Thursday, 1 February 2018

Hatton station (all sorted for the next pit stop)

On Wednesday morning we went for a walk down the Hatton flight to see what preparations were being made for the works that are due to start next Monday.  Two of the locks in the 21-lock flight are being closed for six weeks but it still means that the whole flight will be impassable for boats during that period.  The flight was out of action when we were here last winter too, but then there were quite a few locks being worked on and it was closed for longer.

According to the C&RT website the two locks are having repairs to the gates as well as repairs to one of the cills and some ladder work.  Even though these aren’t extensive repairs, the locks will still have to be drained in order for the work to be carried out.  

When we got to the fifth lock down I spotted a couple of breasted up C&RT flatbed barges loaded with some stanking planks. 

The stanking planks for this part of the Grand Union canal, and also the Stratford canal, are stored at the C&RT buildings on the Hatton flight.  The pound where the barges were, is right next to the C&RT buildings so they must have just been loaded up, ready to be towed down the flight (the two locks to be repaired are near the bottom).  As these are broad beam locks the planks are long and not so easy to man-handle as the shorter six/seven foot ones on the narrow beam canals like the Stratford canal.

Some of the Hatton C&RT buildings on the far side

When we go down the flight at the weekend, we had hoped to moor four locks from the bottom for a week or so as it is away from the main roads and therefore nice and quiet.  Unfortunately, as the penultimate lock is going to be one of the ones being worked on, we will have to go all the way down and moor closer into Warwick.

Later in the afternoon I caught a train to Warwick (handy being moored by Hatton station), walked to Karen’s office and we drove down to Reading for dinner with Sophie (my eldest daughter) and Yanos; they are getting married in June and this was a chance to catch up with their plans.  We went to a pleasant and pretty Lebanese restaurant that was new to me and Karen and had a great time.

My phone isn’t charging properly – the lead isn’t always connecting to the phone properly so that’s one of the many things to get sorted once we get to Leam, such as getting new spectacles and a passport for Buddy (spectacles for me not Buddy 😉).  When we had a cruise at the weekend, Karen had noticed a sign outside the village shop in Shrewley indicating that they do phone repairs.  So, on Thursday morning I walked to the shop in Shrewley only to find that they no longer do phone repairs, just PCs, but haven’t got round to updating their sign

As I said the other day, we are going to have to get red diesel and coal by road over the next couple of months as the local fuel boat is not so local until April – Mark is stuck the other side of stoppages on the North Oxford canal.  A quick word with Mharie, who lives with her family on a boat in Warwick, and I was furnished with the best dealer in the area.  As I have the car on Mondays I know what I’ll be doing next Monday – thanks Mharie 😊

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