No Direction

No Direction is our 70ft Narrowboat which is now home to my wife Jayne and myself, it was launched on 4th February 2008.

We spend the Winters in a Marina and cruise in the warmer weather.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

It's Busy Here

Friday/Saturday 30/31st July 2010
Moored at The Linslade Canal Festival
No Miles No Locks

Friday.  We had a very quiet morning, a few more boats arrived for the Canal Festival, one that arrived early today was Historic boat Corona who's owner Trevor Maggs is in his late seventies and brings his boat to these events on his own, that includes operating the locks !!.

Trevor Maggs on Corona

One boat that was moored at the festival site but not by choice was this "Dutch Barge",  as you

can see it's bit wider that the normal boats you see on the Canal, the problem was it would not fit through the narrow section, probably the site of a old bridge.

Narrow section that stopped the Dutch Barge

The Narrow section is wide enough for boats up to 14 ft wide to pass, the Dutch Barge was about 13 ft however there was an underwater obstruction, possibly one of the edging stones had fallen in, British Waterways were sending a J.C.B. to clear it but that won't be till next week.

At around 3 o'clock I cycled back towards the Soulbury Locks which we had passed through in No Direction on Wednesday to meet Historic boats Nutfield and Raymond who were coming from Cosgrove, I found them after a couple of miles, borrowed one of their Windlasses (a tool for operating a Lock) and cycled back to Leighton Lock to get it ready for them, this was the last Lock on their journey, there was a delay at the lock as there were 2 hire boats just entering from Wyvern Shipping whose hire base is a short distance away, as with all hire boat operators they have to be sure that the hirer's are capable of controling the boat and operating the Locks safely so an employee goes with them for the first couple of miles to give instruction, when he is happy that they can handle the boat he leaves them to it and usually cycles back to base, when Nutfield and Raymond arrived at the Festival site I helped with the mooring and that was about it for Friday.

Saturday.  Started with rain showers, I walked up to where Nutfield and Raymond were moored to help with the setting up and then discovered a wasps nest in the Canal bank by each boat, the organisers allowed us to move to another mooring space which turned out to be a better spot all round.

There is a small Wharf along this stretch of Canal with narrow gauge rails running to it, they were used in the days when sand was excavated from a nearby pit and transported in hand carts along the rails to waiting Narrowboats.

1936 Restored Narrowboat "Stanton" alongside the narrow gauge rails, 60 or 70 years ago this is how it would has been done.

The weather cleared up and the crowds appeared, it was the best fund raising day we have had for Nutfield and Raymond this year, Robin was manning the Sales stand and I was in Raymond's cabin showing members of the public how working boat families used to live.

Jayne made her way over to the main area where there were over 100 display stands mainly Rural crafts such as wood turning and basket making plus the usual food stands, the Police and Fire service were also there.
The organisers had asked all visiting boat owners to display an information sheet about their boat where people walking past could read it, we did that and Jayne spent most of the afternoon at No Directions side hatch answering questions about living on a Narrowboat.
At 5 o'clock the festival closed and we started to pack everything back onto the boats, tomorrow the crew, Steve, Robin and Neil will start the 2 day journey back to Blisworth where the boats will be on show again at the Blisworth Festival next weekend, however, we will not be at that one as we start cruising again tomorrow heading for Little Venice in London.

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