Sideways Snow. 31st March

Thorne Lock to Thorne Services Visitor Moorings

A phone call to Sean to see if he’d be visiting Thorne today or tomorrow came up with the answer we’d been expecting. The weather was not suitable for him to fit boat covers so he wouldn’t be making a trip to Thorne this week. Only one thing for it, the Senior Citizen Railcard would be put to use and Mick would go and collect it from Cottingham, which is north of Hull. We checked the times and prices of tickets, then checked a split ticket website and managed to get £5 off if Mick got one return to Brough and another to Cottingham.


In a lull between snow storms we headed out, Mick to the station and myself to Sainsburys for some milk as we’d run out. I thought today might not be so interesting, other than the sideways snow, so took a photo of The Little Shop. It’s one of those shops I really want to go in, but sweeties from a big jar are not something we need. Maybe next time I’ll have to arrange to have a young person with me, the need then will be greater.

Back at Oleanna I had some lunch and set about weaving ends in on my socks. Then the world got busy!

Across the way a narrowboat was being brought down the slipway back into the water. No bung in the exhaust just the engine running to keep any water from going into the engine. Once floating the boat was winded alongside us, then it vanished! Where had it gone? I’d sat down to do some more weaving for just a couple of minutes and it had vanished. It must have gone into the dock opposite.

Then another narrowboat arrived. The tractor came down the slipway to meet it, but the prevailing wind really wasn’t helping things, the bow missed the opening and as they went into reverse the boat was blown down past us, necessitating a more powerful return.

Ooo, new gates!

Two boats in the mean time had just come up Thorne Lock, they stemmed the wind waiting to get past. Once they were clear the rumble of a big boat came close, in front of it a big skip boat filled with generators and big hoses. C&RT getting ready for the work at the lock. Earlier on I’d seen a chap setting out mesh on the grass on the offside, maybe this is where the generators will be positioned next week.

Cabin top dropped to get under low bridges.

Then another skip boat came past, Robin Hood pushing the new lock gates. These will have been made at Stanley Ferry and most probably have come all the way by water. The top of Robin Hood’s cab had been dropped to get under the railway bridge in Thorne.

Lots of big blue boats

The two boats and their skips breasted up on the lock landing, hopefully there will be a volunteer on duty for the weekend to help single handers through.

Is that our cover?

Mick soon arrived back with a very natty package including handle, we had our cratch cover back.!

Goodbye Staniland, we did try waving to Jonathan.

In what we thought was a lull in the weather, we untied. Mick kept Oleanna on the mooring until I’d got the bridge open, stopping a reversing bin wagon in the process (not sure how many you get for one of those!), then he zoomed her into the lock avoiding being pushed this way and that by the wind.

Going Down Thorne Lock

A chap came over to chat and watch. Next week he’s picking up his first narrowboat from Lymm, cruising up the Bridewater, up the Rochdale 9, Ashton canal, over the Pennines via the Huddersfield Narrow and along the Aire and Calder to Thorne to moor. Thankfully he’s getting help with his first ever locks on the Rochdale 9, but then single handing from there. He hadn’t been aware of Thorne Lock closing on Monday for over a month. I wished him luck and told him to take his time and enjoy himself.

One space left

We pootled to the services, but would there be space for us? One side of a pontoon was available so we could get water, phew! Here is a 24 hour visitor mooring behind gates with the services, until tomorrow unless other wise signed all visitor moorings have been 14 days. We slotted in and started to fill the water tank. This would take a couple of hours as the pressure could compete with all the slow taps on the network. We also did a load of washing and got the dishwasher earning it’s keep.

The cratch cover went back on, the zips all sewn back in by machine, much better than my hand sewing. SPL had also darned a couple of little tares, one that had been there since it was made, the other possibly from a tussle with NB Billy a couple of years ago or when we’d got too close to a lock gate. Not bad for £25 plus a train fare to Cottingham.

By now we were both very cold. What was the likelihood of someone passing wanting water? It was getting dark after all. We decided that we’d stay put for the night and if no-one else had moved off in the morning we’d pull out and leave a space available.

The last batch of socks

My aim of knitting ten pairs of socks during March was achieved, admittedly the tenth pair being a diddy pair. All adult socks were packed up and addressed ready to be sent off. I’m going to let my fingers and needles have a bit of a rest for a few days, hopefully I won’t get twitchy fingers and start on something else.

1 lock, 0.37 miles, 4 trains, 1 cratch cover, 1 boat through the impending stoppage, 1 swing bridge, 1 reversing bin wagon held up, 2 tugs, 4 gates, 2 boats swapped, 1 hour of sideways snow, 20 frozen digits, 1 full water tank, 10 pairs, 1 March Challenge completed.