Sunday, 18 December 2016

Napton (colour coded stanking planks)

Our mooring at Napton

After our ‘gruelling’ two mile cruise to Napton on Friday we thought we should take it easy on Saturday and stay put.  We had a wander into the village to get our Saturday paper and a few other things at the post office.  It was still mild so we sat outside and had coffee and hot chocolate. 

Waiting for ourdrinks and my mid-morning pain au chocolate

Napton ticks a lot of our ‘resting place’ boxes, e.g. there is no commuter rat run through it but it is a bit too large for our liking.

After lunch we went for a walk up the Napton flight of locks.  It was so still and even the pounds between the locks were still – no sign of water flowing between the locks.  The locks have recently been closed for a couple of months for winter maintenance so that probably accounts for a low flow as the gates will be more watertight.

A sort of upside down photo – unusual near locks

An exciting time for us – we found a stanking plank store with colour coded planks!  We assume they are used when repairing the locks on the Napton flight – the colours indicating which locks they belong to.

Colour coded stanking planks

One thing we remember from when we were last here in 2013 was collapsed electricity pylons in the fields near the top lock.  I can’t find any reference to them on the internet but it seems very unusual to just leave them lying there.  Originally I thought they were wind driven water pumps but I’m pretty sure they’re pylons.

Collapsed pylon near the top lock

We spent the rest of Saturday at home on the boat.

PS: A reader got in touch to add some information about the old brickworks wharf at Napton that was mentioned in Friday’s blog entry.  Sometime after the brickworks closed, a chap called Peter Nichols ran a boat building business from the wharf.  He did this until c2000 and then moved the business to Braunston.  His narrow boats and Dutch barges are well respected amongst the steel boat building industry. (Thanks to Ditchcrawler)

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