Category Archives: Stainforth and Keadby Canal

Happy 8th Baseplate Day! 14th February

Well today marks the 8th anniversary of Oleanna’s baseplate being laid in Tim Tylers workshop in Newcastle under Lyme. It was another year and a bit before we finally moved on board to cruise her down to Crick to meet with Lillian and fully move onboard.

Mick stood at the stern 58ft 6 inches away, 8 years ago

If you want to look back and see Oleanna’s build this is a post from our first visit. Her story starts much earlier so here’s a link to the first Oleanna blog post, 1948 blog posts ago!

Currently we are gradually getting ourselves ready to move back on board, the date still a little bit up in the air.

Sunday in the Park with Mick

Mick went down to check on Oleanna on Monday. A chat with the bully boy batteries went well, the newly oiled floor had cured so the back steps could go back in. I’ve been busy covering new and old dinette cushions and today we should receive new cartridges for our life jackets, which are currently still inflated in a closed room well away from cat claws.

The world of canals and rivers is keeping us on our toes as regards to stoppages at the moment. There is a silt build up on the River Trent which needs dredging between Beeston and Cranfleet locks. The coal boat had serious difficulty passing that way a week ago and was having to wait for levels to rise again before attempting to return to base. Since then the Trent has gone back into flood.

Can we start packing yet?

The Don Doors on the New Junction are having issues with their gearbox so are closed to the canal currently. Even if we got past them Vazon Sliding Bridge is closed to boat traffic until mid March whilst strengthening works are carried out to the north canal wall.

However we’d planned on crossing the Pennines. The Rochdale, Lock 67 is suffering from subsidence which will be worked on next week. Lock 65 is also showing similar signs and will be looked at next week to see what should be done.

Round 1

The Leeds Liverpool has a navigation restriction near Burnley, Embankment 39, so it is still navigable. Works at Wigan have been slowed by the weather so the closure there has been extended by a week so that concrete has more time to go off, the concrete has as yet to be laid. Problems near Foulridge Tunnel seem to have been sorted.

Round 2

Then the Huddersfield Narrow and Broad. There are bridge works and a lock closure on the Broad along with repairs to a wash wall which should be finished mid March. On the Narrow locks on the east side are closed until the end of February, then there is a closure in Stalybridge which should open mid March.

Round 3

So at the moment the Leeds Liverpool is looking the most promising, followed by the Huddersfield canals. Further south there has been a substantial landslip on the North Oxford near Brinklow. We’d planned on heading southwards this way, but we strongly suspect it will take a while for this to be sorted so will have to head southwards through Birmingham. Or do we wait for the Trent to be sorted and out of flood then high tail it south along the Leicester Section?

Who knows! We’ll wait and see what is open when we set off.

Thank you Beth

In Sockathon News I now have sponsors for 29 pairs of socks and have raised £655 for Dementia UK. Pair 7 will soon be finished. I now have a very large box of yarn donations sent in from all over, details of which are on the Yarn Donations page. There are still a few more people who have pledged yarn donations so they will be added as yarn arrives. I think I may be knitting for a few years to use it all up! If you fancy a pair here’s a link to my JustGiving page

  • Thank you Debby for becoming pair 30!
My friend Morag looking across the harbour

0 locks, 0 miles, 8 years old! 4 routes from the north closed, 1 bathroom delayed, 1 best mate visit, 2 lodgers, 1 fair weather cat, 2 opticians appointments, 2 doctors appointments, 1 vets appointment, 1 gathering, 1 leg of lamb, 2 boaters nearly ready.

2023 A Sociable Year

A long post, it’s the annual round up.

January, we sat waiting. Waiting for a new alternator to arrive, for the River Trent to come out of flood and then for the canal to defrost sufficiently for us move. This meant Pip doing work on the boat instead of in the house, this made for smelly days and a very cold workshop under the pram cover.

After almost three weeks we were on the move again having to navigate through thick fog, navigational aids helping us not to bump into the banks! Ahead of us in Yorkshire was a troublesome swing bridge, closed to boat traffic. Our plans had to change, we arranged to moor up in Newark and head back to Scarborough by van. Chin rubs nearly made the longer journey better, but I really don’t like the outside moving SO fast!

Four days later we were back on board, the bridge ahead was now open. Tides were checked, locks booked, cupboards stocked for a few days cruising. Winter cruising can be so so pretty, yet so so chilly. A display by the Red Arrows as we left Torksey kept us amused and a defrost was very welcome when we arrived at Keadby. After four days cruising we were moored up in Goole and walking to catch the train back to Scarborough.

#unit21 in Huddersfield kept Pip occupied for much of February. Then it was time to give the house some TLC in between lodgers. A back bedroom got a makeover just in time. Mick had trips to see Oleanna, a jobs list left with Alastair and the covers headed off for some much needed mending. Tilly was kept busy checking out the neighbours, they stay inside so I get free reign of their outside!

April arrived along with two lodgers, it was not possible to do more work on the house, Pip chose to knit socks instead. Dementia UK her chosen charity this year. Donations of yarn came from dyers and Pip’s needles started to click away, keeping up with requests. 15 pairs knitted and her target met.

May, visits were made to Oleanna preparing her for cruising, these were interspersed with visits from family, delivering socks, getting the house ready and starting work on the design for panto. On the 9th of May we loaded a van and returned to life afloat. Tilly the happiest cat once she was back onboard! A day later we set off heading west. Leeds for a few days for Pip to head to Matlock for work and then a wonderful visit to see 93 year old Betty in Harrogate.

Working our way up the Leeds Liverpool Canal, locks and the new stupid swing bridge much lighter work with two boats. Our favourite canal with wonders of the waterways, friends on route, Mick’s birthday and a trip to Bowness to see the latest Ayckbourn play. We managed a night on our favourite mooring on the network sadly it was too windy to enjoy the view with a barbecue.

Up over the top, we teamed up with NB That’s It, thankfully descending the Wigan flight in a window between vandalism and blown cills that have hampered the flight this year. Then along the Bridgewater Canal, panto designing whilst on the flat. Through Preston Brook Tunnel and onto the Trent and Mersey turning right onto the Middlewich Branch.

