Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Helpful Readers and the problem lock

In the last post I mentioned going I was going to go to Tooley’s Boatyard for a spare alternator belt. Reader Chris subsequently left a comment suggesting two alternative suppliers in Banbury.  The boatyard was closed yesterday and today it didn’t open until noon.  Consequentially I phoned both suppliers suggested by Chris.  One had a 6PK1173 (2mm shorter than the specified belt but it will fit with a considerable amount of physical effort and grunting) and the price was just over £20 <ouch>.  The second supplier had the correct belt and quoted £15 including VAT (GST for kiwi and Oz readers).

Both premises are in a small industrial estate opposite Morrisions supermarket.  It was a comfortable walk.  The storeman confirmed he had the belts in stock so I requested two.  When he told me the total price was £16.49 I quickly paid and departed in case he had made a mistake (he hadn’t).  Thank you Chris, you saved us at least £10!

On the way back to Waiouru I passed Banbury Lock where two CRT workers and a supervisor were still attempting to rectify the problem with the lower lock gates.  It appears the problem from yesterday wasn’t fully rectified.  The supervisor took over the task of exploring the base of the gate with the keb.

supervisor and keb

Eventually he managed to fish out a flat stone paver followed by a piece of timber.


Timber in the corner against the wall.

Then I noticed the cast iron cap off the top of the outer vertical gate frame.

gate cap

and realised the stone paver was the missing cap (red arrow above).

close up

Once both items had been removed from the canal the gates closed correctly.

The freezer was low on meat so we decided to take a walk into Banbury.  Jan had done a Google search and established there was a butcher in Church Lane.  Interestingly, the map shows there is a street adjacent to the lane named Butchers Row.  In trying to find out more information I discovered Banbury used to have three crosses.  There was one at the junction of High St and Butchers Row.  The information on the website stated “The Bread Cross was situated at the corner of High Street and Butchers Row. It was a large, covered cross, made of stone with a slate roof so that the butchers and bakers who had their market stalls there could keep dry in wet weather. This cross was associated with the distribution of bread to the poor each Good Friday. A cross on this site was first referred to in 1441.”

I hadn’t know that Banbury was home to the largest cattle market in Europe.  No wonder there was a Butchers Row.  But now only one butchers shop in the centre of the town!

church lane

There’s nothing ‘old world’ about the current Church Lane.

Jan bought some steak and mince before we wandered down to the 99p Shop for a replacement broom.  We seem to need a new broom every year.  It’s probably not surprising because the broom gets a hard life cleaning down the outside of Waiouru.  Still, at 99p it’s not a major expense!

The antics of the boaters passing today has been more interesting than watching TV.  Some of them come racing south rocking the moored boats around only to frantically go into reverse when they realise there is a lift bridge blocking the access to the lock.  It’s been some time since we have seen so many boats on the move.

Jan cooked the sausages from The Pig Place for dinner tonight.  She likes to bake the sausages and tonight had to empty the fat from the enamel baking dish twice.  It’s been some time since we have seen so much fat in sausages. Never mind, it will only be a few days and we will be in Braunston and be able to visit that excellent local butcher.

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