Browsed by
Category: Continuous Cruising

Living on a continuous cruiser on the UK canal system under CRT rules.

Longdown Road

Longdown Road

I’ve decided to come down this way, as last year I went up through the Watford Gap, past the UK’s oldest motorway service station down to Crick.

The mobile signal ain’t that great down there and there’s the constant moan of the motorway when the wind is blowing in the right direction.

Longdown Bridge

In the name of change and a new exciting experience, I’m heading up to Rugby, as far as Hillmorden Locks to see how the land, or more the canal lies down in this direction.

North to Rugby

Walking

Along the towpath, Olney Prison and young offenders unit is about 1 mile north, close to the new marina Hillmorton Pools…

I rang them the other day. They’re designed by the same group that run the Eden Project in Devon, or so it says on their website.

Kept on getting hit in the face by brambles as I went on my night walk.

I won’t be going up there again.

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Kinver Canopies Cratch Cover

Kinver Canopies Cratch Cover

A Cratch Cover is like a pram cover for the front of a boat.

It covers the whole of the sunken bow area.

Cratch cover
A cratch cover

The reasons for fitting a cratch cover may be:-

  • Increased living area: Having a warmer area protected from the elements means the living space of the boat has increased. It may be more pleasant and convenient to eat drink and relax in this space as opposed to other areas of the boat.
  • Better insulation: The fire pumps out heat which duly disappears through the front doors and windows into the wilds of Northamptonshire. Now it will be escaping into the covered cratch area and staying there, at least for some time.
  • More space: Very useful for stowing all those bits and pieces and more you’re trying to cram onto your boat.

Crick Boat Show

I took advantage of the fact that Crick was only 6 miles down the road when the show was on in May to get an idea of the prices and companies that were offering these devises. £13.60 to get in.

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Mooring in Flecknoe

Mooring in Flecknoe

Now in Rugby district of Warwickshire.

Initially tried staying in a previous location close to the Flecknoe station road. There were so many boaters there, and the mobile signal wasn’t that great.

I decided to re-trace my steps a little, which involved turning the boat around.

Oxford Canal like the M1

Turning the boat around turned out to be no joke.

The traffic on the Oxford canal is like the M1. Just so many boats, in either direction.

Usually, I can just nip the boat around, no problems, as long as the canal is wide enough.

Unfortunately, it was slightly windy, and that, added to the sheer number of boats moving made it difficult to do anything that wouldn’t involve blocking the canal for the moving traffic.

In the end, I had to go right the way down to Lower Shuckborough, which is about 2 miles away. Then come back.

The mobile signal is better here. It doesn’t drop out.

There are fewer other boaters. It’s closer walk to the car.

A bit more out in the wilds. Which suits me better.

Locking restrictions

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Old Braunston Town

Old Braunston Town

Where East meets West…. Midlands.

I can walk to Warwickshire and back again in about 8 minutes. The county-line is a stream that runs down the hill behind Braunston playing fields into the canal.

Braunston

Has a history as a boating town. It was once served by two railway lines. One station close to the marina in Wolfhamcote, and the other about a mile up the road in Willoughby.

Braunston Pump House
Braunston Pump House

It’s somewhere I’ve moored a few times over the years.

Facilities include:-

  • 4 pubs. The Nelson, The Wheatsheef, The Plough, The Boat
  • 3 Chandlers of sorts. Midlands Chandlers, Braunston Marina Chandlers, Tradline (rope and fender).
  • Butcher.
  • Post Office & Convenience store.
  • Hairdresser.
  • Fish and chip shop.
  • Knick & knack and icecream shop.
  • Broadband that works. At different speeds depending on where you moor up.
  • and other numerous other small business concerns around the local environs.

Due to this, and it’s location on the convergence of the Oxford and the Grand Union main line make it a favorite stopover for boaters, even if it is just for one or two nights.

The Stop House Braunston
The Stop House Braunston

The stop house is the toll house for the canal in the area. It now houses a small canal museum.

Also, it’s home to the CRT East Midlands enforcement crew.

Last year I dropped in here and picked up a Cruising Record, a log of all the locations that the CRT had logged for my vessel.

Oxford Branch

Like on the underground Oxford Circus.

Not really though…

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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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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

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