Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Plan 9 from Newbold

(Thought I'd pop a swift Ed Wood reference in there for the film cognoscenti...)

We looked up the stoppage which George and Sue had mentioned, using the CRT website. It was described as "mooring rings and signage work" between bridges 58 and 59, due to finish by this Friday, the 12th. Accordingly, we thought that it would be as well to adopt a more extended cruising plan, which would have the benefit of using up more of the spare time before we want to be at Crick.

So we decided to carry on to Newbold regardless, staying here tonight, winding tomorrow before a further night here, then ambling back to Braunston over the next few days. Setting off a bit after eight on a beautiful morning made for a very pleasant cruise into the environs of Rugby. There was indeed quite a bit of congestion at Brownsover when we got there, though not much worse than usual given that it was still quite early in the day – if we'd stuck to our original plan, we'd have left much later, so as to arrive at Brownsover after some overnight moorers had left.

As it was, there had been a good 140' of towpath mooring right by the bridge, though now with a GRP cruiser newly tied in the middle of it. We knew it was newly arrived as he'd passed us earlier. If we'd been determined to stop, I'd have asked him to move a bit to let us in.

The CRT notice proved to have been incorrect in almost every way. What is happening is a scheme of towpath improvement beyond bridge 59, not between 58 and 59. There's no sign of improved mooring provision or signage and the state of the work leads us to suspect that it will in no way be complete by Friday. The work will be entirely to the benefit of towpath walkers and cyclists as far as I can see. I'll report further when we go back that way.

We had no trouble mooring at Newbold, though the rings are awkwardly spaced for a full length boat. The piling here is of the heavily indented type and the trick is to hang the fenders from intermediate mooring rings rather than from the boat. We've ended up on very long mooring lines and I've deployed the centre line as something of a spring, though it's not as good as a proper spring and we are still see-sawing if boats pass at all quickly. I've put out our heavy duty, go-kart tyre fenders to absorb some of the thumping about.

We took a walk to the Co-op here and bought bread and a few other bits. It's not a terribly well stocked Co-op, I have to say, presumably the citizens of Newbold do most of their shopping in Rugby itself. Also tied here is Timewarp with Jacqui and Tony. Tony makes and sells very good tiller pins and Jacqui has started making some excellent fudge at very reasonable prices. (Well, Sheila tells me it's excellent, I've been good and denied myself even tasting such a high GI foodstuff.)

As I say, tomorrow we'll carry on in search of a winding hole, quite probably the entrance to Brinklow marina, then tie here again for another night.


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