Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Lapworth (dangerous dogs and slipped pigs ears)

On Tuesday morning we cycled down to see how the works were progressing on lock 30.  Buddy was in one of his stick moods where he likes to run with a stick in his mouth.  We haven’t worked out what makes him do it one day, and then shows no interest whatsoever on another day.

Buddy looking perplexed as I stopped him carrying his stick

This area is very popular with walkers as there is a good circular walk that takes in both the Stratford and Grand Union canals with a couple of good country pubs on the way.   As you would expect the walkers are generally older people during the week and they can look a bit worried when they see a dog racing along carrying a stick that is wider than the towpath.  The stick he wanted to carry yesterday was one of the longer ones so I had to stop him carrying it in case he caused an accident.

We have had a lot of comments about the wedding we didn’t see at the weekend, so Karen suggested looking it up on the web to find out more.  So far it looks like nothing has been posted – maybe after the weekend it will be in the pages of a local paper so we’ll look again then.

Coltsfoot flowers are now appearing along the canalside.  These are members of the daisy family and not the dandelion family which they appear to look like.  I hadn’t realised that the leaves don’t appear until after the flowers have set their seeds and died away in the summer.

Coltsfoot flowers

When we arrived at the lock we found that the stank was still in place in front of the top gates.  This was because some repointing had been done to the lock lining and hadn’t set yet.  This is one of the locks where heritage rules stipulate that the mortar has to be lime-based rather than modern cement.

The men were erecting a hoist over the bottom gate.  They weren’t going to remove the gate but needed to lift it slightly to take the weight whilst repair works were carried out.

Hoist being erected over the bottom gate

The gate anchor had come loose and therefore the gate wasn’t sealing properly meaning it was leaking water badly.  There are different sorts of anchors in use over the system; the guys here call this type ‘pigs ears’.  You can see in the picture below how they have slipped thus anchoring the gate less tightly.

Slipped pigs ears

This is how they should look when seated properly

The anchors become loose through the gates constantly being hit by boats.  It’s not surprising as some people misjudge the length of their boat when going into a lock and you hear some pretty heavy thuds sometimes.

The workmen say they are on target to get the lock reopened by or over the coming weekend so not long to wait now before we can get on the move again.

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