Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The unexpected (and unwanted) things you can find out in a pub!

(With both boats - posted by Alan)

Both boats have been moored on the moorings at Cowroast on Tring Summit for rather more than a week.  This was all part of a master plan that intended to achieve all the following:

It rained more than a little.
1) To allow us to be available to drive son Michael for a medical procedure where he was not allowed to drive afterwards.
2) To allow me to attend my GP surgery for some tests.
3) To allow us to attend and perform at a friend's wedding last weekend, involving getting to the Ludlow area whilst our main car was still where we commenced this trip, (don't ask!)
4) To perform with new Moon Morris at the Rising Sun pub, canal-side in Berkhamsted, last evening.
and (rather optimistically !)
5) To allow us to spend time on the boats doing further painting to spruce them up a bit.

The lock where work was due - still raining hard.
When all the above was done, we would recommence our trip to Rickmansworth. However, whilst in the midst of "number 4" on the above list, we got chatting with some people in our audience who were themselves boating on the Grand Union.  All seemed well until they told us they had raced up through a huge number of locks to be able to beat the one day stoppage just about to happen at "Gas" locks in Berkhamsted. "What one day stoppage?!?" exclaimed the Finchers!

Strange spider-legged crane - presumably to put the stop planks in?
Well, I thought we had checked, but clearly not recently enough!  The locks were to close at 11:00 am  the very next morning, and not reopen until 2:00 pm the following day.  If held up by this, we would be put under far more pressure to get to "Ricky" in time than we wanted to be.

There was little incentive to get going in this much rain,
A conference of war was held, and clearly the only way we could beat the stoppage was to make an urgent change of plans and get ourselves installed on the boats last night, ready to move off early today.  So we raced home, threw a few essentials in bags, and did just that, (much to the consternation of our other son!)

Although I was walking the dogs here, so still not staying dry.
We had a good run this morning, and got through in time, but then faced trying to deal with the consequences,  We had had to cancel a groceries delivery, as nobody would be at home to receive it.  The only available car needed retrieving from where we had left it - a bus ride for me - should have applied for a bus pass now I'm state pension age!  We had not been able to take clothes and food we would need last night - only enough to get through the next half day - all this needed sorting.

Half way through the stoppage there is little evidence of much work done.
The bottom line is that, although we might have got a couple of hours more boating done today, we are still in Berkhamsted - a decision heavily tempered by just how much it was raining and the fact it looked set in.  Tomorrow looks better, and by being the "right" side of the stoppage now, we have reclaimed to whole of the morning and up to 2:00 pm instead of having to wait for the stoppage to end.

A final comment is that the Rickmansworth Festival is a fairly major waterways event, attracting boats from long distances away.  CRT's decision to do this stoppage at this time more or less guarantees a lot of those boats visiting from the North may get caught up in it.

Cowroast to Berkhamsted
Miles per boat: 2.7, Miles both boats: 5.4, Locks:7
Total Trip Miles: 100.5, Locks: 39


  1. There's a similar stoppage on the Buckby flight next week -- just as lots of boats will be heading to the Crick Show. I did ask CRT what on earth they were thinking, but apparently it's the only week of the year the work could be done!

  2. Good to see you yesterday. I was wondering about the stoppage but thought you knew about it.
    I got the vision of the 'sexy beast', complete with dressing gown, as we went by.
    Stuart & Libby
    NB 'Red Wharf'


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