Friday, 29 April 2016

Friday 29th April
We were going to stay at Thorpe Meadows until Wednesday but we decided to leave on Tuesday lunchtime instead, and we went back to Ferry meadows moorings. We had to have a medical in Peterborough on Wednesday afternoon and it seemed better to leave the boat at Ferry meadows rather than Thorpe meadows and get the taxi from there. The medical is all part of an insurance claim from the accident we had last year in the car! We did have a medical booked in Hull before we left in March but we made a mistake with the day we were supposed to have our medical, we thought it was on the Friday 11th March when in fact it was the day before Thursday 10th March! I know how bloody stupid are we!!
Anyway before we left Thorpe Meadows we had a visitor in the lake...
A seal
Not a very clear photo, it then went under water and we never saw it again. We don't know how it got there and Kev had been talking to a woman who told him that the seal had been around about 2 weeks and that the EA had been informed. 
Geese on the pontoon opposite us at Ferry Meadows

On Wednesday afternoon when we returned  to the boat from our medicals and I took Jaz for a quick walk while Kev dropped the canopy & prepared to leave, and once I had Jaz back on board we set off. After we had done 2 locks, Alwalton Lock & Water Newton Lock we carried on to the pontoon mooring at Wansford  Nene Valley Railway, where we had moored previously. 
The weather has been awful at times we have had wind, rain and snow! The sun has been lovely when it has made an appearance but spoilt by the wind. Yesterday morning  about 6.15am when Kev took Jaz out for a walk there was a frost and the ropes on the boat were frozen but by the time we were ready to leave they had thawed slightly as the sun was shining.

Heading towards the road bridge (A1) at Wansford

The first goslings we have seen.
When we got back to Fotheringhay we went through the arched bridge where there are more moorings and a water point so we filled up with water and after the tank was full we pulled forward of the water point and moored up for the day. We had a laugh about the farmer who owns the land that all these moorings are on as he appears from nowhere to collect his £4 from boaters! As another 3 boats came to moor here and each time he came for their money! When we were here last week he even came for our money after the funeral that had taken place and was still in his suit! He certainly doesn't want anybody to get away with not paying, ha ha.
Fotheringhay Church is a short walk across the field where we are moored so we went for a walk to have a look inside. I must admit walking on the land where the castle once stood and also inside the church gave me a real strange feeling of history and thinking of all the people who had once trod this way over the centuries was amazing.
Fotheringhay Church

Due to the strong winds we will probably stay here another night and head off tomorrow, expect the farmer will be here later for his £4!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Cold weather while cruising

Monday 25th April

When we left Fotheringhay on Saturday it was cold and there was quite a biting wind at times which made it feel colder than it actually was and we even had gloves on and I had my woolly hat on! An uneventful cruise and after working through 4locks the last one being Wansford Lock, we moored  a bit further after the lock at the EA moorings below Wansford railway station. There is a trip boat that is sometimes moored here and has priority if it is there, but fortunately it wasn't in service this weekend, there was enough room for our narrowboat and maybe a smaller boat behind us. There is a gate as you walk up from the pontoon and you need your EA key. There were plenty of people at the train station and a few on the special trains that were running along with the usual group of men snapping away with their cameras! They seemed to be taking photos of the same trains all day long, but if thats what they enjoy then fine.
Moored on the pontoon at Wansford Station

Wansford station for the Nene Valley railway
The train leaving Wansford station
And returning!
There is nothing at this mooring apart from the station and a few houses, and the road leads onto the A1 which was very close! We never had a boat pass us until about 8 o'clock on the night heading in the direction of Peterborough. We had a good walk with Jaz, crossing over the railway bridge over the Nene river and into the field on the other side of the bank, walking along the riverside and then back in a circle on the footpath  beside the railway line, it actually started raining and turned to hailstones for a time but soon passed and so we didn't get too wet, but were ready for a nice hot cuppa when we returned to the boat!
Yesterday morning when we left Wansford it was once again time for warm clothing along with hats and gloves. We were soon through our first lock of the day which was Water Newton Lock.

This is the old mill at the lock
By the time we were approaching Alwalton locks there was a boat just leaving the lock so we were able to go straight in. This was the last lock we did and we carried on until we passed under Bluebell footbridge where we turned right into Ferry Meadows Country Park onto Overton Lake where we moored on the pontoons there. These are 24 hour moorings and good walking for the dog, we have been to Ferry Meadows before when we had our caravan as there is a Caravan club site there.
This morning after breakfast and after I had done a wash we left Ferry Meadows and headed for Peterborough to the services to fill with water and once we had finished we turned around and headed in the opposite direction and stopped at Asda for shopping. There are some flats with railings and we were told by another boater that there is a gate that you can get through and Asda is directly opposite.
The gate is here.
Looking back at the services
Looking towards the flats where we moored for Asda
This is a Chinese restaurant 

Restaurant where apparently you can moor up alongside to use it!
We are now moored at the EA moorings at Thorpe Meadows which is situated between Orton Lock &  Peterborough.

