... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

A good day's boating (at last)

Day 12, Piercy Aqueduct to (nearly) Dog and Doublet, Curdworth. 8 hours 50, 23 locks.

For the first time this trip we've ended up in the pub at the end of the day and what's more, feel like we deserve it. It's been a good day's boating - no problems, plenty of water, no rain, no wind and relatively mild.

We fished a few bits of rubbish out of the cut, including a double air bed part way down Perry Barr. I have perfected my technique for going downhill in the locks like Curdworth where they have single gates both ends. The button and one of the tip cats are both lifted (as well as the front fender of course) and once in the lock I take the tiller bar off. Once the lock's empty and the boat starts to drift back, I pull the swan's neck right round so that the rudder's at right angles, an then hold on to the protective steel plate on the top gate (what's it called?) to stop the boat drifting forward again as Jim opens the gate. In some of the locks we need every inch; others seem a bit longer.

We stopped in the pound just above the pub because I thought there might not be any space there - I was misled because we'd see about four other boats today and after yesterday that seemed a lot! Anyway, my mixed grill has arrived so I must finish.

Location:Dog and Doublet, Curdworth


  1. The bit you are hanging on to in the lock I would call a "rubbing board", but whether that's strictly right, I know not.

    Out of curiosity, why take the tiller bar off? Is it long enough to risk jamming against the lock wall? I thought they were usually at a length they can not. Ours stays just clear.

    We have found the tightest locks of all to be ones that have either been moved and reconstructed at a new location, (Curdworth top), or have had completely reconstructed chambers, (the one with hydraulic paddles in the Lapworth flight - not sure of its number). At the latter I seriously though I was going to have to get tools out and all all fenders off. (It is only possible to raise the button and one of the tipcats - not the final tipcat.

    The locks we have just come down at Atherstone are considerably more generous than most of the BCN ones were.

    The gauging sheets for Letchworth, (aka Flamingo), show it as 71' 8" - I've no idea if that's right, but would prefer 71' 6" if it is, as a couple of extra inches would make all the difference. (Ooh Matron!)

    1. It's probably not long enough to catch on the side, but there have been times when it's looked close and I find it easier standing on the counter without worrying about it swinging round.

    2. Just checked in Curdworth lock 8 and yes, the tiller would hit the lock wall - certainly once it was in gear if not sooner!