Another cracking day today, but with a bit of a breeze. And another early-ish start, pins pulled at 09:20.
Just around the corner was the pair of Pierpoint Locks, quite shallow compared to some of those around here.
In the Pierpoint Locks.
There’s an intricate bywash weir alongside Lock 55, with 3 different heights of overspill.
After these two there’s a chance for a brew as it’s a mile the small settlement of Thurlwood, on the edge of Rode Heath.
Another pause for breath then there’s the very pretty Lawton Treble Locks alongside the hamlet of Lawton-Gate.
In Lawton Treble Locks, Mow Cop on the horizon
We’d been following NB Chance since Thurlwood, with a crew of four ladies on board. They didn’t hold us up though, in fact they helped us along, setting up a paired lock for us or lifting a paddle as they left an individual chamber.
NB Chance in Halls Lock.
The two Church Locks are separated by a very short pound, and the paired chambers alongside are both derelict.
Mags waiting patiently as I set Lock 48
Derelict lock chamber alongside lock 47.
These are back to the normal 8-10 foot depth, common to most of the locks.
There’s some very pleasant moorings here, near the Church of All Saints at Church Lawton. But we decided to carry on, up the first 3 of the Red Bull Flight.
All Saints, Church Lawton
Red Bull Locks
We moored just above Lock 44, just a mile and a further 3 locks from Harecastle Tunnel. That’s our landmark for tomorrow, from there on it’s a long downhill slope following the Trent Valley.
On a day like today there're not many trips that beat this very attractive climb up to the summit level. It's a bit different in horizontal rain, though.
I’ve done a bit of a mod on the central heating. When the boat was built there were two small-ish radiators at the rear end of the boat, and a larger one in the saloon. I soon fitted a towel rail/radiator in the shower room, but this only made the imbalance between the opposite ends of the boat more extreme. With the heating on the back of the boat was like a sauna and the saloon still cool. OK, there’s the solid fuel stove in the saloon but there are times in the spring and autumn when it’s not worth lighting it for a couple of hours in the evening.
When I refitted the cabin, fitting a cross-bed instead of the in-line one, I had to take out the rear most radiator. I stored this in the engine ’ole, not quite sure what to do with it but reluctant to get rid.
Anyway, I’ve now installed it in the saloon on the opposite side to the existing one. Piped on a spur rather than on the ring I expected it not to get really hot but was pleasantly surprised when it got as hot as the rest. No leaks either!
Next job on the agenda is secondary glazing. If we have another winter like last one…..
Locks 13, miles 4