Back on lockdown ‘Home’ waters we cruised the Nantwich pound, 5 hours 13 minutes including a lunch and shopping stop, back in 2020 we’d spent 80 days here. We cruised southwards on the Shropie joined for a day by Carol and George from WB Still Rockin’. Laura and Alison from NB Large Marge joined us for the ascent up the Wolverhampton 21.

Through Bumingham and on to Lapworth and then Hatton where we had an extra pair of hands from Jane, who hopefully now has her own narrowboat. A well deserved burger at the Cape of Good Hope with Emma and David, then a lovely evening with Lizzie (NB Panda) at The Folly, it was turning out to be quite a sociable June.

Oleanna wiggled her way across the summit of the South Oxford, very familiar water to us. Despite the sunny weather and us cruising most days our batteries were not happy, turning themselves off overnight! Diagnosis was required, we pulled into Cropredy Marina to plug in and run tests. One of our three batteries was dead, bad enough but thankfully nothing more. Once a panto meeting had been attended we could move on, except there was an emergency closure at Banbury Lock. C&RT worked hard to get the canal open as quickly as they could, thankfully our hold up wasn’t too long.

We met up with the crews of NB Azzura (Liz and Mark) and NB Perseus (Julie and Simon) both Finesse boats, had a visit to London for Andrew’s birthday. Then had a rendez vous with Paul and Christine and enjoyed a good catch up onboard NB Waterway Routes.

Down to the River Thames where we turned upstream onto waters we’ve only cruised once before. Such a lovely stretch of river, sadly with fewer moorings now. We sped up to Lechlade where we took up residence for a week so that we could attend a get together at Pip’s cousins which coincided with the Royal International Air Tatoo in Fairford. It was great to be with family on a jolly occasion.

Work took over for Pip as we made our way back down stream to Oxford, Cinderella had to go to the ball and the model needed to be finished. Then we sauntered our way back northwards. One day had us meet up with Frankie NB Discovery, NB Dusty the local coal boat and Graeme on NB Misty Blue, it was good to catch up with Graeme and hear of his adventures since we’d seen him last year.

A trip for us both back to Scarborough to do a turn around of lodgers, see a show and pick up post. Mick would have to return the following weekend to swap bedlinen over again, this time by train from Rugby. Stand still budgets and inflation required Pip to do more work on panto so her days were kept busy reducing Cinderella’s carriage from £2000 to £400.

Stoppages around the network meant we had only one real route we could take to head back north. We winded and climbed our way up to the Leicester Section. Here we met up with Ken and Sue NB Cleddau at Houdini’s Field sitting out till way after dark. Then a small detour to Welford to meet up with NB Panda and Lizzie for an evening before we continued our way north.

Another detour to Market Harborough before Leicester where North Lock had a badly leaking cill which required a crew of C&RT chaps to force the bottom gates open, booked passage was required, this meant we got a few days to enjoy the city whilst we awaited our turn.

Sadly by now the lack of water on the Chesterfield Canal meant the top end of the canal was closed, no point in rushing up the River Trent for a return visit. In Nottingham Pip’s little toe had a kerfuffle with a cupboard necessitating a visit to the drop in centre for her little pinkie to be realigned. This meant Pip had to hand the windlass and key of power over to Mick for the last locks of the year.

Downstream on the River Trent, stopping at all our favourite moorings. Pip’s knitting needles came out again to knit more socks for Dementia UK. We had a trip into Lincoln along the Fossdyke Canal, we actually managed to finally visit the Cathedral this time!

Tides were not helpful for the rest of our trip north so a couple of days at West Stockwith was needed, but that did mean we’d be sharing the tidal waters back to Yorkshire with NB That’s It whom we’d met earlier in the year.

There was time for a catch up with David as we passed through Bramwith, a jaunt up to Doncaster and then finally along the New Junction and onto Goole where a space had been found for us in the marina. A train ride to Scarborough to pick up a van and see the latest show before packing up the boat again for the second time this year.

Planned works at the house then went very smoothly. Scaffolding arriving the day after we arrived, new windows later in the day with four carpenters and two days later the decorator who was to give the house a much needed new coat of paint outside.

Mid October Pip moved to Chipping Norton for a month to work on panto, Mick and Tilly left to welcome a new lodger for the Christmas show in Scarborough. Panto was as much work as normal with the addition of Pip getting covid after the first week of rehearsals. The show opened to toe tapping audiences and many many bananas, getting great reviews. Mick had a days trip to London to support boaters who had gathered outside the Houses of Parliament for a Fund Britain’s Waterways rally.

Back in Scarborough Christmas came early with a visit from the London Leckenbys at the beginning of December, they hadn’t been to Scarborough for ten years. A few more house jobs have been done but a list has been compiled for the new year along with those on Oleanna. We’ve had a lovely Christmas, catching up with Scarborough friends, Tilly has slept lots, we’re lucky to see her before 2pm most days! I’m just resting for when the outsides start changing again.

Don’t worry Tilly the count down has started.

This year our plans changed all because of an invite from Pip’s cousins. We travelled our favourite canal, cruised many familiar waters , visited ‘Home’, climbed trees and pounced, caught up with many boating friends and made many new ones along the way. One very sociable year.

So our vital statistics for 2023 according to Canalplan are

Total distance of 805miles, 2.25furlongs and 436 locks.

There were 121 moveable bridges, of which 33 are usually left open; 151 small aqueducts or underbridges and 16 tunnels – a total of 6 miles, 5 furlongs under ground and 7 major aqueducts.

This is made up of 244 miles, 1.25 furlongs of narrow canals; 251 miles, 5.5 furlongs of broad canals; 69 miles, 1.5 furlongs of commercial waterways; 95 miles, 4.75 furlongs of small rivers; 57 miles, 3.75 furlongs of large rivers; 87 miles, 1.5 furlongs of tidal rivers; 185 narrow locks; 223 broad locks; 28 large locks.

