Braunstone here we come. We had arranged to have our two granddaughters onboard so we set of towards Braunstone, to pick them up some where on the route.
Having left Stratford upon Avon via the Stratford canal we headed north. The southern part of this canal passes into beautiful country side, first through the suburbs of Stratford and then out into the country side. All day we headed north towards Kingswood junction where we turned right onto the Grand Union Canal, and headed south towards Warwick. We stopped just after the Shrewley Tunnel for a quite overnight stop. Yes we got here in one day.
Next day we set off towards Warwick and the Hatton flight. The weather was nice and warm, so cruising was lovely. Arriving at the top of the flight we met up with two chaps with a 1940’s 72ft narrowboat. (See pictures). One of them had an injured arm as was not happy with steering. The other the normal helmsman suggested doubling the two craft together and going down with one helmsman, me..
I have done this before, so rigged the larger boat as pull and push lines so our shorter 60ft would be in the three quarter forward position, with our bow level with the other boat. This enabled me to pull from my boats the rear lines control the drift apart, and also pull from the front too. In addition the two boats had centre fenders, but no outside fenders.
The other boat was not going to supply any power so the engine was turned off. Good thing too as it was a bit smoky. We set off and descended the flight without hitch in two and a quarter hours. Not a record but made us up time to get to Warwick for a visit to the first of two locks into Leamington Spa. The top lock has a small pub called the Cape of Good Hope, so we went for dinner there.
We contacted our Daughter and arranged for the pickup of our two grandchildren on the outskirts of Leamington Spa. They all arrived with enough clothing to last a fortnight. They were only staying a week. After a family meal and chat and having a large pile of toys added to the clothes we said our goodbyes.
Both the girls Lily and Poppy, were very excited as we told them we were going to Billing Aquadrome in Northampton. We left Leamington Spa and onward up the Stockton Flight of locks.
We stayed over at the top of the Stockton flight ready for the locks at Bascote and then onto the Calcutt locks.
Both girls were having a great time helping Nanna with pushing and winding lock sluices. We made sure that they both had life vests on at all times and went through numerous safety instructions as we went along.
We arrived in Braunstone a little tired and moored near the village pub. We ate on the boat a real hearty meal which Sue (nanna) produced from nowhere.
It was now onward to Northampton and Billing Aquadrome…