Friday, 22 May 2015

The Ashby Canal

We were unable to boat along the whole of the Ashby canal this time, but we did make a recce of the end even though it is a long way by road from Welford.
The end is at Snarestone, not easily visible from the road, so go to The Globe Inn and walk through their car park straight onto the canal bank. The road into Snarestone actually goes over the tunnel.
The far end of the tunnel is accessed by foot from opposite The Globe by walking across the road along a narrow path to the playground and out across the far side on a track that may have been the original horse drawn path used while the boat was "legged" through the tunnel.
The first photo is a view of the north end of the tunnel, and the canal bends through trees for less than a mile before arriving at the present terminus ...

where there is a gate preventing further access to the length that has been newly restored, and a  winding hole (at the far end in this picture). This spot is generally sunnier than the length nearest to the south end of the tunnel. We reckon it's a four day trip to Snarestone from Welford, and very pleasant and quiet.

Hail Welford!

We cut short our planned expedition because of unpredictable weather and so fortunately missed very heavy rain on Monday. However no sooner had we boarded Patience in Welford than we were hit by sack loads of hail!
Yes that's hail, not broken glass ....

When we finally left the marina John spotted that the water temperature was shooting up and sure enough, after a bit of a panic about possible perforated hoses and dodgy alternators, we realised there was simply not enough water in the radiator. Why we're not sure, (never happened before or since) but by simply topping it up (with nearly a gallon) we were able to go on without a problem.
And so we enjoyed most of the trip up to Foxton (when not caught in heavy showers) and were able to relax into a fine sunny evening and a good meal at the Foxton Locks Inn.
We moored above the lock staircases and close to the delightful statue of the boy leading a horse along the tow path.

New Lamps for Old

Now that Patience is moored at Welford on the GU Leicester Arm, she has to pass through tunnels to get just about anywhere.  The old headlamp was showing signs of its age, with considerable rust building up on the reflector, as can be seen in the first photo. Having evaluated various options, including marine types sold by chandlers, a pair of  'driving lamps' was purchased from Halfords at a bargain price of £19.99 a pair. We only need one, but it's useful to have a spare and at that price, although the build quality is fairly basic, there isn't much to lose. It turned out that the new one is almost a copy of the design of the lamp that was already fitted, so fitting the replacement was relatively straightforward using the existing spade connectors and bracket. It is made by Ring, has a 155 mm diameter and a 55W halogen bulb.

We tried it out going through Market Harborough tunnel on a short trip to Foxton and it works fine.

No connection with headlamps, but here's a photo of a rather elegant working boat seen at Welford Wharf on our return. Yes, there are still working boats on our canals.