Tuesday, 29 April 2014

On the river at last.

Early start and off we went.

Top off the flight on a misty moisty morning. We were soon stuck into the rhythm of the locks.

All the way down the hardware tells the history off the flight, not many places where one hundred and fifty year old equipment is still in everyday use.

The lift bridge below lock five looms through the mist, reminiscent of the Llangollen bridges but fixed permanently open.

As Jill emerged from lock five I had gone on ahead to set the next lock and as it filled I wandered down to peer at the next pound.

The view that greeted me was not exactly what I was hoping to see.

Just a pair of mallards dabbling forlornly in the three inches of water left in the pound.

Fortunately the local C&RT chap was on the scene and was soon running water down to top it up, seems this pound drains out overnight so it is part of the routine to nip along and top it up
At lock seven we met Leon, a local character who turns the odd penny helping boats up and down the flight. Borrowing a windlass he soon had us organised and we were going like a long dog. We flew down the flight, not only was he an expert locker but he was an amusing companion as well. An echo of the hobblers from the days of the working boats.
Almost before we realised we were snugged in at Northampton and Leon had found another crew in need of a helping hand and was heading back up the locks.

Morrison's is about two hundred yards up the road so having topped up the stores we took a stroll up into the town.
Everybody seems to write Northampton down but we were pleasantly surprised by the number of interesting buildings in the centre.

The wonderfully ornate Victorian Gothic Guildhall.

All Saints Church from the 17thC.

The market square has been in use since medieval times, now surrounded by modern buildings it still fulfils its original function, albeit on a smaller scale.
Snooker still absorbing our time but tomorrow we head off down the Nene, pronounced Nenn hereabouts.

Watch this space..........

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