Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A steady and uneventful day

After a quiet night at the Rushden and Diamonds moorings, we were contemplating getting ready to leave when I spotted Bob on Mystical and Idyllic dropping their back cover in preparation for departure. So I rousted Mags, and we quickly sorted ourselves out to follow. We’d worked well together yesterday, so we might as well travel with them today.

Irthlingborough, the closest village to the moorings, has a long but quiet history. There’s evidence of Saxon and Danish settlement here before the Romans turned up, and it was recorded in the Domesday Book as Erdiburne. It’s gone through several evolutions of name, including Yrlingbure and Hertillingborogh, to reach it’s present form. The church of St Peter, built in the 15th century, stands on early Norman foundations. The bridge over The Nene also dates from this period, although widened in the 18th century.

Ithlingborough Bridge, the downstream side is basically original…IMG_6365

…while the upstream side shows the brick arches added 300 years later. IMG_6367 
It’s an awkward turn through the navigation arch as the bridge is on a slant to the channel. I bet it’s interesting when the river’s up!

Just beyond is the 1936 concrete monstrocity carrying the A6. They tried to make it attractive…IMG_6366
…but failed!

Our trip today involved three locks, and we’ve had a bit of variety.
Higham Lock has mitre (or “pointing”, to use the local name) gates at both ends, Ditchford has an unusual rotary gate at the downstream end, and we’re back to mitre gates at Lower Wellingborough Lock.

Sharing Higham LockIMG_6369

It was my turn to be lucky today, a boat came around the corner just as the lock filled. Then Mo told me you don’t need to shut the gates on leaving, whichever way you’re going…

There’s a short but wide straight alongside the busy A45…IMG_6370

…which then turns into a narrow, twisting channel between worked-out gravel pits.IMG_6371

Good kingfisher country, but I’ve only seen one all week!

After being able to leave Higham Lock as it was I looked after Ditchford instead, and yet another boat arrived in the nick of time. Result!

Ditchford Lock, a small settlement with moorings and cabins lies alongside the lock.IMG_6374

Ditchford LockIMG_6375



It’s unusual to be able to catch a buzzard sitting still, but today I got a pair!IMG_6378


Twin railway bridges just below Lower Wellingborough Lock.IMG_6385

As we arrived at the lock a boat was just leaving, but he’d only used the one gate so Mo dashed around to open the other one for us.IMG_6386

Shortly after the lock we entered Wellingborough itself, mooring on the visitor moorings here.IMG_6389

We had a couple of drizzly showers this morning, then a fine spell after we’d moored but there’s been several heavy downpours since. I managed to fit a trip in to Tesco and Dunelm Mills in between, though. From the furniture store I bought a couple of those vacuum storage bags, those you suck the air out of with the vacuum cleaner. I had to mess about a bit to make up an adapter for the end of the Dyson cordless; there’s a lug on the front of the hose connection which prevented a good seal on the valve, but finally we’ve got the spare pillows and duvet down to half their former volume. What useful bits of kit for a boat!

More shopping in the morning, then out of town looking for a quiet couple of days’ moorings.

Thanks for the comment Sue. Duly amended... It wasn't the only mistake yesterday, Bob and Mo's boat is Mystical and Idyllic!

Locks 3, miles 5.

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