|The Glory Hole. The light was on green and the navigation open when I took this shot.|
The first indication that all was not well came when a boater appeared at the moorings to check if there was space for his boat. He was moored the other side of the Glory Hole on the way up from Stamp End Lock and was intending to move up if there was room. However the boat's owner was concerned about the flow of the river. This surprised me a little as the previous evening the light had been on green and the flow wasn't amounting to much. A quick walk down however showed the light not just on red (proceed with caution) but flashing red (danger - navigation closed!). Obviously the rain that had been falling over the previous few days had now made its way down the Witham and I certainly wouldn't have wanted to take Starcross through in such a strong stream.
The light remained on flashing red all day, so on what was the best day for boating for a month or more we could do nothing but give the brasses a much needed polish, tidy-up the boat and spend the afternoon exploring Lincoln.
We had more trouble with closures that evening. Two of the four pubs we intended to visit from Camra's Good Beer Guide were shut! (One apparently permanently, the other closes every Wednesday!) but we eventually found a decent pint in a proper pub in "The Strugglers" the only disadvantage of which is that it is probably as high above the river as it is possible to get in Lincoln - you certainly deserve a pint by the time you get there.
There was one other bonus to the day. Open-air gents' toilets used to be common in British towns. One by one they've been either knocked down or converted into "superloos" but one at least remains in use in Lincoln.
|Open-air gents' in Lincoln. Ignore the dodgy character outside - that's my crew!|