Towards Market Harborough

Whist yesterday’s wander into Welford had been a joy to be out cruising in autumn,  today it was cold and harsh.
At least as we made our way through Husband Bosworths tunnel it was dry.And although it wasn’t sunny, the canal cut through an avenue of beech trees. And out into some open hilly Leicestershire countryside.  To help warm me up I got out and walked.
Until we got to our overnight mooring at the top of Foxton Locks. This has to be one of my top ten views from the canals, sadly the camera doesn’t do it justice.

Remembering

We spent Remembrance day in Yelevetoft, the next village beyond Crick. It’s little more than a main street but there was a good turn out at the cenotaphWe spent a few days in the village, it has a Deli butcher who is enthusiastic about local produce. So we indulged in some good food. And I took advantage of the local footpaths to burn off some of that indulgence. I set out walking in the sunshine,but got drenched on my way back. Although that Oak tree made a good shelter.

Climbing Crack’s Hill

Crick is fortunate to have a lot of footpaths crying out to be walked, so setting out from our mooring we happily scaled the local Everest, Crack’s Hill. Ok it’s only a mere 25 m above the tow path, but it is the highest point locally and gives stunning views. That’s the DRIFT distribution centre you can see in the distance. 7.8 million sq feet of logistics.  Amongst other things, it’s where several supermarkets gather their goodies before sending them onwards to fill the shelves. That’s progress for you. Many millennia ago, Crack’s Hill arrived when the ice age deposited debris as the glacier melted, which is how this landscape became what it is. There have been Neolithic bronze and iron age settlements discoverd here and the Romans also took advantage of this hill as it overlooked their Wattling Street route march. The names Crack and Crick are derived from the Celtic word Cruk which means hill. Crick village got a mention  in the doomsday book.I don’t know if this modern adornment will still be standing next millennia but the current community marked the start of the 21st century by erecting this beacon. I would have liked to have seen it lit. There’s an active community in Crick that has raises money to create and maintain the local woodlands and public spaces. This year they have added a memorial commemorating 100 years of the end of WW1, I quite like that the area behind Tommy is rough ground.

Crick in November

I think most boaters have been to Crick at some point on their canal adventure, not always by boat, and usually over the May bank Holiday weekend when the annual Crick Boat show takes place. The Marina and surrounding fields are ideal for hosting this inland waterways festival, we spent many an hour, and a pound, meandering around show boats and accessory stalls dreaming of what life could be like afloat.However this time we emerged from the Crick tunnel and made straight for the Moorings pub for a pie and a pint. (Or in my case a rather tasty mediteranian fish stew)We had plenty of time to explore this pretty area, while we took a few days to use of the Poste Restante mail service offered by the post office. The young farmers put on their annual bonfire and fireworks display for us. I harvested some crab apples from the millennium woods and made some jelly. And we met up with our new “best friend” the fuel man Mark on Calisto. Hopefully he’ll be keeping our tanks topped up over the few months. And finally here are our neighbours for the week.

 

 

 

Locks Stock and Tunnel

Not quite lock, stock and barrel, but leaving Braunston meant
Locks
stockand tunnels. (This is Crick tunnel, nice and straight, if a bit drippy)

Our plan was to cruise on to the Leicester Line. A stretch of canal we haven’t done before. Usually the Braunston double locks are fairly heavy but usually busy enough to meet someone share with and to meet boaters travelling in the opposite direction so at least some of the locks as set to our favour. This time was no exception and we got through in no time. Even the Braunston tunnel didn’t cause us any problems. And we moored up in the woods on the Daventry side so I could walk down to Tescos for supplies.Back out into the open again,
under the pretty bridge by the cottage, to turn onto the Leicester Line,  enjoying the autumnal sunshine as we went. The next day we cruised at 3 miles an hour alongside the M1 going at at least 70mph, we passed the Watford Gap service station, (not worthy of a photo) a few miles before arriving at the Watford Flight. CRT is closing this flight for essential repair for 6 weeks before Christmas so we had to make our ascent before then. Unlike individual locks the Watford flight has 4 staircase locks, where each lock empties or fills from the adjacent lock, so if you dont open the paddles innthe right order you could end up flooded or stranded. Consequently there are volunteer lockies on duty to help you through. Its quite straight forward if you rememeber the rhyme

Red before white and you’ll be alright, white before red and you’ll soon be dead.
We both took our turn and enjoyed the day