We moved off from Norton Junction, through Braunston Tunnel down the locks to moor in The Admiral Nelson pound. We were delighted when our daughter brought our little grandson to see us. We spent the day on Oakfield as it was too hot to venture out for lunch. He can walk around holding on to things and spent sometime exploring the contents of the bookcase and the log pile by the fire! Who needs toys when there are so many other interesting things to discover, we were quite exhausted when they left. The next day we caught up with all our jobs washing the boat and laundry etc. We found out that the butty ‘Angel’ was to be legged through the tunnel and then pulled down to the show using horse power on Wednesday, so went to watch. It was Gypsy Queen’s first time at towing a boat and she managed brilliantly, assisted by some very patient handlers. Have a look at www.horseboating.org.uk if you are interested. While the boat was in the lock there was much waiting around, so the horse grabbed some refreshment while she could.
One person led the horse, one attached the rope after each lock, while the man at the back had a long pole with a hook for holding the rope above the moored boats as they all passed by. The butty Angel reaches the bottom of the locks at long last having been steered down by the tiller girl.
Tranquility came down to moor behind us so Betty and I took the opportunity to go by bus into Daventry to forage for food, then to Rugby the next day. It is nice to have a mooch around the shops without the men in tow continually asking us, ‘what do you need that for?’
We have spent most of the weekend watching the old working boats parading through the marina and up the canal to turn at the junction. There were about eighty working boats and butty's which were moored all along the towpath four abreast in some places. It was amazing how the large seventy foot long boats, some also towing butty's, can skilfully manoeuvre past all the other boats and through the marina without touching them.
We met quite a few fellow bloggers during the weekend including, Alnwick’s crew, Harnser’s crew, Halfie, Bones and Boots, Keith and Jo from Hadar and of course Jim and Sarah who brought Chertsey to take part in the twice daily parades.
Adamant is a steam driven boat, I like the way it’s chimney ducks down to pass under low bridges. There is a chap on the tiller steering, a chap on the side for fending off using a long pole. who also relays advanced messages from the steerer to the engine room boy to put the boat into reverse, or full ahead, or to shovel a bit more coal onto the fire.
All was revealed when a lad of about twelve popped out the side door to cool off a bit, he was working hard and enjoying it too! Here is an example of ‘little and large’ as pelican gives way for a bigger boat to pass under the bridge. It was a really hot and very busy weekend with plenty of stalls and a beer tent with musicians and of course the Sunday afternoon disaster on the big screen. I didn’t watch it,, and only heard the one cheer unfortunately!