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Tours 2000, BCN, Severn Estuary, K&A and River Wey

29 - Friday 28th July - Bottom of Crofton Flight. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Weather - hot and sticky all day, a bit of rain late afternoon.

We left grot moorings above Caen Hill flight at 8.35. Kept awake by rattling of barrels in Wadworth's brewery opposite - at least it is still open. It had
rained a lot in the night and had cleaned the roof off a bit. After Neil's cleaning and touch ups boat now looks quite respectable again. Got to look tidy for the Thames! Linda wanted to do washing so left the now touchy Travelpower for Neil to switch on. There was a flashing of control lights and a serious burning smell from junk cupboard where electrical stuff lives. This now seemed a bit more terminal than the Travelpowers earlier fuse blowing incidents. Had to yet again remove all junk from junk cupboard, including bl**dy dustbins from Dudley Tunnel ballasting exercise. (This seems like a
lifetime ago!). Neil now getting very pi**ed off. Neil removed said offending control box (heavy) and slipped when going up rear steps. Travelpower control box, now totally out of control flys into air and plants its self into hexa grip ply deck / engine cover. Box sustains bent corner. Neil's back is not to hot after working all Caen Hill yesterday. Neil start's to wonder if narrowboating should really have this much hassle. He is also missing the long pound, that he has only been the other way on. Neil opens up Travelpower to find a few bits of vaporised printed circuit board track. This is near the input from alternator. The track was repaired with solder / wire using soldering iron and grot but faithful Sterling Inverter. Blocking diode across input also now O/C. Neil finds similar sized diode in redundant old car charger. (I can't even remember what I used to charge with it!) Travelpower now boxed up! Attention turns to alternator. Clamp and lead removed from alternator (remember we are still going along!) Fault then spotted . Lead badly positioned. Outer braid rubbed through and one wire exposed. This had been shorting to earth. Cable repaired and reconnected. Flying Travelpower now works. Linda proceeds with washing. 
Neil now returns to the long pound experience, just in time to get a good video of White Horse, Downs and Honey Street. We pass Wilcot at 12.40 and Neil wonders if Golden Swan pub was as good as we remembered it. The TNC blacklisted Pewsey gets another thumbs down. Wharf 1hour Visitor Mooring. Only 1 x  24hr Visitor Mooring (taken). 48 hr eroded bank Visitor Moorings all taken. We arrive at Wooton Rivers bottom lock at 14.10, to see blo**dy great barge trying to get in. This turned out to be the Pinder Merlin 2  which was returning from the Brum NEC show (Must have been transported to the Severn?) Neil doing the steering up the locks as his back was bad. Merlin takes incredible time to get through pounds and locks. Much pole prodding (wot no bowthruster?) Neil practises going up and down pounds. Linda does not hit it off with two elderly gent crew of Merlin. They sarcastically say "Is this your first canal holiday". At top lock Merlin tries to get into summit, this is about 2ft down. Merlin does not succeed in getting even to lock waiting area. Linda, Alan and Peter help them to get it vaguely to the bank. Linda sarcastically says "The top pound is always down by the evening, try again in the morning!" 
Neil churns his way past and Linda and Alan get on at the next bridge. Reasonable progress made. A few boats were seen high and dry, one was even a Springer! Manage to pass boat coming in other direction, just after tunnel. 16.30 (the official lock up time for Crofton Locks) was approaching, so Linda legs it to Crofton Top. Not locked so we whiz on. Now plenty of water and as the locks have to be left empty, we make good progress down the flight and get the 1 x decent 48hr mooring (17.20), which is strangely on the lock waiting landing. As we were mooring BW bods come along. They say they don't bother locking up Crofton now. They can't get big pump going and are seen fiddling in large pump control box. 
Neil, Alan, Peter and Wendy go off to the Swan Inn pub in Wilton. This was a pleasant 15 min walk alongside the Wilton Water reservoir. We arrived 5 mins early and had to wait for them to open. The 6X was not wonderful, a bit like in London, certainly not as good as the last offering of it we had. Neil tries to phone up the Water Rat Inn in Marsh Benham for nice meal tomorrow night. No Voda signal. Neil has to leg it up to Crofton Pump house to get signal. Directory enquiries say no number for Water Rat Inn. Neil knew that it was being refurbished last year. Neil remembers old name, The Red House, this is listed. Neil phones Red House, but does not fancy it. We may try the Italian Restaurant Pub the other side of Hampstead Lock. This spot is very good for trainspotters. We have seem almost all of the class 59 hauled stone trains coming through from Mearhead Quarry. They make an impressive amount of noise, this will probably carry on all night. HST's seem to come through every half an hour as well! Neil returns to Crofton to get messages, true, very mobile style, both pumps now seem to be working. He then repeats the performance to send the newsgroups postings that this is based on, with torch in the dark!


