Drop your jaw and gasp in disbelief as you watch me take the boat out for a cruise in winter. Yes, winter. OK, it’s not snowing but it was December, a time when I’m normally tucked up by the roaring stove with the boat on the mooring.
In October last year I headed along the North Oxford canal to Hillmorton Marina where they have a little dockside crane, suitable to lift an engine out of a boat. Over the course of the next week I scrubbed out a load of muck and rust from the engine bilge, treated it with Vactan and then primed and painted it before getting the engine put back in.
It’s time for my 2017 Grand Tour to begin! Firstly I had to put in to Hillmorton Wharf for a fix of my leaking fuel pipes on the boat’s Lister Petter LPWS4 engine, then it was off – very gently – to Braunston. This’ll be a bit of an amble for the first few days as I’m scheduled to meet someone at Kilby near Leicester in the middle of the month.
There is a surprising amount of unused bits of canal across the UK, in varying states of decay. In this vlog I take a look at two separate projects which are digging out and restoring parts of the original route of the North Oxford canal.
In this instalment, I move off from Braunston and head to the east side of Rugby, firstly to do a bit of laundry and get some diesel, then onwards to Hillmorton Locks. There I take a look around and chat to volunteer lock keeper Maurice Farndon about a restoration project that’s underway.