Although according to Nebo we did

815.09 miles and 431 locks! Hmm maybe my maths isn’t so good. But then we only started using Nebolink in August, tracking our every move rather than just on our phones.

470 engine hours, 789.8 litres diesel! Ouch, having to run the engine to top the batteries up on an evening didn’t help with this, 150amp hours down to 100, 3 gas bottles, 120kg coal, 19.5 litres oil, 2 oil filters, 2 fuel filters, 1 shower mixer, 1 domestic alternator, 1 set new engine mounts, 1 overnight guest, 3 packs Dreamies, 1.5 packs Bonkers, 39 friends, 6 brought in, 34 Mrs Tilly stamps of approval, 34 pairs of socks, £1132 for Dementia UK, 2 shows, 9 lodgers, 10 supermarket deliveries, 33 boxes wine, 1 toe, 6 months cruising, 3 boat mover sightings, 209 posts, 184 likes, 9,503 visitors, 31,309 views!

Thank you for following our journey during 2023. We have a plan for 2024, but there are several invites and a rendez vous with some New Zealanders. Will we stick to our plan? Have to alter course to fit everything in? Wait and see, we’re already counting down the weeks to being afloat again.

Postponed Birthday. 2nd October

Doncaster Visitor moorings to the site of Small Hedge Swing Bridge, New Junction Canal

Some blueberries were required before pushing off, so Mick headed to the market to see what he could find. I tried calling Peter at Prompt Side so that we could talk through setting up and saving images for print. But he was busy setting up the days printing jobs, he’d ring back.

Mick topped us up with water, NB Northumbria arrived with Alfie on the roof, time for another chat before we pushed off.

Pushing off shouldn’t really be a problem, except the weed boats were back, three of them today. Two caterpillar boats and one conveyor boat. They were collecting pennywort from around the moorings to deposit on the opposite bank. Happily going back and forth without any thought that other boats might be moving. Eventually we managed to catch a gap and sped off.

Long Sandall

The moorings above Long Sandall Lock were empty, a rare sight, sadly we weren’t wanting to stop here today. The lock had just been filled for a boat coming up, the top gates opened and the two boats swapped places, perfect timing. Back down the lock and onwards to Barnby Dun.

Only 16 held up at the bridge today.

Now it was decision time. Should we moor back at Bramwith Junction? Or should we carry on onto the New Junction Canal? Flood locks on the Aire and Calder were closed yesterday so rivers were on the rise. It would be a real pain to be held up on the wrong side of the Don Doors if they had to be closed due to rising levels. We’d cross and then find a mooring as soon as we could. Well that was the plan.

Under the Don Doors

At the junction we waved to David and Clive. Les from NB Christopher B is expecting an operation later this week and will be kept in hospital until she is mobile. The River Don looked higher than normal, but still a difference between it and the canal. Maybe we were being over cautious.

Nowhere to moor, we’d have to carry on. Perhaps just off the end of a bridge landing? No, it was too close to the road for Tilly to be allowed freedom. Onwards, a flag on my map looking like it was the only possible place to moor before Sykehouse Lock.


Low Lane Swing Bridge swung, Top Lane Lift Bridge lifted, only problem was I couldn’t open the gate to get out! I had to climb the fencing. Kirk House Green Lift Bridge took a lot of jiggling for my key to turn to power it up, but soon we were on our way.

The light at the lock was red, a volunteer on duty. We’d already come farther than we’d really wanted to, but just after the narrowing where a swing bridge had once been we saw our opportunity a bar on the piling suitable for chains.

Birthday girl on the catwalk

Time for Tilly to head back out and explore. Yesterday was her eighth birthday, but it was no fun for a cat being cooped up in Doncaster, so today we needed a mooring for her and her postponed birthday. Hooray!!! Lots of friendy cover, no woofers, no nobody, BRILLIANT!!!!

A treat cheese lunch was enjoyed, hairs were removed from the songsheet artwork that I’d forgotten, then it was emailed off for approval by John. I took a couple more windows out and gave them the full clean before needing to sit down again.

Clockwise from left. Yarg, cheddar with Scarborough seaweed, feta (left over from a tray bake) and Wookey Hole cheddar.

The perfect mooring for a cat, but phone signal nearly non existent, no good for my photoshop phone call. The internet was also slow, apart from when watching a film. Stronger (2017) is based on the true story of Jeff Bauman who lost both his legs in the Boston Marathon Bombing. Mick was astounded at the amount of swearing it contained, what would our parents have thought! Have to admit to giving up with twenty minutes to go when Jeff and his girlfriend started to have a very loud argument after she’d told him she was pregnant. I’ll watch the rest another time, I’d just had enough of them shouting at each other.

1 lock, 8.8 miles, 1 left, 3 bridges, 19 held up, 2 more windows, 3 weed boats, 1 plumber contacted, 1 scaffolder contacted, 4 hours of birthday frolics, 8 years old! plus 1 day, 1 heel turned, 1 very shouty film, 1 stove lit.

Continents. 29th September

Bramwith Junction to Doncaster Visitor Moorings

Tilly was allowed out first thing, she could decide when we would move on today. Off she went not to be seen for quite sometime! Clive came past with Peg and stopped for a chat, he’s got his car back from West Stockwith and the boat is plugged in, it should make life easier for a while.

Paws at rest

We’d run out of things to occupy us, time to move on, but still no Tilly. Time to be the mad cat woman on the towpath. I walked back towards the lock, my voice resonating across the canal. In the past Tilly has spent time in amongst the trees this way, today it looked like the friendly cover might be just a touch too dense for her. No noises came back. I walked up in the other direction. TILLY!! Minny meow!! Was that her bell? Was that a meow? Hard to tell with the wind. Maybe it was. Then up she popped tail held high skipping back to the boat. Time to move on.

Barnby Dun Lift Bridge

We pootled up to Barnby Dun, pausing to drop off rubbish and empty the yellow water. Then the key of power was put in the bridge panel. This road is so busy, do you wait for a gap in the traffic coming from three directions? Or just press the button no matter? The traffic died down, so I chose a moment without a car in view and set the sequence going, no white van to jump the lights today.

