Monday, 11 September 2017

Napton-on-the-Hill (Two legs on two arms and lock renumbering)

Karen had some work to catch up on so we spent most of Sunday morning on the boat.  Meanwhile, Catherine (Karen’s daughter) was running in a 10k fun run on the Aylesbury arm of the Grand Union canal.  She had stayed overnight with my sister, Judith, and Nigel who went with her to the starting line to wish her on her way.  There was also a half marathon that included the Wendover arm and that run was called, ‘Two legs on two arms’.  Catherine is running the half marathon in Nottingham in a couple of weeks so this was extra training for her.

Judith and Nigel making sure Catherine gets away OK – not sure where their numbers are though

I was checking our cruising plan for the next few months when I read something that reminded me once again, that you shouldn’t believe everything you read in print or on the web.  Last week, when writing about the Old Engine House arm, I said it joined the Oxford canal between locks 11 and 12 on the Napton flight.  

It had been nagging me sub-consciously ever since then as the numbers didn’t sound right.  Anyway, after checking I realised it joins between locks 14 and 15.  After thinking about it my source of the numbers was referring to the original numbering system when the canal was opened in 1790.  In those days, the junction was between locks 11 and 12 but in 1840, following competition from the Grand Union, the three locks at Hillmorton were doubled up to increase the traffic flow.  Thus, by the addition of three extra locks, the other locks on the canal were renumbered accordingly; hence the confusion in lock numbering.

Our mooring in the bottom pound at Napton

After a salad lunch, we went for a walk and, on the way back, ended up in the Folly at the bottom of the flight.  There was a 60th birthday party in full swing at one end of the dog bar and the lucky chap had seven grandchildren 😉
Mark and Caroline, the landlords, were having their lunch at one of the tables and we joined them for a chat when they had finished.  Karen and I had been talking about the three guys, on a boating holiday, who we saw at the pub many years ago together with a jam jar of ashes.  The ashes contained their friend, Neil, who used to go on holiday with them once a year.  We were wondering whether now there are one or two who visit with two or three jam jars.

I asked Mark if he had seen them in recent years and his instant response was, ‘Sadly no.  But we do receive four jars in the post every year’ 😀😀

After an enjoyable time at the pub we came home, lit the stove and cooked a full roast including Yorkshires even though we were having chicken. I had had a brief conversation with Aileen about waste tanks during the afternoon and she told me that, disappointingly, she and Mike were close to lighting a stove even though they’re boating in France!  

It seemed to rain constantly all afternoon and evening and it’s still raining as I write this morning.

Our mooring in the rain

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