Canal Holiday Autumn 2008

Sunday 18 October 2008 - Grand Union & Oxford Canals, Braunston to Flecknoe

Sunday morning in Crick from our mooring, with a lovely sky

Explorer at her mooring, ready for the off.

Cruising through a fishing match, heading back to Crick Tunnel

Craig at the tiller takes us down through the Watford staircase. The lock-keeper this morning seemed very relaxed and just told us to come on down the flight without directly supervising us, which was nice.

A cascade of red paddle gear down the hillside

Craig steers Explorer from the bottom of the staircase into lock 2

The cottage above the bottom lock

Dredging equipment at Norton Junction, where we stopped for lunch again. Mark phoned to enquire as to our progress and announce that he, Debbie and Ben would join us for the afternoon, which was great news.

Signpost at the end of the Leicester line of the Grand Union

Going back through Braunston Tunnel, a look up a ventilation shaft

Lucy in the light from the ventilation shaft

Mark and Ben race the boat as we descend the Braunston locks

Ben a bit unsure about things initially

But soon getting into the swing of things, helping to open the lock gate

And steering the boat out of a lock

Ben in control

Continuing the descent of the Braunston locks

Ben cries "rope"

Porthole boy

The boats that we saw yesterday heading west are now on their reinactment Jam 'Ole Run properly. The Run was to carry coal from Baddersley Colliery near Atherstone to Kearley & Tonge's jam factory in Southall in London. The boats went to Mitre Dock on the Paddington Arm; crews were paid by the ton so there was a constant incentive to be quick to get there, unload, and return for more coal. The last Jam 'Ole Run took place in 1970, ending nearly two centuries of coal carrying by canal to London. A reinactment by old working boats now takes place every two years.

Stephen steers the boat through the junction bridge and onto the Oxford Canal

Heading into the sunset on the Oxford Canal, and time to moor up for the night.



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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson