Friday, 13 July 2012

Glory, Glory, Through Lincoln at Last!

No sooner had I finished writing yesterday's delayed blog this morning than a boat came through from the Brayford with the news that the Glory Hole was open. I was sceptical that the conditions would have changed so quickly, but a walk down to check showed a green light and a slow-flowing river so we decided to go.
I suppose it took about half-an-hour for us to get going and of course, in that time conditions had changed again and the light was now on red. It was a "steady" red (meaning "proceed with caution") rather than a "flashing" one (navigation closed) so we thought we'd carry on anyway. ("I've started, so I'll finish. . ."). We got through alright, although I was surprised by how much the flow had increased in a short time and very glad that we didn't meet anything coming the other way.

We had a slight hold-up at Stamp End lock when the control panel showed a red light, indicating that one of the bottom paddles was open. It didn't seem to be and when I went to check someone on the lock landing came and told me that the lock was "broken" and that "special men" came everyday to look at it!  (English was not his first language). But the paddle was actually open a fraction and once I'd closed it everything worked and we got through easily, but surprising a boater tied up on the bottom landing who had apparently accepted their word and been waiting a while!
Once on the Witham we made good progress. The river was almost deserted and coupled with the fact that it runs through empty and rather featureless countryside gave us a great sense of isolation.
Isolation on the Witham
Second and last lock of the day was at Bardney, where a massive swing bridge crosses the lock and where we met up with Meand'er again, with whom we'd shared a trip up the Erewash in June.

After taking on water we carried on down to Kirkstead Bridge for the night. Despite being in the middle of nowhere it once had a railway station "Woodhall Junction" most of which survives ,but without tracks or trains of course. There are also two pubs. The Kings Arms, on the west bank,which  had no decent beer and the Railway, on the east, which had an excellent pint of Bateman's.

My post on being mugged chugged in Lincoln provoked some interest. I was accused in an anonymous comment of causing panic in the streets of Lincoln and now Narrowboat World has picked it up and reproduced it verbatim on their site. (Thanks, Ray, for the tip). It's also done wonders for the site stats and propelled me briefly into the "Top Thirty", but whether I'll still be there on Sunday when Halfie compiles his weekly chart is another matter!


Christine at said...

A walk up to Woodhall Spa on the east bank might interest you. The Petwood Hotel there was the Officers Mess of 617 Squadron (the Dambusters). The Squadron Bar is almost a shrine.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Christine. I'll try and call on the way back.