Once through and the bridge dropped you then have to wait for a gap in the traffic to be able to cross the road. I like counting the number of stopped vehicles, but just how many more had me waiting?

I recognise that whirligig

A dutch barge with a whirligig and washing drying in these parts is almost certainly Dolly Earl. Recently blacked and the gunnels repainted, no name visible. Mick made a note of the boat number, yep it was Dolly Earl! That’s a familiar boat ticked off our list for the year, I think we’re short of only one, the blue boat NB Jubilee Bridge.

Big Yorkshire locks

Wind swept us up to Long Sandall Lock, Mick opting to reverse and hover whilst the lock emptied. The huge vast lock filled, then I noticed the amount of Pennywort by the top gates. Could I open the gates without it getting in the lock? Yes.


Across the way was NB Northumbria, Paul used to look after the basin up in Sheffield. He bobbed his head out to say hello. We did our best to hover and chat with him as the wind buffeted us about. There was news of a new Finesse boat setting off from Sheffield in the morning, hopefully we’ll get to see her. I dropped Rachel the owner a line, they had their snagging weekend quite some time ago and have a bit of a major weekend cruise ahead of them, very exciting.

Paul suggested that the Doncaster moorings might be full, he’d counted boats on the move today, we hoped some would have stopped at Strawberry Island. He gave a suggestion of where to moor if Doncaster was full. Fingers crossed we’d not need it. There’s ground works going on with diggers perched high up on banks of earth, maybe this is where there used to be abandoned burnt out cars, I’ll have to take more note on our way back.


The Minster came into view, a zoom in on the camera, loads of space at the moorings! Brilliant! We winded to have the side hatch outwards and a better view from bed in the morning. During the afternoon another two boats joined us.

Weed boats

Rafts of Pennywort have taken hold here, two weed boats soon arrived. The one with chopping blades and a conveyor belt we’ve seen before, but the other was new to us. Long prongs on an arm at the front can hook a chunk of pennywort, this can be lifted into the air. The boat is propelled by two caterpillar tracks of rubber blades. This means that it not only moves in the water but it can ride up the bank too to deposit the weed well out of the water. Shame my video isn’t fully in focus but it gives you the idea.

Later in the day MIck made a comment about an island of Pennywort passing by. I peeked out, ‘that’s not an island, that’s a whole continent!’

Obviously the weed boats had missed this one

I walked up to Boyes in the town centre to see if they might have some bright pink long fringing for panto. Their haberdashery section was a disappointment, I’ll have to order online instead. They did however have engine oil, Mick will return with the bike for 10 litres.

Almost empty shelves

An afternoon of knitting for me in front of a film. Judy (2019) about Judy Garland’s career in the last year of her life when she performed on the London stage. Flash backs to her early career at the time of The Wizard of Oz. Another lonely sole, what a great performance by Renee Zellweger, no wonder she won quite a few awards. It was also Michael Gambon’s last film, so quite an apt choice.

Some of the miners portraits in A Rich Seam by Laurence Edwards

Another pair of socks went in the post today, another pair finished ready to have the ends woven in. That’s six pairs done, another two on the list.

1 lock, 5.7 miles, 1 lift bridge, 19 held up, 25 holding me up, 2 hours shore leave, 1 skipping cat, 1 sauce tasting woofer, 0 fringing, 1 walk not hobble, 1 parcel arrived.

The View’s Better Up Here. 28th September

Staniland Marina to Bramwith Junction

As Mick popped the kettle on for our morning cuppa Paul was getting ready to push off. A quick goodbye and see you somewhere next year was exchanged. Off he headed, he and his travelling companions hoping to time their arrival on the New Junction Canal with all it’s bridges to avoid rush hour. Hopefully last nights storm won’t have brought any trees down on Paul’s route, it was quite passive here in Thorne.

Here he comes

An email from Clive came through he was about to leave the moorings by the service block. Mick walked up to the lock to see if there was a volunteer on duty, there was, so we could concentrate on getting ourselves ready to push off. A number checker walked past, we chatted with him. His next job today was to locate the sunken boats along the Stainforth and Keadby Canal. One was just by us, all possessions removed, the boat left to sink. It will cost C&RT around £3000 to remove it, we’d spotted at least another three on our way from Keadby!

Bye bye Thorne

As the swing bridge at the lock was pushed out of the way we pushed off, we had a convoy.

Next pair ready to post

Somewhere in amongst all the boats at Staniland are a pair of my Sockathon socks, well they were actually being worn to work today. We waved to Della wherever she moors. Onwards under the railway to the M18. Where had the near breach happened a few weeks ago? We decided that we’d most probably already missed it so where the undergrowth had been cut must have grown back. The new houses looked more settled in Stainforth now, still more being built. The lovely old boats still catch our eye as we pass them.

NB Christopher B following

Soon we were at Bramwith Swing Bridge. I hopped off and pressed the buttons, two boats through, only one car and a bike held up. Onwards to the lock. Earlier a boat had passed us, it was waiting at the lock. For the owner this would be their first ever manual lock, this would be our last manual lock this year. I checked that they were okay with sharing with a narrowboat and this was fine. Did they want to stay up top and watch what happened whilst holding onto a rope, or get back on their boat to bring it up.

First ever manual lock

A wave came from down by the moorings, David our friend from the Goole Escape Committee. Big hugs, he looked so well, a different man from last year, even from earlier this year. Mick, David and myself worked the cruiser and Clive up the lock. The latest on Les was that she will be having an operation and likely to be in a wheelchair for a while. Clive headed off, winded at the junction and then pulled into a gap on the moorings. Our arrival had been timed well as he could talk to the mooring ranger who had stopped by to see David.

Last windlass lock for a while

Next it was our turn up the lock. We seemed to be out of practice as no matter which paddle I lifted first Oleanna had different ideas than to stay on one side of the lock! Oh well. We pulled in to top up on water and have a better chat with Clive.

