Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Around Knowle

We’ve been here near Knowle for nearly a week now. Quite a long time for us, especially in good weather. But we’re still waiting for Hatton Locks to reopen after winter maintenance work, all being well we’ll be on the way again by the weekend.

We had a night away from the boat last Thursday. Mag’s brother in law, John, had died, and we went up to Manchester for the funeral. We stopped with Mag’s sister for the night and attended the service on Friday before heading back here later in the day.

I’ve not been idle, though, while we’ve been here. For a while now we’ve been thinking of having a revamp of the interior, getting rid of some of the ubiquitous wood panelling on the ceiling (deckhead) and cabin sides.

So I set to at the rear end, stripping off the hardwood trim and the central panel that covers the cable trunking. Then the ceiling panels were scoured with sugar soap before getting 3 coats of cream silk emulsion.

The contrast between the paint, dark hardwood trims and light oak central panel is very pleasing so the rest of the boat is getting the same treatment. So far I’m about halfway, the bedroom, shower room and above the dinette are now done. Next on the agenda is the galley, then the saloon.

After that we’ll have a think about the cabin sides. Below the gunwale they are carpeted in blue for extra insulation, and this will stay. Above the gunwale they are the same as the ceiling, light oak plywood. We’ll have to decide on colour and finishes.

I’ve also got all the logs chopped up ready for splitting between showers today.

It’s not all been graft, though. We’ve had some pleasant walks up the locks and into Knowle. The village is about 1½ miles away but well worth the walk.

The church dates back to 1403, and the Guild Hall next door was completed 9 years later.

The Guild Hall and Parish Church, dedicated to St John the Baptist, Laurence the Martyr and Anne.

Stained glass window behind the altar.

St Annes Guild Hall

The library is housed in what was once a farmhouse, dating back to around the same time.

Knowle Library.

A bit more contemporary is a row of 4 houses, known as Jubilee Hall. These date from Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in 1897.

Jubilee Hall

To get to the village we went up the flight of 5 broad locks. These were built in the 1930’s when the section of the Grand Union from Napton to Bordesley was improved. They replaced a flight of narrow locks, the chambers of which now act as the bywashes from the new locks.

Looking up the flight

Halfway way up, the redundant narrow lock on the right.

The old narrow lock chamber, with the gate recess still intact.

We’ll not be going up these, instead we’ll be heading back towards Lapworth, then on to Warwick via the 21 locks at Hatton. These are built in the same way, and are quick and fairly easy to work down. But that’ll not be till Saturday.

Locks 0, miles 0


Nev Wells said...

I think the Knowle locks are my least favorite on the system. Nice location but if you get a little bit of wind across the pounds they are a real challenge.


Julia & Mark said...

Hi Geoff & Mags,
Interested to read about your interior painting, We have been thinking about doing ours & not sure whether to use gloss or emulsion but it seems you have found emulsion was okay. We are headed for Stratford once locks open, (lock 33 has been set back till 17th) so will be paint shopping in B&Q !

Geoff and Mags said...

Hiya Julia
Good to see you again. If you do go for the painting option be warned... It makes your back and neck ache! Good luck, enjoy the trip to Stratford and i hope your coal arrives soon!
Hi Nev
Yes, it is a bit challenging in a brisk wind, but then aren't most flights? Hatton is quite exposed as well, and there's a lot more of it!
Cheers, Geoff