Friday, 22 April 2016

A good meal in the Falcon Inn & scary goings on in another pub!

Friday 22nd April
Yesterday morning we waited for Graham & Mel to leave so we could top up our water tank as  they were moored  behind us near the water point, so all we needed to do when they left was to pull our pins & pull R&R back onto the water point.
Ready to leave, Graham & Mel

Just after Graham & Mel had left this man came swimming downstream!
Looking back at Lilford lock
Passing Lilford Hall
Approaching Upper Barnwell Lock, the mill next to the lock is a restaurant.

As you leave this lock there is a very low bridge 2.2m air draught! Then you pass Oundle cruising club & Oundle Marina, we then saw this swan below on her nest.

The Weir footbridge near Ashton Lock closed for repairs.

We passed this lovely house, the photo doesn't do it justice!
The Imposing Fotheringhay Church

Just about to go under Fotheringhay Bridge

There are moorings just before the bridge & a water point too, there are also several moorings after the bridge and this is where we decided to moor. There are posts to tie up to and the man who owns the land comes to take a payment of £4 per night.
This is all that is left of Fotheringhay Castle
We are moored with the old Castle mound next to us and the above photo is just ahead of us, there are ware 3 plaques on the railings here are 2 of them..

We were going to have a walk into the church today bet the man who owns this land told us there was a funeral today so we didn't think it would be right us going so we went to the Falcon Pub instead! We had a lovely meal in there both of us had the steak & mushroom pie which was great and the presentation of the vegetables was also lovely we couldn't fault it at all! there were a few people coming in the pub for meals and also people who were having a drink before the funeral. It was a lady of 67years who had died of mad cow disease! Someone had said they thought that was eradicated but someone else said it was but that it can lay dormant and this lady apparently died suddenly. She must have been very popular as when we left the pub there were 2 car parks full and the village had lots of cars parked on both sides of the road. We will probably moor here again on our way back to the Grand Union Canal and then go to look around the church. I don't know if anybody has been to The Black Horse in Elton which is only a couple of miles away but we were told by the waitress in The Falcon pub, that The Black Horse was once the hangman's home and he is said to haunt it! She worked in the pub and told us that she used to open up in a morning and close up on a night and had often felt a hand on her shoulder and her name being called. Also there have been people who were too scared to go in the pub, very scary.

Our mooring at Fotheringhay

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Escape from Islip Island!!

Wednesday 20th April
On Monday afternoon the levels were still too high for us to proceed down through Islip Lock and Kev kept checking the Environment Agency website. As we were sat on the boat we heard a noise outside and it was another boat coming to use the lock, so Kev went out to explain to them why we were moored on the lock landing. They tied up alongside of us and The man & woman went with Kev to look at the state of the water levels, they too said they wouldn't get under the bridge and the water was flowing quite fast. They decided to stay overnight and see what Tuesday would be like, as it seemed that the EA were letting water down at intervals and it was probably done electronically.

This squirrel had been on this wire for ages calling to another squirrel
This cat belongs to Graham & Mel Nb Dragonfly moored next to us.
Finally we were able to leave our Island!
 Waiting to go in Titchmarsh lock
It was a lovely cruise in the sunshine and we were soon at the moorings outside the Kings Head pub Wadenhoe, I managed to get the washing hung out, I had done it before we left Islop Lock. We went for a meal last night in the Kings Head and it was very nice but a little pricy! 
On the Kings Head mooring with Nb Dragonfly
Looking towards the rear of the pub
Graham & Mel also ate in the pub last night and then they came on board R&R for a drink and a chat. 
This morning when we got up there was a slight frost (-1deg in the cratch) and it was a bit misty on the river but it wasn't too long before the sun was out and it was lovely. Kev & I took Jaz for a walk around Wadenhoe village , it is a beautiful place and if anybody hasn't been here before it is well worth it. We took a few photos.....
 The entrance to Kings Head car park
The front of the pub & looking up the street
Walking up to the church, a lady told us the mounds on the right was where the original village was a long time ago!
Good views up here.
Plenty of thatched cottages.
The Barn on the right sells tea, coffee & cakes etc

The Mill
Part of The Wadenhoe house grounds
Wadenhoe House is open for weddings and functions and also conferences too
Another cottage getting a new thatch done

The post box is still in use but unfortunately not the shop

The new war memorial
Looking down towards the Kings Head
Nb Dragonfly moored behind us.
What a lovely walk around this very picturesque village, we have thoroughly enjoyed it.