I've been away for a few days. Boating ofcourse! I joined some friends at the Canal Cavalcade at Little Venice (near Paddington) and from there, ventured north as far as Tamworth. I was an avid supporter of the Cavalcade until I moved to Norbury seven years ago, so it was good to catch up with some old faces and reminisce about years gone by.
Although the Grand Union is probably one of the most publicised and well known canals in the country I was sorry to see the state of decline that it seems to be adopting recently, especially on the section south of Marsworth. I know we are currently in a drought situation, but I am somewhat sceptical; as I am sure others are too. We experienced a few low pounds here and there, but these were mainly due to gates leaking and rubbish gathering on top of the cills, which wouldn't allow gates to close. It took us nearly half an hour raking around with a shaft to get the bottom gates closed at Berkamsted. We encountered restrictions at Stoke Bruerne, Buckby and Braunston which I think were not required as water was pouring of the gates of both Buckby and Braunston. After a trip of four days, 141 miles and 105 locks I was disappointed to see only three British Waterways employees, although we did encounter several "new" volunteers whose role I am not entirely sure of (complete with their "welfare units"). I will write further on this subject after I have a reply from the local manager that I am in consultation with.
We've completed on Hero and Lyn d' Lou and taken offers on both Lacewing and Red Jasmine over the last couple of days, so our boat sales are remaining steady.
The Wharf has been a lot busier over the last couple of weekends which has kept Fred and Bernard occupied.
That's it from me today.