Browsed by
Author: Michael Tyler

Owner and main contributor to the michaeltyler.co.uk, a site about my travels and day to day life on the canal.
Up the Junction

Up the Junction

Norton Junction to be exact.

After waiting at the top of Buckby Locks for a couple of days, I moved down here to Norton Junction which is where the Oxford Line of the Grand Union meets the Leicester Line.

It’s probably 2 miles away from Norton village.

It’s quite pretty here though, and we’ve got a view across the fields toward Welton village, of which you can see the church spire.

Grand Union Norton Junction
Welton Village in the distance

The canal runs between the two villages of Welton and Norton.

Welton used to be home to a large manor house called Welton Place, until 1972 when it was demolished.

Some of the classic foliage planted by the eminent Clarke family remains at Welton Place‘s previous location in the village and are protected.

Norton Junction on the Grand Union
Norton Junction on the Grand Union

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Amazon introduces delivery charges for Pick-up Locker Locations

Amazon introduces delivery charges for Pick-up Locker Locations

Was doing some shopping this morning. As I was checking out, I noticed that Amazon was adding delivery charges to my purchase.

£2.99 to be exact.

This was despite the fact my purchase was £34.63 , and above the Amazon Free delivery threshold.

Here’s a look at the shopping process:

Delivery charges to an Amazon Locker pick up location

Amazon Locker pick-up charges
Amazon Locker pick-up charges

Delivery charges for a residential address

As you can see.

Amazon now charges £2.99 for ‘one-day‘ delivery for the same order to an Amazon Locker pick-up location.

It does this by making one of the items a compulsory ‘one-day’ delivery option. Even though it’s perfectly feasible for the item to arrive within any later timeframe, and those options are given for the residential address delivery.

Charges for delivery to Local Pick-up location (Post Office)

Delivery charges to Amazon Local Pick-up location

Using my local Post Office, Amazon gives me the Standard Delivery option, applies a £1.99 charge, the knocks it off as a ‘Promotion‘.

In Summary

By hook or by crook, it now seems that Amazon is charging for the use of it’s Amazon Lockers.

That’s not surprising, as apparently, they’re not proving too popular amongst UK shoppers, who don’t have time to fit the things into their busy schedules, and like everything else on the high-street, the ground rent has to be paid.

The way round it if you, like me, live on a barge, is to get them to deliver to your local Post Office where the fees are still waived.

Muscott -> Long Buckby and Google Pixel stops working

Muscott -> Long Buckby and Google Pixel stops working

Or thereabouts.

Actually Buckby Wharf.

Google Pixel 2 – Red light comes on and stops working

That’s right my phone, pictured below. Left it on charge overnight. Shortly after I got up in the morning, whilst it was still on charge, the red light came on and started flashing and the picture of the battery sign came on the screen.

google pixel 2
google pixel 2

Checked the Google Support website. “The battery is fully discharged. Re-charge for at least 30 minutes then re-try”.

I knew this was not the case, because it had been on charge, and when I checked the cable, it was attached securely.

So…. The phone had just stopped working.

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Muscott -> Muscott

Muscott -> Muscott

I guess more Muscott than before.

This is the Muscott real, or thereabouts.

Muscott

Is an ‘abandoned settlement’. Featured in the domesday book and abandoned in the past, the last historical mention being in the 1300’s.

I took a wonder around there today, my curiosity excited by the prospect of seeing the ‘raised earthworks’ of the now defunct village.

