M25.

Are these babies or has this ladybird got a problem?