So what happened this week apart from the Macmillan coffee morning (see previous post). Well would you believe it on Thursday we had a queue of boats due to lock No 5 under going a bit of preventative maintenance. At one stage we had about 8 boats queuing from the bottom lock as everyone was going the same way, up. I put this down to the fact that boaters, on the whole, are very friendly people and always stick together although it may have had something to do with people going to Banbury for the canal festival.
However I was pleasantly surprised, as I was sorting out the boats at the one operating lock in the middle, when a lady came up and started assisting. When we got the first boat in I asked if she was now going up to the top lock with her boat only to be told that her boat was about 6 boats back and she just liked helping. Take note you boaters who sat and stared.
Any way suffice to say that George and his team completed work on No 5 lock which was opened for business again first thing Friday morning.
What else happened, well we had a boat approaching the bottom lock with the lady of the boat walking along holding the front rope, perhaps they were trying to save diesel. She then threw the rope back onto the boat and walked up to the lock where my colleague Jane was waiting. I thought I heard the lady say this was their first lock sdo was quick to assure her that with Jane and myself there would be no problem as we would talk her through the procedure. She then informed me it was their FIRST lock since having the boat PAINTED. It was at this stage that I noticed she did not have a windlass in her hand. She proceed to wave her husband in using various hand signals until we could close the gates.
At this point she ran to the top of the lock and started waving her husband back and forth until the chap didn't know which way to go. This was despite having a big fender on the front. It was at this stage I suggested she should get a couple of scratches on the boat then she would be able to relax, I don't think she was amused.
I let the water in one notch on the paddles at a time, remember she still hadn't got a windlass, in order to keep both the boat and the lady steady. As the lock filled and we opened the gate she got onto the front of the boat and started to push the boat off the gate. As the boat came out I suggested to the gent on the back of the boat that he ought to get a couple of scratches on so his wife could enjoy her boating again to which he replied "I already have but I haven't told her about it.
See you all again next week.
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