Here’s an exerpt from historical england

The monument at Muscott lies just to the north-west of the village of Brockhall, although the two places are identified as separate settlements. The site consists of the earthwork remains of the deserted medieval village and of a double moated site, the location of the Muscott medieval manor house. The remains of the village are orientated with respect to a major hollow way between 1.5m and 2m deep, which runs from WSW to ENE through the settlement, with a further hollow way branching off to the north. Alongside the roads low scarps show the extent of property boundaries and, within these areas, raised platforms indicate the sites of former buildings. In the western part of the village earthworks, hollow ways and property boundaries cover the faint remains of ridge and furrow, indicating that the village was extended in this direction. To the south of the remains of the village lay further crofts belonging to the village and some of these were excavated in 1958 prior to their destruction. Within one of the crofts the remains of three buildings were discovered. One building was a stone house with a hearth and two others proved to be the locations of timber barns. All the buildings were dated to the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. To the south-west of the medieval village lie earthwork remains which originally consisted of two linked rectangular moats. The western moat island covers an area measuring approximately 90m x 75m, and is recorded as the location of the medieval manor house belonging to the village, and part of the south ditch of this moat, together with a slight external bank, can still be seen, although the rest of the ditches and much of the moat island have been destroyed by later building. The gatehouse to the present Muscott House is considered to be late medieval in date with 19th-century additions and is listed Grade II. The second moat lies just to the east of the main moat, is connected to it and covers an area 67m x 57m. The eastern moat island is surrounded on the north, east and south sides by a ditch 0.3m deep. To the west of the two moats lie the earthwork remains of water channels and a rectangular fishpond, 40m long, 8m wide and up to a metre deep which was part of the medieval site. The village at Muscott is recorded in Domesday Book along with the nearby village of Brockhall. Muscott village is also documented throughout the 14th century and is recorded as paying the highest tax in the county for the Lay Subsidy in 1334, but by 1377 only five people paid the Poll Tax. In 1547 records show that 300 sheep grazed the pasture at Muscott and in 1576 Sir John Spencer of Althorp bought the manor which consisted of pastures and meadow. In the centre of the field containing the deserted medieval village lies a stone cattle trough of the last century and this is excluded from the scheduling. Muscott House, the listed gatehouse and all outbuildings and farm buildings on the monument are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath the buildings throughout the site is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument’s support and preservation.

https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1009555

As I walked around there tonight, I could definitely make out the ‘moat’ just from walking down the bridleway.

Canal

Looks nice in this part of the world.

Only a quickie.

I’m not going to be here for long. It’s a stop-gap because the locks have operating hours restriction at present, that added to work commitments means I won’t be able to make it through them until after the weekend.

Here’s some pictures from the surrounding area.

Brockhall Northamptonshire
Brockhall Northamptonshire

M1 Bridge Brockhall Northamptonshire
M1 Bridge Brockhall Northamptonshire

Dodford -> Muscott

Dodford -> Muscott

A short move, probably a half a mile or so down the canal from Dodford to Muscott.

Here’s a picture of what Muscott looks like.

Muscot on the Grand Union
Muscot on the Grand Union near Weedon

Last month, I went to Crick Boat Show which is a big deal national boat show specifically for narrowboats.

There are so many things to do and spend money on at Crick.

Luckily, I don’t have any money, so I looked at things that specifically I needed.

Winter is coming – A showboat at Crick Boat Show.

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Weedon Bec -> Dodford

Weedon Bec -> Dodford

Or thereabouts.

In the fields really.

Very nice and placid.

It’s nice being able to draw the curtains and not have gongoozlers look onto your boat all the while.

I have some nice orchids growing outside my window. It’s close enough the I can see the insects moving up and down the stems. Closer to nature, I guess they say!

A45 Weedon Bypass

Has been completed. Last November to be exact.

Flowers of conciliation are now growing across the earthworks.

Weedon Bypass A45
Flowers grow on the Weedon Bypass A45

It was definitely noisier last year when their were less plants to absorb the sound and vibrations.

Can hardly hear it now.

Flore -> Weedon Bec

Flore -> Weedon Bec

Moving up past the waterpoint and sewage farm.

More into the center of the village.

Solar

Since putting the solar panels and buying a new PWM controller for the portable panels, I’ve only been having to start the engine to move the boat.

Solar PWM controller
Solar PWM controller

What I used to have to do every morning for 2 hours. I now do only every other week for about 1 hour.

What’s left is free energy.

By 6pm at night, there is a lot more left, meaning I can watch TV and do those other things I want to.

By 9am the next morning, the batteries are full again.

Who can say this isn’t good value?

Government increases tax rate on domestic solar panels to 20%

The government is trying to discourage people from using these by increasing the VAT on them to full rate, whilst a VAT reduction remains for other fossil fuels energy items such as gas, diesel and coal.

Goods or servicesVAT rate
Electricity for domestic and residential use or for non-business use by a charity5%
Gas for domestic and residential use or for non-business use by a charity5%
Heating oil for domestic and residential use or for non-business use by a charity5%
Solar panels for domestic and residential use or for non-business use by a charity20%

Just shows how serious our government is about renewables and climate change.

Thankfully, I’ve got my panels now and I won’t be paying this charge.

The charge comes in in October, so it’s time to getting fitting your panels now.

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-solar-panels-vat-government-fossil-fuels-sian-berry-a8906361.html

https://www.michaeltyler.co.uk/fitting-solar-panels-narrowboat/