|What's this? A queue at a lock|
Until we arrived on the Coventry Canal, which was like joining the M6 from a country lane. Boats were coming and going all the time, from early in the morning – and by early I mean six a.m. – until after dark.
But we still never had to queue at a lock. Even at Fradley where a clutch of volunteer lockies were speeding everyone through the flight in very efficient style.
Until today when, after a long, long lock-free stretch from Fradley, we arrived at the pretty Colwich Lock on the edge of Great Haywood, and found ourselves number four in a line; a line which very rapidly became six boats long.
Apparently a novice crew at their first ever lock had got in a complete muddle and held everyone up. It doesn't take long for a queue to build or for one to dissipate for by the next lock there was only one in front when we arrived.
It's been strange once again cruising a length of canal we know so well. Little seems to have changed: the dreadfully silted up bridge by the Lengthsman's Cottage on the Coventry is still dreadfully silted up (and the house still for sale). The narrow dutch barge is still moored by the mouth of the A38 tunnel, still with no licence or mooring discs and still causing silting problems. More amusingly the padlock, which CART warned a year ago would be fitted on the little swing footbridge at Fradley is still not there (or has maybe be nicked!) and the bridge still swings to and fro quite happily.
|Maid of Oak, the all wood narrowboat ten years on|
The only thing that does seem to have changed is the weather, which, after all the dry months, has been appalling for the last couple of days, with heavy rain and chilling winds. Summer seems a long time ago.