Friday, 13 May 2016

An Unwelcome Car Tyre Tries to Join Us

Friday 13th May, 2016 at Willoughby.
Awoke to a cold and windy day (Reigate - and M's plants back home -were enjoying full sun - Rats!) A brief trip to Boots was followed by M getting a "few bits" at Tesco while she left R in the Costa inside Tesco - or was he in the "Customer Toilets"?
Since we were here last October, a new waterpoint has appeared in the little park - so we pulled MM forward and filled up. MM's roof was covered in leafy detritus from the Weeping Willow. Never moor under trees!
We set off about midday and soon arrived at the three Hillmorton Locks. Between the first and second lock was a beautiful traditional pair of an old motor and butty.
While M set the second lock, R moored MM temporarily to the lock mooring. Unfortunately MM picked up something on the propellor - so we weren't going anywhere.
R went down the weed hatch  only to find that a car tyre had wrapped itself round the propellor so that the propellor was completely enclosed inside the tyre. Nice one!
As the tyre and propellor were about the same diameter, R had to cut a hole in the tyre tread to push one blade of the propellor through so that he could get the tyre off. This took a while, so we let two boats through the lock ahead of us while R struggled to get the tyre off.
Finally, with M's help, R managed to get a rope under MM and tie it to the tyre so that it didn't fall back into the canal...
M passed the time by admiring the wild flowers on the canal bank as well as helping the other boats through the lock. Spot the hover flies...!
One of these boats was the beautiful nb "Albert", a magnificent brand new Braidbar boat built in the traditional style: the very proud owners had just collected her from the builders on the Peak Forest Canal and were taking her to her new home at Barby just this side of Braunston.
As we approached Willoughby, the canal runs parallel to the  course of the former Great Central Railway, completed in 1897 and abandoned in 1966. Only the old signal gantry still waits patiently for the "Master Cutler" from Sheffield to Marylebone. Such a poignant sight....
Aubretias in a lovely canalside garden.
We moored up at Willoughby, just north of Braunston. Our friends Jan and Abbi from Mary Arden's Farm live here, a short walk across the fields. R set off to find them and to invite them to join us on board MM for dinner tomorrow night. Success! He found them at home and they said that they would be delighted to come to dinner.
Today: 7 miles, 3 locks, 1 car tyre and 3.6 hours.
Trip: 71 miles, 24 locks and 42.0 hours.

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