Sunday, 18 October 2015

Hawkesbury Junction, with No Problem

Having met the last Coal and Diesel boat in the middle of Braunston tunnel, we met NB Auriga coming round a very sharp bend, and towing a 70 foot barge behind herself.

I caused Rick some palpitations by immediately slowing up, instead of getting out of his way – it was only afterwards that he realised I wanted to buy some solid fuel. I'm experimenting with different types, so I bought some Pureglow – it was a pound cheaper than Supertherm. But it'll be a while before I burn it. The last fuel I bought, I realised afterwards, isn't registered as smokeless, so I want to use that up before we get back to base.

After that it was only a little way to Hawkesbury Junction, where the Oxford canal terminates. It has a stop lock, which typically have only the slightest of level change, if any at all, and were installed where one company's canal joined another's. Water conservation these days means anti-vandal devices on a lock's paddles. When the canals were built it meant the Acme Canal Company's water stayed in the Acme Company's canal, as much as possible.

As we pulled in to join the queue for the lock, we realised we were passing NB No Problem, with Sue and Vic on board. Sue gets credit for jump-starting the canal blog phenomenon, and maintains the Boaters Blogs website, as well as her own blog. Our paths had not crossed before, and we were delighted to pull up and chat for a while as we waited to go through. I understand that my picture of Sue is almost unique, in that she's not wearing her pink cap!

It was great to meet you, Sue. Thank you for coming out to chat. Hope it won't be so long till the next time.

The junction at Hawkesbury sees the two canals running parallel to each other, and then linked at the basin.

It makes for a very sharp turn, but there's plenty of room, both in the basin and through the bridges, to be able to make it gracefully. A couple of miles up the cut is the junction with the Ashby Canal, with a much narrower turn.

We'll be up there sometime but, for the moment, we're heading by stages back to Great Haywood.

Shortly before the end of the Oxford Canal, we passed this sign on the bank. We wondered what the voles think about this all-day breakfast advert for the local mink population. Poor Ratty!


  1. I knew I had seen your boat somewhere before!!

    You are on my blog list and it just didn't twig when we met.. I do read the blog too!! Dafty me!!

    Good to meet you both in the flesh though.

    1. And nice to follow you down the Atherstone flight today. Another excuse for pun in the title of today's post!