All New Water. 6th May

Woodford FOTRN to Peartree Farm FOTRN mooring

Morning view

We’d woken on another list, this time the other way round, Oleanna most probably just settling in the silt. Our neighbour got going before us and as we pushed out a narrowboat headed straight for our spot as if we’d been keeping it warm for them.

Blue blue sky

What a gorgeous morning! Blue skies surrounded us.


A chap sat on his lawn mower spraying out grass clippings as he went, obviously not part of the ‘No Mow May’ brigade. But then as we looked back we could only just about see his house! That’s one big lawn!

A queue!

Woodford Lock was not too far away and we soon started winding down the guillotine gate. A wide beam appeared behind us, it had to tread water until Oleanna was moved off the lock landing. The advantage of being followed on these locks is that so long as the guillotine gate is raised enough for you to safely exit with your boat you don’t have to wind it all the way back up to the very top to lock it off, saving several minutes of cardio vascular exertion at the big wheel.


The river banks were mostly low today, cow parsley, rapeseed, and many plants standing tall in the sunshine waving in the breeze. Holy Trinity at Denford made for a good photo giving me a break from spinning the wheel.

More tight bridges to negotiate today. The old piers of a former railway bridge sit on a bend at an angle, a beep of the horn was felt necessary just in case. Then under Islip Road Bridge with it’s narrow arches. Just upstream of the bridge is a mooring, too soon for us to stop and a tricksy one to get into.

Through Thrapston, we made note of the Islip Dave mooring which has no land access, but would be a better choice for Tilly than the one by the bridge. It’s places like this that you’d like to be able to explore on foot, but being on a river just pulling in where you’d like isn’t really an option. If we wanted to explore Thrapston we’d need to either be by the bridge or on the EA mooring just out of town.

Titchmarsh Mill

By Titchmarsh Lock we caught last nights neighbour up. He was obviously a local as people stopped to chat with him at the lock, he moors at Middle Nene Cruising club which has a fantastic mill alongside it. Our pamphlet from the EA suggests you’d be able to moor considerately on the downstream lock landing, but we’d be too long for any consideration of this sadly.

Not much further on to Peartree Farm Mooring. I’d been wondering if the moorings would get busier today with it being the start to the weekend, but as we pulled up we were the only ones. This is where Harpers Brook joins the River Nene and the land at the junction has been fenced off to make an idyllic mooring. Space for several boats we chose to moor on the brook to make use of what solar the day had left to offer.

Backing in to moor

Tilly had an explore, trying out several trees for size, many just a touch too wide for good climbing and the lack of nearby friendly cover knocked it down from a Mrs Tilly stamped mooring. There’s a barbeque area with a picnic table. Fairy houses in trees and bird boxes. Lovely, but I think I preferred the views of yesterdays mooring.

Tonights mooring

As the afternoon went on the sun hid behind clouds and the temperature dropped necessitating lighting the stove. We were joined by the widebeam that had been following us and then a narrowboat from down stream, all sitting out around a fire pit as it got dark and started to rain. The last boat to pass was after 10pm, someone holding a torch out front to see the way.

4 locks, 3 wheels, 6.57 miles, 1 sunny warm morning, 1 improvised handle, 1 week to mow a lawn, 2 pretty churches, 1 neighbour caught up, 1 mill, 2 many trees to choose from, 1 pile of ash! 1 grey afternoon, 1 wet night ahead.