What Is Rule No 1?! 18th June

Lapworth Lock 6 to Rowington Embankment, Grand Union

An earlyish start with the hope that we’d avoid the thunderstorms later in the day.

Lock 6

We entered Lock 6 at 9am, the top few locks were handily full waiting for us.

It’s even been written out in pencil first!

Past the cottage on the corner. Last year I heard rumours that the owners weren’t too keen on boaters using the lock. A new sign, too us, kind of confirms this along with the fact that they can’t spell!

Looking back towards the cottage

Down the flight I thought I could make out someone working locks. A zoom in on the camera, yep there was a boat heading up. When we were two locks away we started to leave gates open for them. The lock between us was just about empty so I helped it a touch and opened and closed a bottom gate for them, then went up to finish emptying the lock above which Mick had already started.

There’s at least one coming up

Behind them was another boat. The lady struggling with a ratchet windlass as I’d already opened the side she usually does, so it took some thinking about.


By now it was Geraghty zoom time. Mick set his phone up to join. Everyone was present this week. I believe there was some talk about carrots and cabbage, but I was far too busy lifting paddles and opening and closing gates to hear anything this week.

End of the first section

The cafe was closed as we came past, maybe that’s why we’d not come across any volunteers this morning. Last year the chap who helped us part of the way was singing the praises of the cafe and as soon as we reached the slightly longer pound he disappeared in for a cuppa and slice of cake.

I walked on ahead to the next locks. Good job we didn’t come this far yesterday as the road runs right alongside the canal for a stretch, no good for Tilly. The next batch of locks were empty, but we managed easily with me walking ahead to the next lock to lift paddles to fill it. Mick then lifting a paddle on the lock Oleanna was occupying before stepping back on board. I then returned to let him out.

At the next lock I could see a dog leaving a doggie deposit. I walked down as it’s owners walked up, they’d obviously not seen the little fella doing his business, so I mentioned that one of their dogs had done a crap near the lock beam. The response wasn’t what I expected, ‘No NO NO!’ they carried on walking. I wasn’t having that as I could now very obviously see the deposit so I called them back refraining from saying ‘If you pick it up it’ll still be warm!’ At least it was picked up. I thanked them and got zero response. Oh well!

Enjoy your travels

A boat was on it’s way up the lock after the water point. The chap came up to check I’d leave the gates for him. We had a good chat as he pulled his boat out from the lock, where he was planning on cruising before heading back to his mooring in September.

Boats this way and that at the link

At the basin we would be veering left towards the Grand Union, good job as a boat was in the next lock straight ahead. It seemed to be taking them forever to fill the lock, I wondered if they had a bottom paddle open. But as I walked down it was obvious the crew were under instruction.

Turning left towards the Grand Union

Below the last lock for today we paused to dispose of rubbish and then carried on to Kingswood Junction where we turned towards Warwick. A couple of miles pootleing brought us to the embankment with views down to Rowington. Today it seemed a popular place to moor. We found a gap and moored up, time for lunch.

Only a jot of work today, emailing the costume designer for panto so that she knows what I’m planning and can see the colours I’m planning on using.

Tilly got on with doing what she does. Unfortunately she seems to have totally forgotten Rule number 1! NO friends home dead or alive! In the last few weeks she has returned with two friends, both of whom were fairly immobile. Today she did the same again, I managed to catch her so she was sent out of the boat back onto the towpath with a flea in her ear.

As the afternoon progressed the sky got darker and darker. Then thunder could be heard rolling around. This was quickly followed by stair rod rain. We jumped into action, closing windows and heading to close the covers. As Mick opened the front door he was greeted by Tilly who had another mouth full! She managed to get past him and deposited her very much alive friend on the bedroom floor!


We now had a choice to let Tilly catch it again, she’s quite good at such things, or for us to catch it. The later is preferred as the friend should survive. With various bits of tuperware we managed to corner Tilly’s friend up against a bag. Mick picked the hole lot up to assist the friend out onto the towpath. Next problem was the towpath side covers were closed apart from a small chink for a cat and mouse to get through! We worked as a team and soon the small friend was scurrying away. Tilly was grounded for a while. I didn’t mind, it was really really raining!

Soggy hirers

Walking back through the boat the rain was still coming down. We had new neighbours, an Anglo Welsh hire boat desperately hammering spikes into the hard hard towpath. Umbrellas were being held by crew, and one poor chap was just getting very very wet. Nothing we could do to help other than watch from the dry inside.

14 locks, 2.9 miles, 1 left, 1 right, 1 Eeyore, 1 big sh*t, 2 hours 10 minutes, 2 friends! No 1 rule! 3 tubs, 3 downpours, 2 umbrellas, 1 dripping hire boat, 1 dripping mushroom vent, 1 Mrs Tilly’s stamp of approval.