Friday, 2 May 2008

Higher and faster.

3 locks, 8½ miles, Now moored at Durobrivae (site of) on the River Nene

The water level hadn't changed much over night after yesterdays heavy rain. The first lock of the day was Elton lock which posed no problems but the same couldn't be said for Yarwell lock. At the lock landing there is a nice new water point so we took advantage of that to start off before locking down. We checked out the flow of water over the top gates and decided that we wouldn't need to open the paddles as the lock would self fill quickly enough once the guillotine gate was lowered, which it did. However once into the lock and the water was let out we really felt the power of the water pouring over the top gates. Once the guillotine gate was fully open and we started to exit the lock, we came to realise that the increase in the water level had reduced our headroom and we had barely 12 inches between the roof and the bottom of the gate, a bit scary since the previous lock had plenty of air space.

Out in the country on the Nene

At Wansford rail bridge we moored for lunch and time for me to investigate the Nene Valley Railway. While on the station platform it started to rain so I had to shelter in the station waiting room which was no hardship as I had the opportunity to read all the information sheets displayed on the platform. I was surprised to learn that the NVR don't actually own the Victorian station building, this is owned by a transport company who used the building as their offices. It is not all bad news though as the building is now empty and run down and is a grade 2 listed building so the NVR are trying to raise £160,000 to buy and restore it back to its Victorian glory. Everything on site was photographed and will be again over the week-end as the railway is open for business over the long week-end and we will be moored close by at Ferry Meadows or Peterborough.

Who needs a windlass anyway?

After lunch we decided to push on while the sun shone. Passing under the railway bridge we came across the new mooring pontoons for visitors to the NVR which are just being completed. At Water Newton lock we had been told that there were moorings above the lock but everywhere we looked there were No Mooring signs so we carried on through the lock. As we exited the lock we could see a fair torrent of water on our right coming through the tunnel under the old mill house. As we reached this fast running water we had to apply full power to avoid being pushed sideways into the bank. The fast moving torrent only lasted for a short distance before the water became calmer. About a mile down the river we found a suitable looking mooring and after checking the map it appears to be near the site of the old Roman town of Durobrivae.

Nature reserves along the river banks

1124 locks, 1455½ miles, 41 Tunnels, 41 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006


Ken said...

Hi Derek and Dot,

Two handsome Scotish Highland bulls. The one on the right is full grow and the buul calf on the left appears to be 6 to 9 months in age.

Keep up the great blog!

Ken Averill

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Ken
Glad you enjoy the blog. Yes we thought they were 'Heelan Coos' as they say in Scotland