Due to a poor phone signal, telephone texts didn’t arrive when sent and we had a pleasant surprise when James & Ali arrived an hour earlier than we were expecting them.
They didn’t bring the sunshine with them but it stayed dry and warm as we headed out along the Welford Arm and turned towards Foxton Locks. We had a nice cruise to the locks, eating lunch as we motored, through the Husband Bosworth tunnel and we arrived at the top of the locks at 3pm and joined a queue of just three boats waiting to go down. Where is everyone, it’s the school holidays?
We booked in with the lock-keeper who said we would have a wait of about an hour as he had three boats waiting at the bottom to come up. The ice-cream sign winked at me as I walked past and as we’ve got visitors, and as we’ve been so good for the last two weeks, we succumbed! They were really good.
A Napton hire boat pulled in behind us and we got chatting while we waited. It turned out they have an aunt who lives just outside our home town of Beverley and I’m sure if we’d exchanged address books we would have known quite a few mutual friends.
Anyway we got the signal to prepare to set off down the locks just after 4pm. James did the lions share of the paddle opening and Ali helped open the gates, while Storm went ahead to assist the signal hander in the boat in front of us. We passed through the locks in a little over an hour.
We knew there had been an ‘incident’ here last week involving an elderly lady who had slipped off the path into one of the side pounds and this week all the side pounds were protected by orange netting to stop it happening again. According to the local paper the 79 year old had a lucky escape because she actually disappeared under the water when she fell and was sucked through the chamber into one of the locks, that fortunately had a plastic cruiser in it rather than a steel narrowboat, so there was room for her in the lock beside the boat. She was airlifted to hospital and after a thorough checkup apparently only suffered bruising. The lock-keeper on duty today was the same lock-keeper on duty last week and he said he was still having nightmares when he thought about it.
We moored up at the bottom and visited the Foxton Lock pub before heading back to the boat to enjoy a BBQ on the towpath. We had a really lovely evening, sitting chatting, in the warm glow from the fireand sat out until after 11pm.