We nearly pulled in at the end of the permanent moorings, but we’d not have a view, so onwards to the junction to where we nearly always moor. David had warned us that the towpath hadn’t been mown for sometime, so we might have difficulty pulling in. Carefully stepping off we made it, chains round the horizontal bar. The sheers then came out to trim the friendly cover by the stern, bow, hatch and windows. Tall bracken obscured the view to the east, so this got a little trim too, although it was really quite dense Mick gave up after a while.

I can see fur miles!!!

The view’s better from up here! Tilly spent quite a bit of time on the roof, a good vantage point for seeking out friends.

An updated props list was needed, requiring a quick read of the rehearsal draft of the script. David joined us for a cuppa and a catch up. He’d just had news that he’d got a volunteer job, very exciting and perfect for him. It was so good to see him, he has come so far since early last year. Still a way to go, but every day he feels he’s making progress.

Props list amending

The stove took the edge off an autumn evening and provided the means to cook a couple of jacket potatoes to accompany a pie each. The sous chef was in charge this evening, he declined to cover his pie in foil when I could smell something was cooking well. It apparently still tasted good, my pie had a nice golden crust in contrast.

A dark crust

1 lock, 4.7 miles, 1 bridge, 1 held up, 3 Kingfishers, 1st lock for one, 420th for us this year, 2 boats not in the right place, 1 hedge trimmed, 4 hours, 2 friends, 1 stove lit, 1 catch up, 2 jackets, 1 new props list, 1 Mrs Tilly stamp of approval.

It’s Him Again! 27th September

Staniland Marina

With Agnes’s arrival moving it gave Mick a dry window of opportunity to head off to do some shopping before the rain was due to arrive. The shopping list was just being put together when I noticed a bright blue boat had just come up Thorne Lock, NB That’s It on their last leg to get back to Strawberry Island in Doncaster.

They hovered for a while to give us an update on Les. She’d been kept in at the hospital, in a cast up to her hip. Apparently she’d misjudged her footing when stepping off the boat, not just a break but also a crush injury from the boat! As Jo said, stepping off a boat is something we all do every day and don’t really think about it. We’ll all be thinking about it from now on.

Time to say our farewells to Jo and Brian. It was nice to meet them earlier in the year, to share some locks, then to share the last leg of the Tidal Trent. I suspect our bows will cross again in the future.

A while later Clive came past walking Peg their dog. More news of Les, her ankle will need pinning, possibly more, so she’ll be kept in for a while. They are hoping they can stay with their son on land for some of Les’s recuperation. Plans were made for tomorrow to cruise up to Bramwith with Clive.

A 1:1 drawing had been requested by the set builders for some wiggly bits on panto. Two pieces of A4 paper were stuck together and wiggles drawn out. They’ll make a template from this, then use a router to cut them out.

Apparently these were bought as a joke, tasty joke

No sign of Agnes with her wind and rain in the early afternoon, she’d postponed her arrival now till late afternoon. Some extra memory for my laptop (thank you for the prompt from Dave Scouts) was wanting to be ordered to assist with my touching up of panto bits. But we needed an address to send it to. Fran in Sheffield was happy for us to use her address and hopefully it’ll mean we get to see her soon.

Just how many toys does one cat need in a bedroom?!

Yesterday I heard that my host in Chippy this year would now no longer have room for me, due to family circumstances her house would now be filled with Grandchildren. However she’d seen Suzanne my previous host and suggested I got in touch with her. Unfortunately Suzanne hasn’t managed to sell her house, fortunately for me it means I can stay with her again. Phew!

Late afternoon, Tilly was snoozing in the escape pod, I was pottering on the computer and Mick was being a domestic goddess with the hoover when I heard a boat go into reverse alongside Oleanna. I peeked out the window. Ah! It’s that man again!!

It’s that man again!

Paul the narrowboat mover, third or is it the fourth time this year? We’d heard that he might be doing a move along the Trent, but it depended on whether the boat would be ready to be picked up in time to catch us up, also on when Wigan reopens for another move. He reversed into the space behind us. Rapidly moored up, ran to chat with the boat he’d been travelling with then came for a chat.

They’d set off from Torksey this morning and had been expecting Agnes to slow them down, but she was only just starting to have an effect. This meant we could have quite a chat with him rather than just a quick Hello. His next destination is Huddersfield in a few days time.

I wouldn’t trust this bit

Tilly did a bit of tree inspecting whilst we chatted. Paul having pulled up under an oak tree. I’m not too sure about this branch, but the rest should be fine tonight! At around 5pm it started to rain time to stop gassing and head inside.

As the evening progressed the wind picked up, the plastic curtain on the dry dock flapping and clapping away . A sheet of rain could be heard approaching and making it’s way along Oleanna’s roof. Agnes has arrived!

0 locks, 0 miles, 0 Photoshop, 60cm of wiggles, 1 pack of OHP sheets, 0 fringing purchased, 1 long blog written, 9 hours, 1 update, 1 Paul again, 1 dust free boat.

Bacon Butties, Bananas And A Break. September 26th

West Stockwith to Opposite Staniland Marina, Stainforth and Keadby Canal

Thank you swan

Alarm at 6am, blimey it was dark. When I took the above photo I had no idea there was a swan right in the middle of it! Cuppas were made and drunk, Nebolink started, covers rolled up, no time for breakfast today!

West Stockwith Lock for 7am

We were just pulling into the lock as the Lockie arrived a little before 7am. He donned his life jacket and got out his serious key of power, it looked like the float also doubles as a corkscrew! We chatted a little as the water drained from the lock. A radio check was done between us and NB That’s It, all loud and clear. The gates opened and we were out on the river again turning downstream heading off with the outgoing tide.

What a morning!

About twenty minutes later Brian radiod, they were now on the river too. Three boats all heading to Keadby. Our normal cruising speed was knocked back a touch so as to keep a similar speed to those following us. Best to keep some distance between us, but not too much!

