Friday, 29 June 2012

Making A Start Back From Braunston

(Boat Sickle - posted by Alan)

"Lamprey" & "Sickle"
The first thing to do is to acknowledge the help of Richard Powell, now offering his services to boaters as Primrose Engineering.  Richard not only managed to be at Braunston on the day that we manage to break Sickle's gear change mechanism, but even to be walking past the boat just after it had been removed, and was lying on the bank whilst we were working out what to do next.  Richard took the parts away on the Sunday, and by Wednesday I was back in Braunston to meet him, and refit the repaired parts to the boat.  I think we both acknowledge that the breast drill mechanism that has been used for the purpose is not really up to the rigours of the very heavy gear changing on "Sickle", but Richard has effected a repair considerably better than the original (just about!) welded method, and got us going again, whilst we contemplate what might be done as a more long term improvement.

As ever, because we needed to travel with two cars, and leave one at another location, we were not at Braunston particularly early tonight, and whilst we had thought we might get through the tunnel that evening, it quickly became apparent that we were unlikely to do more than get up the lock flight.
I was shutting the single top gates we used to exit.
Whilst we were sorting ourselves out, we unexpectedly saw Sarah come past on the Josher "Lamprey", but we were not ready to go, and were facing the wrong way.  However, by the time we did get to the bottom Braunston lock, we could see Sarah still setting the next one, (she was single-handing the boat), so we waved until she realised we could catch up,and share the effort.  We seldom seem to share locks with another historic boat, so it is an unexpected pleasure when it does happen.  Sarah is keen, so despite being on her own, still manages to largely do everything on her side of the lock.  I don't think I could handle a 70 foot working boat alone, but then Sarah has youth on her side!

Good backdrop of trees at the top lock.
We had hoped to get to the relatively recently re-opened Admiral Nelson, and sample their menu.  However on the way up the flight we found out food orders would end before we were likely to get there.  So we ate on the boat, but then walked down to see what beer was on offer.  As it was close to 10:30, I thought it would be near closing.  How wrong could I be !  It was heaving with people, and very lively.  In fact by 11:00 it showed no sign of thinning out.  The beer was good, and we just chilled for a while.  OK, it was a Friday evening, but this looks a good omen for this much troubled, (and much closed!) pub.  Assuming it is not completely dead during the week, or in winter, it looks to have a chance.  We'll have to wait until next time to try the menu, though!

Braunston Marina Entrance to Braunston Top Lock
Miles: 1.0,   Locks: 6

Totals for Stoke Bruerne & Braunston Trip 
Miles: 48.7,   Locks: 35

No comments:

Post a Comment