Thursday, 3 March 2016

Red before white


IMG_2521At the top of the Braunston flight of locks I noticed this sign on the cottage. Im not sure how a steam engine is supposed to be quiet.

IMG_2524From the top lock it is then only a short distance to Braunston tunnel .At every tunnel entrance you get a sign like this.

IMG_2527Entering the tunnel and it looks like there are no boats coming in the opposite direction which is good as it will give us a faster passage through.

IMG_2529This is our view as we travel through.You can just about see the other end of the tunnel. Its the small white dot in the distance. With no other boats we did the tunnel in 18 minutes.

IMG_2534Boaters Gold !!! Just after leaving the tunnel we came upon this little lot all cut into boat size lengths. We loaded the roof with what we wanted and there was still enough left for 2 or 3 more boats to fill up with.

IMG_2538After a few miles we take the tight turn left at Norton junction and then leaving The Grand Union main line we join The Leicester Branch and start heading North.

IMG_2548We soon reached The Watford flight of locks. These consist of 3 single locks and a staircase of 4 locks. With the sign saying lockeepers on duty Carolyn heads off to find them and book our passage up the flight.

Luckily there was one boat in front of us going up and one coming down, so after waiting 10 minutes for the one coming down to pass we were on our way.

IMG_2565After 2 single locks we reach the staircase which is 4 locks joined together with no pound in between them.

IMG_2574Instruction for the staircase locks.

IMG_2580There are 2 paddles on each staircase lock ,one red and one white. They have to be operated in a certain way and there is a saying to get it correct. Red before white and you will be allright.. White before red and you will wish you were dead.

We did the flight in just under 35 minutes with the help of a very good lady lockie, the average time for this flight is about 45 minutes so we did very well.

IMG_2587We picked up a mooring about a mile above the locks in a  rural location with this pair for company. Carolyn thought they were lovely. I think they will be even lovelier in a few months time on a plate covered in mint sauce and surrounded with gravy ,Spuds and veg… Yum yum

                                                                                                             Happy Days


  1. Mike & Phill Muir, nb GARNET.3 March 2016 at 11:27

    Ref quiet steam engines. Firstly the sign is an interloper, the Southern Ry. never got anywhere near that house!
    It is however, a genuine sign, and was a reminder to the crew of a stationary locomotive to not get too much steam pressure up, as this would lift the safety valves, indeed a noisy event, and could be described as the "sound of silence" as nothing else can be heard over it!

  2. Hi , Thanks for the explanation . "sound of silence" . I have been next to a steam loco when it's done that and I can now see why it's called that ... Gary