Trip to Market Harborough after Napton lock closure

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

A very delayed entry due to problems with mobile signals, software issue and the funeral of a very old friend Peter Jarvis- RIP. He was of our youth and very much makes you realise that you need to do things now! We had planned to go down the Oxford canal on the 5 May but lock 8 of the Napton flight decided to throw a wobbly as the left hand entrance wall collapsed and the gate become unstable. It was originally closed UFN (until further notice) but C&RT managed to reopen it on the 9 May under supervision by which time we were on our way to Market Harborough.

A view of lock 8 showing the collapsed wing wall. Our friends on NB Elidir had to reverse for 1/2 mile to the winding hole below the bottom of the locks. The boat in front had the wall collapse onto them as they entered the lock. Appears to be only minor damage to the boat and the crew are shaken but unhurt.

Our mooring on the Leicester Arm just up from Norton Junction. The boats in the distance are on the Grand Union mainline leading from Braunston tunnel to Norton Junction., all on the same contour line.

Getting ready to plunge down the first group of 5 staircase locks at Foxton, the scenery is just fantastic.
When we went to register with the lock keeper before we went down the flight we had seen people watch a pair of Pied Wagtails feeding their young in a hole in the lock side wall.

As I started to descend the 2nd pair of 5 staircase locks these two little fellows  appeared( perhaps to complain about the noise) about 2 feet away from me and as I slowly sank in the lock they both flew the nest and managed to fly up to the lock gate some 15 ft above them. Talk about a heart stopping moment as they went downwards before they managed to gain height and then go upwards. I actually started thinking- what could I use to save them if they hit the water- luckily I was not required
Bridge 16 on the Leicester Arm- I just love how the canal builders make the most simple of things look different.

Going down the Market Harborough Arm even a squirrel had time to watch we go by.

When we were in Market Harborough we did manage to see Anne's aunt and also had a trip into Nottingham by train, a place we hadn't been to before.
Had to have a look at the canal which is very near to the station.. This is an old Fellows Morton & Clayton warehouse which used to be a museum.
The old BW warehouse now I think flats

We also went round Nottingham Castle with a view of Ratcliffe on Soar power station in the distance.

A lovely summer view of the canal as we approach Foxton, its difficult to make out where the canal goes with the reflections everywhere.
My best attempt at a moon reflection in the canal from our mooring near Bridge 100 as we went back to Calcutt.

A few more boat names

They had the usual Rosie and Jim dolls in a window but this was at the stern.