Sunday, 17 June 2007

Tunnel Vision
After the recent heavy storms Stoke Bruerne tunnel is a two mile cold shower and to add to the enjoyment we meet six boats during our passage. We emerge into glorious sunshine to be met by about 80 people with cameras. And music. And boats moored four abreast. And more people. And trip boats trying to turn round. And yet more people. see Waterways World August edition p60 for a rear-end view of us!The Canal Museum is free this weekend and all the boats attending the Braunston rally last weekend seem to have come here. In a mischievous moment, Margaret assures the boats about to enter the tunnel that it is not wet inside and that they will be fine in T-shirt and shorts. Creeping between the boats, I am looking for the lock. About two hundred people with ice-creams or pints of beer are congregated where the lock should be but .... oh yes, there it is and I can just see a boat entering through the left hand gate. I shall be able to share the broad lock with it when someone opens the other gate. If they don't open it soon I shall have to stop and get lined up again. Maybe they are hoping for some excitement -if I ram the gate will that satisfy them? At last the message gets through - boat cannot enter lock when gate is shut - and a kind but rather bemused lady pushes the balance beam to give me access. There is such a carnival atmosphere that it seems a shame to leave but we need to keep going if we are to get to Aylesbury by June 23rd for Ballinger Players' production of Educating Rita.

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