Thursday, 10 June 2010

Peterborough to Whittlesey

The Caxton Crew were up with the lark yesterday and reversing the boat upstream on to the service point ahead of our cruise on to the Middle levels.  We left the service point having completed three loads of laundry, two showers and run the dishwasher - all I might add without another boat passing let alone requiring the services.  I headed off down the town embankment to the Asda store and also got in the provender before we moved off.
Matilda Rose (above) just getting ready to follow Caxton as we turn on to the Back River off of the R. Nene.  
Caxton about to go under Black Bridge (Railway) heading for Stanground lock and the entrance to the Middle Levels.
Peterborough Boat Centre on the Back River (above) have just filled Caxton with diesel.  Self declaration accepted we are brimmed and ready for the next stage of our journey.
As we pull away towards the Stanground lock Matilda Rose arrives and prepares to back on to the diesel pump.

Entering Stanground lock the foirst of the 'manned' locks across the Middle levels. We are about to drop approximately four feet from the R.Nene on to the Kings Dyke.

Tina Rootham-Hayward, the female lockeeper at Stanground.  Tina is the third generation of her family to fulfil this role.  Tina's Grandfather started the family's connection with this lock in 1921 after returning  from the Great War where he had been a P.o.w after his capture at the Somme in 1916.  The lock then was only a short lock and boat traffic was minimal so his primary occupation was farming cattle.  Tina's father then took over as farmer and lockeeper and now it is her turn to keep the tradition alive.

The lock behind us we head off along the Kings Dyke (named after Canute no less).
The flat rich fenland landscape is 'littered' with wind turbines
The chimneys of the brick kilns, a major industry in these parts, or at least it was...
Entering the outskirts of Whittlesey
It is vey narrow in places.

Moored up on the official moorings by the leisure centre.  We have managed to get three narrowboats on a pontoon for two boats - below

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