Not quite again as this is the first time we have been to Lincoln, but it won’t be the last. However, as we pulled into our moorings at Brayford Pool the clouds thickened and threatened. Blissfully naive we set off to pay our dues only to get drenched within seconds as the heavens opened and dumped enough rain to refill the beleaguered canals.We cowered under the trees then scampered back to the boats, to phone the harbour master who was happy for us to pay him the next day. Of course rain like that doesn’t last long but it was now damp and chilly. As we could see the Odeon cinema on the waterfront, we decided to go and see Mama Mia HWGA, not quite as good as the first film but still a good sing along.In good spirits our movie singalong soon changed films, no prizes for guessing what our rowdy chorus line became, and that was before we’d opened the bottles. Bradford Pool is a harbour managed by the BP trust and we were to be charged £15 a night to stay. Having suffered 3 nights of mindless intimidation in Newark we were quite happy to pay for secure gated city centre moorings so we could be in the thick of it without fear of being taken advantage of by non boaters. The Cathedral providing us with an equally impressive backdrop to our mooring.
Brayford Pool was originally a natural lake that became the heart of the settlement that grew up here. Lin, meaning lake and Don meaning foot of the hill became Lindon. The Romans arrived in the first century and recognising potential when they saw it, dredged and widened the river Witham to make an inland port of quite some significance. The town and its thriving wool industry prospered, helped also by the Romans building the Foss Dyke connecting the area to the River Trent. The Romans left in the 5th century and the Vikings took over 500 years later, when Brayford acquired it’s name, Breit-ford, where the River is wide and fordable.
As the wool trade declined in the 13th century, so did Lincoln’s fortune, but in the 18th century it became an industrial trading wharf, full of warehouses, mills and malthouses, with all the accompanying businesses. But the steamboats and sailingbarges were superceeded by the railway and sadly the pool silted up. In the 1960s there were proposals to fill it in and create a car park. Thank goodness they didn’t as it’s now a thriving lively waterfront. With “parking” for boats like us.