Written by Administrator
Friday, 19 February 2010 14:11
Pictorial Diary of a journey from Gayton Junction to Stockton on the Grand Union during January 2010
Words and photos contributed by Mick Rooney
On the 3rd Jan, we drove to Gayton Marina to offload our provisions
etc, and then drove up to Alvechurch Marina to leave the car for our
return. We then caught a train and taxi back to Gayton. We spent the
night at the marina, ready for the off.
As you may know, the
Benbow is a shared ownership boat and we were going to return it to
Alvechurch as they had been doing work at the marina.
we started out from the marina, which took about an hour of breaking
the ice before we got onto the canal proper. We noticed that another
boat, Crazy horse, a hire boat, which was moored on the canal had moved
|We passed him somewhere along the way as we started to struggle in
about 2inch of virgin ice as you can see from the 1st photo.
As we tried to moor up for water, big sheets of ice made the going very tough.
|Further on, we took advantage of one of the two working boats we encountered, to break the ice.|
made better progress but struggled at the bends, taking three or four
attempts, because the ice dictated where one went, rather than the
Right: Close up of the bow breaking the ice. It seemed, at that point, that a boat had probably passed a day or two previously.
Crazy Horse taking advantage of us
breaking the ice for them. At one point above Buckby top lock they took
the lead and really struggled, making little progress. So we re-took
They were going to turn right up the Leicester Section, but
thought it would be easier to follow us, so they did just that and we
both moored at Braunston, where next day they about turned and headed
back to Gayton.
That was our second night's stop. The first night's
stop was just below Buckby top lock.
Here, you can just make out the course through the middle of the ice, and if some one
followed that is the course they would take as the ice at the sides
gave no option.
Below left: Near Tomlow Bridge, we had moored up and resigned to
spending the night just passed Calcutt Marina at about lunch time.
|A little while later we heard that heavenly sound of another boat. It
was another working type boat, Prince. We gave it a little while before
we slipped the mooring and followed in relatively easy water.|
Our joy was short lived, because we approached bridge 21 to see him pull over and moor up.
We couldn't really moor behind so we made to press on, but it took us about an hour to pass him and try for the first of the Stockton locks.
|Soon realised that there was no chance of getting through, so in the end we moored opposite the Boat Inn and as you can see nobody was going anywhere. |
|The wise boaters at Stockton - hatches well battened down. |
|These last few pics show that, at Stockton, nobody was going anywhere. |
is where we sat it out for 5 days before trekking to Alvechurch,
collecting the car and going home to a nice warm house, where gas,
water and ice were no problem
This last picture of Benbow was taken outside the Boat Inn, where we
managed to actually get in one evening, before he decided against
We returned to the boat on Sunday the 17th Jan, and got as far as the Tom o the Wood, Rowington, on the 21st. Where we had to hand over to another couple, as we had to return home for work.
NB All images in this article are Copyright © 2010 Mick Rooney - Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Last Updated on Friday, 19 February 2010 19:47