Waterway Routes and the chart

I’d managed to pull out some mittens for us this morning and we were glad we had them. It was a touch chilly out there, but what a wonderful morning to be out on the river. Soon we were following trails of debris which had found it’s way into the channel, thankfully the level of the river meant we could keep just out of the channel, helping to keep the prop clear.

Windmills, pubs, gas pipelines, hills in the distance all came and went. The Boating Association charts next to Waterway Routes again, helped us to know our location as downstream from Gainsborough there are no Km markers or red and green posts.

Gradually everything got misty, a dampness in the air. Waterproof trousers were sought and put on just before the M180 bridge. Here it was time to radio ahead to Keadby Lock to inform them of our position. The lock was ready and waiting for us, he’d get us sorted and then we’d wait for NB That’s it and NB Christopher B to arrive before being locked up together, Keadby Lock can take three narrowboats side by side.

Gosh the cloud was low, as we approached Keadby Bridge it was hard to make out the wind turbines that back in February surrounded the white lookout tower at the lock. Time to switch sides of the river and make our approach. This involves winding to face the current, then you have more control over your boat pushing your way forward.

We want to turn in there

Mick swung us round, maybe a little bit early. We were level with the lock entrance. We didn’t seem to be being moved with the tide, just in gear we were making our way back up stream away from the lock. Reverse was given a blast to adjust our position. This has happened approaching Selby Lock before, maybe we just manage to find patches of slack water!

Sorting ropes out with the Lock Keeper

Now with a better position Mick pushed the tiller over and upped the revs, Oleanna swung round and into the lock. We’d made it! Time to hold ropes and wait for the others to arrive. We’d heard Brian radio from the M180 a short while before we’d entered the lock so they were about fifteen minutes behind us. The Lockie passed down ropes to take ours up and around bollards. By now it was proper raining and clinging on to ropes meant sleeves getting wet!

I sent a message to Jo that we were in the lock. A message came back that NB Christopher B would come in first followed by NB That’s It. We watched as Clive turned in the river and then headed for the lock. Time for Clive and Les to cling onto Oleanna and wait for Brian to come in alongside them. NB That’s It turned and within a blink of an eye they were entering the lock. All three boats now safely in the lock, smiles all round, phew!

All three boats off the river

It took a while for the lock to fill. The Lockie asked if we would be staying or heading onwards through Vazon Sliding Bridge. The consensus yesterday had been to have a breakfast break and then carry on, making use of three boats in convoy to work the bridges. However if it continued to rain we’d be staying put.

Bacon butties and a banana each with a nice hot cuppa made things better. After an hour the rain seemed to be petering out. A boaters conference was held on the towpath, time to move on.

Waiting for Vazon Sliding Bridge to open

At times this year Vazon Sliding Bridge has had time restrictions for its use due to high temperatures expanding the structure and the train timetables needing to be kept to. As we moved off the Lockie rang, he’d give the bridge keeper a call for us. The flotilla pulled out heading west.

A bit of running maintenance

There was a wait. Mick checked his train app, no trains anywhere nearby. Then the warning siren started, the bridge slid back. Brian was first through dropping Jo off to work the manual swing bridge, then Oleanna, followed by Clive and Les. What surprised us was that there was a chap stood next to the bridge. He scraped and oiled parts of the structure next to the canal. Time to say hello, the bridge stayed open for sometime after we’d left.

Blue sky now!

Now we were in leapfrog bridge mode. We’d positioned ourselves well, the push button bridges would be ours meaning I could work them and leave Mick to battle with the inevitable wind that lurks along the Stainforth and Keadby Canal.

Godnow Bridge had a very chatty level crossing chap on duty. He closed the rail barriers, pressed his button inside the cabin allowing me to work the canal bridge. Road traffic was already backing up, the three boats came through, closed button pressed and road reopened.

Assistance required

Next up was Medge Hall Bridge, the one with the post box and nice signal box. Les hopped off to work it. All the bridges are different in one way or another and it took a bit of fathoming out. Jo went to lend a hand, barriers needed clicking in more. The leapfrog changed order a touch.

Gradually the sun was coming out and ahead lay Yorkshire, as we crossed the border from Lincolnshire we gave a big cheer.

Us infront again

Maud’s Bridge the one that was stuck shut to boat traffic in January after a car had smashed into the barriers is always a bit of a pig, poor Les got that one too. Our turn next. Moores Swing Bridge was having new controls added in January, a new simple open/close button panel. I held the traffic up again.

Moores Swing Bridge

Two more bridges to Thorne. The flotilla changed order again, meaning that those who knew how seriously annoying Princess Royal Swing Bridge can be would work it. So Clive and Les would get Wykewell Lift Bridge. Well that was the plan.

Something’s not right!

Bringing up the rear we could see that something had happened ahead. NB Christopher B was pulled into the side, centre line tied, Les looked to be on her knees by the stern. Then she was inside and Clive heading to open the bridge, had Les fallen?

Hello Chance

Clive returned to the boat leaving the bridge up. We pulled up to see if we could do anything. The wind was now pinning Christopher B against the side, traffic was queueing. As Clive battled with the boat I closed the bridge let the traffic through then raised it again just as Clive had got going again. He pulled in on the other side. Les was injured, an ambulance was required!

This bridge just needs blowing up!

Not much we could do other than offer ice for a possible broken ankle. We carried on into Thorne where Brian and Jo were doing battle with the footbridge. I went to waggle gates whilst others pressed buttons. No joy. I got a video call from the set builders to go through things and answer questions, so I missed the cavalry arriving from the council who gave the gate a big waggle and the bridge worked! Clive by now had decided to follow us, he was first to pull in onto the pontoons. A first responder very quickly arrived and spent quite some time inside with Les.

A very late lunch and chats with Brian and Jo as our water tank slowly filled. They would be staying, we’d be moving to above the lock for a more suitable place for Tilly. When we eventually pulled out an Ambulance had just arrived to take Les to hospital.

