Cadburys Take Em… 21st August

Ellis’s Bridge 86 to Gees Lock 36

A boat! NB Golden Eagle passed us heading towards Leicester, would they be stopping at Kilby Bridge services or carrying on? It’s a rare thing to see a moving boat round here at the moment, I suspect that will change tomorrow. We moved up to the services ourselves and topped up with water, disposed of rubbish and Tilly got a fresh pooh box, no sign of NB Golden Eagle.

Eye eye!

Up to Kilby Lock, set against us as we knew it would be. As we made our way to the next lock a C&RT chap was walking the towpath with a keb (a rake with bent ends used to clear bywashes and remove reeds from the canal. He shouted across to us that there were paddles up at the next lock, he was running water down to a low pound. Once he was out of view we then asked ourselves should we leave the paddles up, or leave them down at the next lock. A touch of a moral dilemma for a boater, it feels wrong to leave a pound emptying itself with no-one watching. But once Oleanna was down I went back and lifted a top paddle, we’d possibly be grateful for the extra water further ahead.

Below Ervin’s Lock a group of lads were noisily fishing, they weren’t doing so well. I remembered that I hadn’t locked the front door, a thing we do when in built up areas and going through locks, you just never know. Below the lock was the low pound, the bywash gushing forth into it from above. Blimey it was slow going! We remembered this from four years ago, the really shallow pound, at least it gives you time to appreciate peoples back gardens.

£220,000 Click photo for details

A house for sale, no end of garden mooring, wonder if you could persuade your two neighbours (and C&RT) to let you moor across their gardens? A slightly disturbing giant gnome, nowhere near as good as Monty (Neighbourhood Watch by Alan Ayckbourn). This gnome looked as if someone had been wrapped in fibreglass to create it.

I think it was Whetstone Lock that was finally in our favour, a boat moored above a short distance must have recently come up, it made a change from having to close gates and fill it. At the bottom gates I found myself standing in a squirrels left overs, a carpet of cracked hazelnut shells covering the ground, not many nuts left in the canopy.

As we turned the big bend at Glen Parva we hoped for a space to pull in. NB Ragamuffin sat at one end of the mooring, a fisherman the other. Maybe we’d have been able to squeeze in but it would have been really quite cosy. We decided to carry on a few more options available ahead.

Gees Lock, empty with a bottom gate open. I walked down to close it and start filling the lock. Mick followed but didn’t lift a paddle as I expected. He was suggesting to moor up on the lock landing, it was a long one and we could tuck ourselves at the far end, after all there’s hardly any traffic about if any. This we did knowing we’d be moving first thing.

Still quite a busy towpath, but Tilly made good use of it. One boat came past making use of that closed gate and letting it swing back open as they left. Oh well, I’ve closed it once I can do it again.

99% plastic garden, 1 dying plant in a corner

Our friend Chris on NB Elektra got in touch this morning regarding my printing problems for panto. He was willing to have a go at improving the image with various programs he has. Many thanks to him for his hours tinkering away, they are an improvement. However it could be that I’ve shot myself in the foot with my original artwork, a collage may not be the best thing to scan to be enlarged. 0.5mm depth between layers may not be helping. Maybe a really good photograph would be better? Maybe I just need to have a chat with Peter, the man who deals with such things all the time, only tricksy thing is we’d not been planning for his company to print everything.

Blaby Mill

At midday a notice came through about the leak on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal.

A leak has occurred close to the M18 Bridge and it affecting a section of towpath between M18 Bridge running parallel to East Ings Road track at Thorne. The team are working to repair the leak as soon as possible. The navigation is currently open and but this section of towpath above the leak will be closed until the repair is carried out. During the afternoon photos of a tug and skip filled with clay were posted on facebook, presumably heading towards Thorne. Fingers crossed they get the leak bunged up quickly.

Another notice came through regarding the Chesterfield Canal.

Low rainfall and diminishing reservoir levels mean we have no option but to close the Chesterfield Canal from Boundary Lock 41 upstream, as we are unable to provide enough water to accommodate boat movements. The closure will commence on Friday 1st September. We’d been thinking of heading that way, but with the best part of the canal closed we’ll leave it for another time.

6 locks, 4.4 miles, 1 giant gnome, 1 low pound, 1 dilema, 2 moving boats, 565783 hazelnuts, 0 covered in chocolate, 2 notices, 40 tonnes of clay! 1 closure, 1 plan changing, 1 phone call needed, 1 more Mrs Tilly stamp of approval.