Monday, 4 October 2010

Braunston to Brum

After meeting the Gang, I say gang, it was more like a troupe, there was two boat loads. We motored on to the top of Stockton locks. On the way we came across Dragon, this is Doves sister ship, so to speak, they both came out of Yarwoods together, January 1925.
On arrival at Stockton, the first port of call, the pub. It was littered with mums, dads and brats so we had a couple then off to eat on the boat. On our second visit to the pub someone pointed out a photo on the wall, it was a nice black and white of me steering Dove, ah...fame at last. Then it was noted it was for sale, 35 quid!!! The profiteering buggers, we do all the work somebody takes a photo and makes a load of money. If anybody wants a photo of Dove I'll give you one for free.
The next day we're all up at first light and off down the locks. The weather was absolutely crap so after the down hill bit and the two Cape locks we had a dinner time session in the Cape of Good Hope and got wet on inside too. Now refreshed we attacked the big hill, by this time a young couple on a Viking adrift hire boat had teamed up with us, little did they know what was in store. We got all four boats up Hatton in two hours fifteen minuets, not bad in the wind and rain. We got to Kingswood junction that night. This is where we part company with the gang, so a drink in the Navigation then in the morning we're off up the Lapworth flight to Brum. We woke to quite a nice day and set off about 8:00, we're in no big rush now so it was gentle morning plodding from lock to lock, loads of water and easy gates. Autumn is now here and the leaves are turning into yellows and browns and falling in the cut and fouling the blade. Bet you thought I was going to all poetic then, didn't you, sorry no, not me.
The run from the top lock to the Guillotine lock was better than expected, only touched the bottom a couple of times. The sun is shinning and we're down to Tee shirts now. At Kings Norton junction we hit the black mud and it took me one or two shuffles to get round. I was expecting plenty of water on this part of the run, but how wrong I was, we dragged the bottom all the way and bounced through quite a few bridge holes.
Going round the turn towards Worcester bar Andrea spots a sign..."Security Barrier ahead" It's the Conservative Party Conference and the top man's here. When we get to the floating barrier, we're stopped by a police man asking "What you carrying then" I says "nuclear waste" Policeman smiles. Next thing. we've got two armed policemen on board escorting us through the secure area and we got some funny looks from people as we went through.
Now tied up just outside Sherbourn wharf, Farmers Bridge tomorrow then home.

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