Thank goodness they came quickly

At Thorne Lock a boat was just about to come down, a couple who gave up teaching this summer and have lived on board for seven weeks had been out for a jolly for the day with a friend. When it came to swap keys the panel wouldn’t release theirs. We dropped their boat down and brought Oleanna in, the key was still stuck. We filed the lock and then went to work the barriers on the bridge just above. Ah ha! One of them hadn’t been closed properly. Problem solved we could all carry on our way.

We pulled in where we’ve moored before during a storm, just opposite Staniland Marina. Here Tilly can explore trees and hopefully the trees are fairly young so will provide shelter rather than be a danger.

Toad in the Hole

To celebrate being back in Yorkshire we had toad in the hole with a glass or two of wine. It had been a long eventful day and sadly not for the right reasons. We were bushed, just hope Les and Clive are as best as they can be.

3 locks, 23.5 miles, 2 lefts, 10 bridges, 22 held up, 6 soggy boaters, 2 bacon butties, 6 sausages in holes, 0 shore leave it was too late! 1 almost full water tank, 1 ambulance, 1 more drawing to do, 1 sunny day in Cornwall, 1 cancelled digs, 1 solution, 1 missing weekend.

He Must Be Called Frank. 22nd August

Gees Lock to Friars Mill Moorings

Tea with breakfast and we were ready for the off at 8:30, early for us.

Last night Mick had closed the bottom gates on Gees Lock and thankfully they’d stayed that way. At Blue Bank’s Lock it was full and a chap walked up and opened the top gate for us. He was a Scout leader and was on a walk down to see if the river was at a suitable level for the scouts to use later in the day. He also stayed to help close up and have a bit of a natter. Thank you!

Look horse, the tea room doesn’t open until tomorrow!

King’s Lock. Long before the tea rooms ever existed the cottage had been vandalised and set on fire. A young chap called Ade and his partner Lou approached British Waters to see if they could rescue it, it was due for demolition. They worked hard on the cottage and today it is a popular spot with walkers and boaters. Ade and Lou now are set builders and have built Chippy panto every year I’ve been designing it.

Sadly they only open Wednesday to Sunday, we always seem to pass when they are closed, one day we’ll actually go inside. By now I was taking note of moorings that were available, I knew one person waiting on the other side of North Lock 42 in Leicester who may be looking for a mooring later today. Two boats below the lock, plenty of room for several more boats.

So sad

A sign on the lock beam warned us of a sunken boat between bridge 107 and Aylstone Lock, there it sat, half submerged having been set light to, thankfully no-one had been onboard at the time.

Not hard

As we pulled up at the lock a boat was exiting below. There was time to have a quick ‘Are you carrying on? We’ll wait for you!’ conversation. Brilliant we’d now have two people filling locks and coping with swinging gates. Aylstone Lock took its time to fill and empty, the smell of fuel at the bottom gates was really quite pongy. Now the narrow stretch that today made us feel as if we must have gone the wrong way. But the dye factory was still there even if the gas tower opposite has totally vanished.

St Mary’s Lock

The walls round St Mary’s Lock are still covered in graffiti tags as always, the smell of fresh spray paint emanating from the walls. There sat the boat waiting for us, NB Blue something, didn’t catch their full name, surrounded by C&RT volunteers, they were preparing to paint the lock gates. It always amuses me when someone suggests hoping/jumping back on your boat as it descends into a lock when I can just simply step back onboard below as it leaves. As there were numerous blue shirts about many with windlasses I decided to walk on to the next lock along with the crew from the other boat.

Heading along the straight into the city

Freeman’s Meadow Lock sits by a big weir opposite the football ground. Two boats were just pulling away below, we’d been following a convoy. The other lady and I chatted , they were heading for North Lock, booked through today. It was their first time on the Leicester Section. I made suggestions of where they might be able to loiter should the lock cut be full of waiting boats.

Friars Mill

Our arrival into Leicester was earlier than originally planned. Our plan had been to arrive as the moorings emptied out with boats heading to North Lock for their assisted passage. We’d not been able to book for today, but decided to keep the pace up and have a couple of days in Leicester before our booking. Castle Garden moorings were empty and at Friars Mill there was enough room for two narrowboats behind a couple of cruisers who looked like they lived there. We pulled in, our plan had worked.

We decided to go and see what was happening at North Lock, how many boats would be waiting? How were they going to open the gates with the top cill being in such a bad state?

Looking above

Above the lock seven boats waited, below only four, the rest were holding back where there was more space and would move up once they heard boats were on the move. Plenty of chaps in blue and life jackets milling about, a list of boat names booked for today sat on a lock beam, 8 uphill 8 down. The bottom paddles slightly lifted and the water at the top end bubbling away, both sets of gates chained shut.

Below with more further back

Familiar faces and boats from our journey across the Leicester Section, the people from Ripon, our lock partners from today and right at the front of the queue NB Golden Eagle.

The road alongside the lock is a busy one onto Frog Island, so everyone had to keep an eye on their backs as huge wagons pulled in with inches to spare receiving a round of applause from everyone waiting for the lock. On the other side there is a new development being built, fencing and neat planting to a showroom, behind which is a complete building site. A forklift came along and moved away barriers, two chaps moved piles of breeze blocks and undid several panels of solid fencing this was so a vehicle could be brought alongside the lock.

C&RT undid a section of the neat fencing, swinging it out of the way. A 4 tonne chain winch and strops attached to the offside lock beam. A signal was given, a C&RT old pick up was driven round through the building site, the aim to use it’s towbar as an anchoring point for the winch. The pickup was turned round and then maneuvered into such a position that the towbar was just in line with the lock beam. Everything was attached and ready to go as the lock was drained.

They waited for the level to reach a mark that couldn’t be seen from our side of the lock, from here on the level would stay just about even, the same amount of water coming in through the cill as was going out through the bottom paddles, now is when they needed to encourage the bottom gate to open just an inch or two to empty the lock fully.

All the time this one chap had been leaning against the off side beam. ‘He must be called Frank’ I said. ‘Give me a leaver and a fulcrum and I’ll move the world’ says our friend Frank. He’d most certainly have been that chap leaning against the beam if he’d been here!