Devizes Wharf. Start of the Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Devizes Wharf. K&A Trust main offices and museum. Cemetery Road Bridge No 140 beyond. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Looking back at Devizes Wharf. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Looking back at the patchwork Cemetery Road Bridge No 140. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

The new London Road Bridge No 138. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Devizes Marina. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Devizes Marina. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Bishop Cannings Swing Bridge No 133. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Looking back at the rolling wheat lands and the chained open Horton Fields Swing Bridge No 131. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

The Vale of Pewsey. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Allington Swing Bridge No 129. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Visitor moorings just beyond All Cannings Bridge No 127. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

A classic waterside pub. The Barge at Honeystreet. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Honeystreet. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Honeystreet. Honeystreet Bridge No 124 in distance. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Honeystreet. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

The Vale of Pewsey White Horse. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Woodborough Hill. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Pickled Hill. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Cherry Boats moorings and hire base just before Lady's Bridge No 120. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

The ornate Lady's Bridge No 120. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Wide Water, just beyond Lady's Bridge No 120. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

The missing Wilcot Swing Bridge No 118. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Wilcot Bridge No 117. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Wilcot Bridge No 117. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Bristow Bridge No 115. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Looking towards Pewsey Bridge No 114. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Pewsey Wharf. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Pewsey Wharf. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Leaving Pewsey Wharf. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Wootton Rivers Farm Bridge No 109. Wooton Rivers Bridge No 108 and Wooton Rivers Bottom Lock No 51 in distance. The Long (15mile) Pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Wooton Rivers Bridge No 108 and Wooton Rivers Bottom Lock No 51. The bloody great barge Merlin 2 was to slowly traverse the locks in front of us. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Wooton Rivers Bridge No 108 and Wooton Rivers Bottom Lock No 51. Kennet and Avon Canal.

A warm welcome awaits you at.....! Kennet and Avon Canal.

Wooton Rivers Bottom Lock No 51. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Heathey Close Lock No 52. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Brimslade Lock No 53 and Brimslade Bridge No 106. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Brimslade Lock No 53. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Wooton Top Lock (Cadley) No 54. As the summit pound is down a couple of feet the barge cannot go on and spends a good while getting in to the bank, to let us pass. Linda and Alan on rope! Kennet and Avon Canal.

This is as far up as we get in the top lock! Kennet and Avon Canal.

Linda and Alan walk on as Neil rattles along the summit pound. Summit pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Burbage Wharf. Summit pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Burbage Wharf Bridge No 104. Summit pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Lets hope his exhaust is on the other side! Summit pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Leaving Burbage Wharf Bridge No 104. Summit pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Bruce (Savernake) Tunnel. Summit pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Bruce (Savernake) Tunnel. Summit pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

The removed railway bridge just before Crofton Top Lock No 55. Summit pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Crofton Top Lock No 55. Summit pound. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Leaving Crofton Top Lock No 55 / Wolfhall Bridge No 103. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Water at last! Crofton Lock No 56 in distance. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Crofton Lock No 56. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Crofton Lock No 57. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Crofton Lock No 57. HST whizzes closely by. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Looking back from Crofton Lock No 56. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Sam Farmer Lock No 58. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Sam Farmer Lock No 58. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Holey Lock gate Batman! Sam Farmer Lock No 58. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Crofton Lock No 59 in distance. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Crofton Lock No 59. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Wilton Water reservoir, beside Lock No 60. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Crofton Lock No 59, Wilton Water, Crofton Pumping Station and Earnest. Kennet and Avon Canal.

The Swan Inn in Wilton. We arrive five minutes before opening time!

Crofton Pumping Station, sporting its renewed full height chimney. Picture take from beside Wilton Water. 

Our 48 hour Visitor mooring, just below Crofton Lock No 60. Yet another HST whizzes by. Kennet and Avon Canal.

The Tour continues....

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