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Monday, 12 September 2016

Dancing down the locks with different partners.

Boats started moving down the locks quite early but the only one that went down was way too early for us. When we were ready I spied a boat coming up but it turned out that there were two in the lock so we hung on for them to pass before letting go and moving up to the last lock in the Buckby flight.

 These mooring posts look as though they have seen a few ropes between them. I wonder when health and safety will get round to condemning them, and I wonder how they test them?
Two voluntary lockies popped out of their 'office' as we penned up so we had help to open and close the top gates and as the water point was free we went on there to top up and dump the rubbish. It didn't take long and we left just as the 'sludge tanker' was doing its work! The ploughed, harrowed and seeded fields make it seem like autumn now.

Norton Junction is always photogenic with the Toll House under the willow being very pretty with its shepherds hut in the garden. The canal workers cottages on the right were built in 1916. The Toll House was lived in by Commander Fielding and his wife who ran a couple of mission boats in the 1950's called 'Salvo' and 'Aster;. It is now a holiday cottage I think.

The leg down to the tunnel portal was very pleasant in dappled sun.

The eastern portal of the Braunston Tunnel always looks gloomy to me, even with the sun out as we entered. Will it be still there when we come out the other end.

There was hardly a drip in the tunnel and we didn't meet a boat until almost at the end. I had spoken to an hire boat the other side of the tunnel who were just getting ready to leave and said we would pen down with them.

When we got to the top lock there was another hire boat waiting but they said we should go down with the other couple who were first timers and a little hesitant. After that one lock another boat arrived at the top lock so we doubled up with the first boat and the first timers waited for the new hire boat.

By the time we had got to Crooked Cottage the hire boats had drawn together and the last boat became the first boat. I hope it was nothing we said or did, but we did eventually get to the bottom lock having had three different partners! There was the usual chaos at the bottom with boats everywhere and folks giving meaningless instructions, but in the end everybody muddles through somehow.

We moored up just after the top entrance to the marina and after a bite to eat walked up into the village. We bought a pork pie and some milk and then decided to walk to Midland Chandlers. This house looked very attractive with its iron stone and busy lizzies.

All Saints Church at Braunston is known as the canal boaters church but we had never been in. It was open today so we popped in to look around. It has wide aisles and nave and had a nice 'feel' to it.

This little angel has eyes closed and hands together and sits under the lectern.

This tomb is hidden away and is for William 4th Baron Ros whose family held the manor of Braunston from 1200 to 1508. He fought with Edward III in France but dies on the Crusade to the Holy Land in 1352. What struck me was the un-natural way the legs are positioned. I have never seen that before.

We only spent £1-30 at Midland Chandlers and walked back over the roving bridges and tow path. I popped into Braunston Marina to find out what price the diesel was. It is £1 a litre at a compulsory 60/40 split. I will look elsewhere.

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