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Monday, October 20, 2008

ONTO COSGROVE

Long time since last blog but have spent a lot of time moored up and just....well actually not a lot but that`s what retirement on the waterways is all about doing as much or as little as one wants.
So after coming down the Long Buckby flight we stayed a couple of nights and took advantage of the local almost canal side Go Kart track by getting some old tyres. These small kart tyres are ideal for fenders just needing a rope threaded through the worn tread to hang down the side of the boat and a hole in the bottom to let the rain water drain away. The chandlery at the bottom lock also gets tyres from the track and they sell for £6.95 with just an eye bolt fixed in the tread for the rope. Nice little earner!
Stayed a couple of days at Blisworth waiting for post that contained what looked like an advert for help the aged or an FBI most wanted file, anyway I just might publish it next time.
Through Blisworth tunnel 1.5 miles long and in parts 120` below ground is Stoke Bruerne with a museum I have yet to visit set in an 1840s corn mill. The flight of 7 double locks takes the boater down 56`. The first lock is almost outside the museum and alongside it is the one of the original single locks that now acts as a display for a boat weighing machine.
The double locks were installed around 1835 to speed up the commercial traffic and each lock holds about 56,000 galls of water. Originally the locks had side ponds that were used to recyclehalf the water but these have long since become overgrown and un-used so it was nice to see at least one (pic above) had been put to use for visitors to get close and look for life in and around the ponds as depicted on the large information boards.Further down the flight some Mosaic under a road bridge. Something I did learn from googling Stoke Bruerne was that below the 2nd lock there was once a brickwork`s (1840s-1920s) and it had its own canal arm called the Brickwork Arm that is now a nature reserve so that`s gone into the memory bank under future investigations as i just love tracing old canal routes across fields.

Remember remember the 1st November
is the day
red diesel prices go into the pot
60/40 is fair HMRC say but boaters don`t like it a lot
one yard says it`s all they will give
another will let you decide how you live
fuel prices will rise for sure,
the VAT man is knocking on the cabin door

all boaters can do is moor up on this memorable date
to reflect how the EU has decided our fate.
B
loody EU, I reckon it stands for Ex lax Unlimited, well something must be responsible for all the shite that comes out of Brussels.

Oh well that`s got that off my chest so cruising quickly on into Cosgrove under Solomons bridge
built in the 1790s Gothic style at the request of a local landowner when the canal company wanted to cross his land.
While at Cosgrove the Jam `ole run was leaving Braunston. The Jam `ole run was the name given by the old working boatmen for the coal deliveries from Baddersley colliery to the Kearley&Tonge`s jam factory in Southall. The last commercial run was 1970 and the 246 mile, 196 locks round trip was done in a week as the crews only got paid per trip so to boost earnings they needed to get back for another load.
So this event is celebrated i think every 2 yrs by several ex work boats plus any other narrowboat that wants to join in. Most days means a 5am start to mimic the schedule of 1 week return journey the boats maintained in the past.
Below some of the boats taking part passing through Cosgrove.









4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It must have been good to see those boats making the old trip.
I have seen lots of the other trips during more recent times.
Was not able to get nearby this time.

Anonymous said...

hi dad i just read this one in sunny spain looking for the cheap baccy

les said...

Hi annon
It`s always nice to see old work boats on the move as it reminds us all what the canals were built for.

les said...

Hi son
Thinking of getting some sunshine myself this winter if I can bear to leave the boatlife for a week.
When you go shopping remember dad likes the green packets if poss.

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs