Sunday, 30 August 2015

Inconsiderate Boater……

All the pre-cruising chores were completed by 8.15am so we decided to make a start down the Rotherthorpe flight of locks towards Northampton.  We made a brief stop at the CRT services at Gayton Junction to top up the water tank and dispose of the rubbish.  It was only a short cruise to the top lock (Lock 1).  Jan went forward to set the lock and then called back to explain the pound below the lock was empty.

dry pound

Jan was going to run more water down when she noticed the top paddles on the next lock were up.  I walked forward to find both the top and bottom paddles up and the bottom gates open.  The next pound was also drained.  As we were the first boat to arrive at the flight it appears the last boat to go down the flight yesterday left the lock in this state.  The problem was that leaving the lock in this situation had resulted in the lower gates silting up in the open position.  I spent 20 minutes gently swinging the lower gates open and closed gradually removing 80% of the silt.  However I wasn’t able to completely close the gates. 

I then walked down to the next lock (Lock 3) to find it in the same state.  In the lock there was a  single hander in a soap dish who was also attempting to close the lower gates.  Ovbiously the inconsiderate b@st@rd who had gone down the flight last had left both locks in this condition.

One of the two rostered regional CRT employees arrived and we spent 90 minutes with a keb (long handled rake with long tines) attempting to clear the submerged obstacles preventing the gates from closing.  In the end we had to drain the pound below the lock.  The CRT employee then put on his chest high waterproof waders and climbed into the lock with a spade.    The major obstruction was a safe.  I asked if the valuable contents were going to be divided evenly amongst those present (apparently not).  He then removed a toolbox and half a dozen bricks.  The obstruction between the lower gates in Lock 2 proved easier to remove.

By now it was 11.45am.  We then spent another 45 minutes slowly and carefully refilling the  upper half of the flight.  By 12.30 the soap dish with it’s Hungarian owner had made his way to the top of the flight.

soap dish We were the first boat down the flight.  Almost no photos as were we in a bit of a hurry knowing there were four boats following us.  I managed a quick photo of this interesting bridge at the bottom.

interesting bridge

There is a large chimney stack on the skyline as you approach Northampton from the west.  We couldn’t make up our mind whether it was under construction or in the process of being demolished?


Neither of us have great eyesight these days but there appeared to be two people abseiling down the side of the stack.


Two tiny black dots on the right side.  Cropping the above photo showed this……

hi climb

We were right!

We’re now moored just above Cotton Lock.  It’s the River Nene (pronounced Nen… as in hen or pen) below the lock.  The plan is to remain where we are until Monday and wait out tomorrow’s forecast rain.


Daykin said...

Its the

Pop up to have a go before Sunday lunch

Adam said...

It's the National Lift Tower -- used to test lifts. It's meant to look like that! It's also listed.

Dave said...

Hi tom, its not a chimney but a lift testing tower


Narrowboat QISMA said...

What an absolute disaster! That flight should be given the Devizes treatment...checked and locked overnight. Time and time again this happens. Now I am going to ask...where are you heading?

Halfie said...

Isn't that the Otis lift tower (where, presumably, they test lifts)?