Monday, 1 June 2009

Probably The Last Brewery on the Nene

The good thing about this time of the year is the amount of daylight that we get, as we approach the summer solstice on the 21st.

If you want to cover some distance, this is the best time of the year.

With the good weather and light evenings, we have put in some very long days and really made progress.

After what seemed like a never-ending horizon of guillotine locks, we finally pulled into Northampton.

We saw "Northamptonshire Crusader", which is a St.Johns Ambulance Community Trip Boat and weighs an amazing 42 tonnes.

Becket's Park Lock is the first lock of the Nene (or the last lock, depending on which way you are cruising).

When we cruised from BW country last year, it was our first sight of Environmental Agency land and it seemed very alien.

We were struck by the different paddle gear and what seemed like great investment at the time, compared to British Waterways.

They even had a canoe portaging jetty - What foresight !!

Last year, we quickly learnt that Becket's was a show lock - the locks that followed after, had their fair share of imperfections.

However, what's the saying ?

A change is as good as a rest !!

Anyway, on leaving the Nene on our way back to the canals, we were sorry to see all the electric locks go - a bit like saying goodbye to old friends.

We haven't boated on BW waters for quite a while and to be honest, we would have been quite happy to stay in the land of big skies.

However, boatyards and drydocking facilities for longish narrowboats are not that common in the Fens. Everything is really geared up to plastic boats there.

The old girl needs some T.L.C, so we have to go back.

We did a sharp left at the Carlsberg Brewery and entered the Northampton Lock, which is also known as Cotton End Lock and is the first/last lock of the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union.

I hear that Tetleys, whose parent company is now owned by Carlsberg, will have their production moved here in 2011.


So, this is goodbye to the Nene, the Middle Levels and the Fens for quite a while - probably...

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