A pull on the chain winch, another, the beam moved a touch, a gap appearing in between the bottom gates, the rush of water leveling things out. Brilliant! The first two uphill boats were ushered into the lock, paddles would up and they were soon on their way, cheers all round.

Then the first two down hill boats. Once they had reached a certain level they were encouraged to move forward should anything more happen to the cill behind them. The whole process was repeated everything now where it needed to be. It took 14 minutes from the first boat entering the lock to the last one exiting. Job well done.

Going down

Chatting to a C&RT man he said that they’d been getting calls for assistance a couple of times a day in the last few weeks. People had started to improvise, a Spanish windlass attached to a handrail, a forklift truck and numerous passersby had been commandeered to help open the bottom gates. This morning they’d just been informed that there would be a stoppage to replace the cill around the 4th September. Until then assisted passages will happen twice a week.

Bubbling away

I sent an update to the boat waiting out of view that boats were on they’re way towards them now. The second batch of uphill boats now entering the lock. We’d seen enough now. A little spec in my vision suggested either I’d been looking towards the sun or a migraine was on its way. We headed back to the boat for some pills, my sight not having improved sadly. I spent much of the remainder of the day in bed listening to Tilly complaining about not being allowed out!

Ready for the next two

Mick popped into one of the railway archways near Friars Mill, a car repair shop to ask if they might know someone who’d be able to look at our alternator that went faulty on us earlier this year. The chap said he’d get someone to look at it and let us know, his deadline being Friday morning when it’ll be our turn to go through North Lock.

Half the uphill boats pulled up in Leicester the rest chose to carry on. We’ll keep our Welcome to pull alongside notices in the windows for when the next group of boats arrive for the lock. Our neighbours behind us won’t be moving on, as they told us, They live here!

Up in Yorkshire work took place on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal, 20 tonnes of clay were used to block the leak and and then plug the bank. The leak now stopped before anything more serious happened to the bank.

6 locks, 2 shared, 4.3 miles, 3 resident boats, 1 plan paid off, 15 or maybe 16 boats through the lock, 4 tonne chain winch, 1 Frank, 6:30 start for one boat, 9 men in blue, 2 big thank yous to C&RT, 3 pills.

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.

Don’t Let The Swans Through! 20th August

Between Locks 21 and 22 to Ellis’s Bridge 86


Kingfishers could be heard darting along the canal, then as we made ready to push off more of the high pitched calls could be heard from the pond/small lake just behind our mooring. Maybe we should have got chairs out last night and sat down there waiting to see them.

St Wiston’s Church and cows

One more lock and a mile before we reached where we should have been last night. Here the towpath is narrow, so we’d not have felt happy having a barbecue even if the wind had died down. However the view is good across to St Wiston’s Church all the meadows were filled with buttercups on our first visit here back in 2015.

Newton Top Lock had a sign on it’s top gates, warning to not let the swan family down as they would then fight with another family. We took our time, once the lock was full I leant against the gate to keep it shut until Oleanna’s bow had been positioned in such a way to hopefully exclude the swans, Dad was the ring leader, but we kept him out, the gate closing as close to the rudder as was possible. Thankfully today there were no signs about C&RT running water down the locks, this next section used to have problems with low levels.


Below the second lock sat a boat, moored on the lock landing. Someone has written the reason for the boat being there on the lock gate.

Top Half Mile Lock is one where the camera has to come out. For some reason I like the tree alongside it, it’s on my favourite tree list. It has a pleasing shape, it’s position by the lock makes it photogenic no matter what season you pass in. I took lots of photos, then struggled as usual to try to keep the lower gates closed.

Cherry Pickers galore

Behind the hedge, across a golden field three cherry pickers had people hard at work, the electrification of the Midland Main Line, no trains today.

A half mile until the next few locks, each and everyone of them empty, we were following someone towards Leicester, most probably NB Raggamuffin who passed us yesterday, they’ve not been seen since.

Those bottom gates are annoying, requiring to be closed before filling up the lock, cracking a top paddle at Bumble Bee Lock 29 is the only way to keep those gates closed. When we dropped down the gates opened themselves, Mick pushed Oleanna over to shut the offside gate and lower the paddle. We both held the gates closed for a while, they lulled us into a false sense of security staying shut until our backs were turned. Oleanna had by now positioned herself below the lock so that it was hard for Mick to step back on board despite having taken a centre line with him. I however could get on almost at the bow, then walk through the cabin, disappointing Tilly as I went as we’d not stopped for the day.

Bloomin gates!

Once we were both back onboard we glanced behind us, both gates wide open again as they had been when we’d arrived above! Heyho.

A suitable mooring was soon found a distance away from the road, maybe deep enough to eat out this evening after a small amount of nettle pruning. Tilly wasn’t impressed though the sideways trees not interesting enough and quite dense and don’t ask me about the footfall! I don’t know where it falls from!

A catch up phone call to the London Leckenbys was made, news of holidays, birthdays, house sales, future plans and Andrew and Josh’s current backpacking in Scotland were exchanged. Mick interrupted me, a Policeman had stopped to ask if either of us had seen a young lady. In the photo she was wearing a mortar board and thick rimmed black glasses, the Police were concerned for her. There had been numerous people come past since we’d stopped, but none I’d really taken much notice of. I hope they find her safely at a friends.

Blue, fluffy, golden, green

The amount of footfall including bicycles put us off sitting out, instead our meal was cooked in the oven. Baked Basa with garlic and lemon with roasted vegetables. Basa a first for us, just a white fish really, nothing to write home about.

It was okay

During the day a visit to the leak on the Stainforth and Keadby had been made by the chap who runs the Trentlink group on facebook. He’d come across two banksmen. The foliage around the area had been cut back so that the leak could be monitored more easily, the rest of the stretch still quite overgrown. More photos and a video were on view. It’s a worry as there’s quite a lot of water where it shouldn’t be, but the levels in the cut remain at normal height due to the pound being fed from the River Don.

8 locks, 3.7 miles, 1 photographic tree, 4 troublesome gates, 1 missing person, 1 outside not being awarded with any stamps, 1 heel turned.