Saturday 25th June
Plant of the day – Lime trees with their wonderful fragrance.
We started the day with a visit to the Historic Boat rally at Braunston. The parade of boats seems to get longer and longer each year. The English language needs a new word to describe very, very slow mayhem. Having watched most of the parade attempting to chug past we finally decided to return to the car the long way round. At the bottom lock we warned an emerging time-share crew that they’d be held up and would need to manoeuvre in very close quarters. The response was a very angry “ you pay good money and then you get this! I don’t need holdups and hassle” No appreciation for free entertainment and a colourful spectacle then. They obviously hadn’t realised that the canal system is there to be enjoyed by anyone and much of it’s attraction is provided by it’s users. Should’ve gone to Disney land.
We made our way to Jannock and set off South towards Buckby flight which we shared with a boat that possessed a willing crew of 4. One lad, an Aussie, was a willing worker – steering, locking, holding ropes and even lighting a BBQ on the rear hatch top etc. The remaining 3 crew were willing to let him. To be fair, the other lad on board had a broken ankle but his attempts at steering were impeded by dis-interest and alcohol. The two women were chatting to each other, or into mobiles, for most of the time with lots of drinkies and one attempt to turn a windlass each.
Boats across the cut were ‘de riguer’ today, many new hirers out. I had to rescue a ‘moored’ boat (Dances with Ducks) which was only attached to the bank by it’s cable that connected it to a substantial land based TV aerial. It would seem the mooring rope had been snapped by the effects of passing boats – it wasn’t in the best of condition to start off. Luckily there was a chain dangling from the rear deck that I could use to moor it back up to the piling with.
We moored for the night on the off-side, next to the church at Weedon. We’d like to turn into the Jannock tourist board at this point. We encourage you to visit Weedon from the church end rather than from bridge 24. Go down the steps from the 48 hour mooring and it’s a short walk to a pretty village with it’s history marked by it’s architecture. In the main village you will find a Post Office, supermarket, chemist, green grocers and a couple of pubs – no food served unfortunately as we were looking for a meal. There’s a quilters and patchwork workshop too. Walk on up the hill and there’s a gem, the old ordnance depot, established when Napoleon threatened our security. On the right is an accommodation block reminiscent of Victorian Aldershot. Most of the barracks are gone now. On the left is the main depot through smart grade 2 listed gates with the storage buildings ranked either side of the very visible military branch canal.
We decided to try the Heart of England hotel for a meal but they had a 45 minute wait for food so we went to the Brinjol Indian restaurant next door and had a very tasty meal. Then back to Jannock, via ‘Bat Watch’ alley to sleep it off.