Monday, 7 June 2010

Bugbrooke...and the Hireboaters from Hell

After spending a day at the Crick Boat Show (not as big or as busy as previous years, but I still spent far too much) we were back on the boat at Weedon by 4pm so decided to carry on a bit further down the Grand Union before stopping for the night.
A thankfully quiet mooring opposite the Wharf Inn at Bugbrooke
Bugbrooke was the obvious destination, with a choice of pubs and a winding hole, although at 30ft in length "Sunshine" doesn't usually need one of those.
There was space right at the start of the visitor moorings so we tied up and Bernard prepared the evening meal. We'd just sat down to eat when I became aware of the sound of music (no, not that Sound of Music),which hadn't been there previously. Perhaps it was coming from the Wharf Inn opposite? But no, it seemed to be getting louder....and louder until eventually, under the cacophony, could be heard the faint drumming of an approaching boat engine - or actually, two boat engines belonging to a pair of hire boats approaching at speed from the ABC base at Gayton Junction. The first boat swept by, with music still blaring and the "crew" - of at least ten people - standing on the roof and all drinking from cans of lager (a vaguely beer-like substance).  The steerer of the second boat noticed the Wharf Inn just after he'd passed it - slammed the boat into reverse ("There's a pub -  let's stop here") -  predictably lost control; hit the bridge with the bow, abandoned the attempt to stop, hit the bridge again, this time with the stern (which takes some doing) and announced his "decision" to stop after the bridge.
Fortunately, the towpath edge here is not only lined with "soft bank protection" but a row of stakes has been driven into the canal bed parallel to the towpath to further deter mooring, so it was only at the far end of this that both boats were able to tie up.
With the excitement over, Bernard and I walked up into Bugbrooke village for a pint at the Baker's Arms. On the way we met the hireboaters, who asked us for directions to a pub (...any pub). "Just round the corner, mate" we said, directing them to the Five Bells!


An English Shepherd said...

Always good to direct idiots somewhere else !

Halfie said...

A quiet mooring? It looks like it's on fire!

Starcross said...

Believe it or not, all that smoke was coming from the chimney of the narrowboat tied up opposite. I'm glad someone noticed it - it was what prompted me to take the photo in the first place.