We’re moored up for Christmas in a beautiful spot just above Welsh Road lock.
We chose this spot as it’s 5 locks and 4 miles from here into the centre of Leamington Spa. Anne’s coming to stay with us for Christmas and we’re planning on cruising down the locks and into town wearing Santa hats and playing carols at full blast. We reckon we can fit it in between opening presies and listening to the Queen’s speech on the radio.
We’ve gone from scraping the bottom of the coal scuttle to having enough fuel on board for a small power station. Despite being held up by the ice, Mark turned up with the coal boat Callisto at about lunch time on Tuesday and transferred 176 litres of diesel (ouch!) and 6 bags of Stoveglow onto Legend.
British Waterways have been busy round here; 2 guys on a work boat followed us down the Bascote staircase locks and then set about the very leaky bottom gate with gusto. In less than an hour they’d turned the torrent or water rushing through the gates into something a lot less alarming. The morning after we arrived here at Welsh Road a whole team of day-glo suited blokes turned up with 2 vans and what looked like a torpedo on a trolley. On this part of the GU there are a lot of back pumps which take water from the bottom of a lock and return it to the top. In 1930, when the canal was modernised and improved, new wide locks were built alongside the original narrow ones. Nowadays the narrow locks are not used and the bottom gates have been replaced by weirs. When a back pimp is installed by a lock, they often get put inside the weir, pumping the shortest distance from the lower level to the higher. The torpedo turned out to be a new back pump, this is the old one after they pulled it out.
Merry Christmas reader and thank you for your company during what for us has been a momentous year. We’ve accomplished a lifestyle change that could so easily have been just a dream till it was too late. We wish we had pound for every time we’ve heard the phrase “Oh, I always wanted to do that.” It’s not our style to administer advice but if we’ve learnt anything on our travels it is this: Life is not a rehearsal. Use your best china.