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Monday, March 16, 2009

Foxton to Welford Arm Junction.

Monday 16th March.

Foxton to Welford Arm Junction. 8 miles, 10 locks and 1 swing bridge.

We spent a fantastic weekend at Foxton. Saturday was a little on the breezy side, so we did not bother with boat jobs, instead we took a walk into Foxton to have a look around. These fabulous Daffodils were growing along the towpath, bringing a burst of sunshine to the banks.
Foxton is a really pretty village, made up of old and new properties, numbering around 480 at the moment.
It has a stunning church which overlooks the valley and The Black Horse pub. St. Andrews church tower dates back to the 13th Century. We took a stroll around the grave yard, where there are a number of family plots dating back to the 1800's.We enjoyed our walk, as did Paddy. We spent the rest of Saturday relaxing and watching the TV.
Sunday morning we were awake and up early as we wanted to get a few boat jobs done. One being the paintwork on the back cabin doors, which needed attention. So having walked Paddy and had our breakfast we set about rubbing down the paintwork and applying new paint. With the weather being so fantastic, there were plenty of people walking the towpath. Having got the paintwork done, it was time to clean the exterior brass, clean out the engine room and give the boat a general tidy. Who said Sunday was a day of rest?
On Sunday Foxton was holding its first ever Seedy Sunday. It was held at the Robert Monk Hall. Seedy Sunday offered people the opportunity to swap their unwanted seeds for seeds from other gardeners. I think it is a brilliant idea. Foxton Seedy Sunday was awarded £1500 grant by Awards for All England, a joint Lottery grants programme supported by Arts Council England, Big Lottery Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and Sport England. I hope it was a success. They certainly had the weather for it.
Today we awoke to another glorious morning and by 9am we were ready to set off up the Foxton Flight, which is now manned by a lock keeper until the end of the summer, so if your planning on going up or down the flight you have to speak to the lock keeper Terry first. We made our way up the flight and were at the top by 10am, where we said cheerio to Terry and BW worker Bill, who we have got to know whilst we have been on the Leicester section.
On this section of the canal, there is plenty of stunning scenery to look. We were also being studied by the local farm animals. These sheep were fascinated by us. When we did this section on the way up it was a very foggy day, so we never got to see the rolling hills, where the trees stand like naked statues, quivering in the breeze. It is really quite beautiful. Every since the Autumn we have hardly seen any other boats on the move, but today we saw six. It seems that now the better weather is here (fingers crossed), people are beginning to make a move. We arrived at Husband Bosworth Tunnel, to see another boat exiting the mouth of the tunnel. As we swept into the darkness, I stood down in the engine room, where I could see in front of us another boat. Unfortunately they did not appear to have any stern lighting, so I could only make out their outline. It turned out to be a Canaltime hire boat once we arrived out into the sunshine. They went down the Welford Arm after overshooting the junction and we moored up for the day. After some lunch, I went stick collecting, whilst Paddy and Marmite played out on the towpath. it is so quiet here that they will not be bothered by anyone else. it has been another fine day and the week looks set fair, so we should make it to our coal merchant by the end of the week.

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