Crick to Overwater

This was a different sort of canal trip for us, not an out and back journey, nor a circular cruise, this was from A to B, from Crick in Northamptonshire to the boat’s base at Overwater in Cheshire. Narrowboat Oakmere had been on display at the Crick Boat Show and we had the task of bringing her home. Instead of the usual idle meandering, there was almost a sense of purpose. We would be delighted to do it again.

The waterways are a grumpy old gits paradise, there is always something or someone to moan about and if all else fails you can moan about the weather. This was ‘mixed’ for the first few days – gales, sunshine and occasional hailstorms but at the beginning of the second week everything turned for the good. This image of a near perfect June evening was taken from the Shugborough estate at Great Haywood looking towards the river Trent and the canal. Oakmere is moored with others, in the distance, beneath the trees.

... the view across the Shugborough estate at Great Haywood towards the Trent and the canal.  Oakmere is moored with others, in the distance, beneath the trees.
The standard meeting place is the lock where brief alliances are formed  and stories exchanged – the beloved is in her element finding time for animals and humans alike.  I am happier just grinning as I sink into the depths of the lock, cursing the crew for talking too much and taking too long to open the gates;-)

One man, his dog, his boat and a pint of beer at Great Haywood Junction, he seems to have found all that he requires from life:

... at Great Haywood junction

These are more postcards from the journey as Oakmere makes its slow journey north to Overwater:

Oakmere ...

Gailey ...

Descending ...

... on the Shropshire Union

Final stretch ...

... at Bridge 77 on the Shropshire Union

And finally, a strange but true golfing tale. While progressing in a southerly direction on the Staffs and Worcester Canal (Saturday 6th June about 11:30) there was a large clatter as a golfball bounced into the Oakmere’s rear cabin. First instincts were to look for some junior culprits hiding behind a hedge but then I noticed the familiar layout of a driving range through the towpath hedge (3 Hammers Golf Complex). Given the height of the protective fence, I would guess this was a severely hooked pitching wedge resulting in a “boat in one” – the rear hatch on Oakmere may be bigger than a golf hole but bear in mind it was moving at the time. Not so much Golf in the Wild as Golf on the Water.

Strange but true ...


  1. Cate Franklyn · June 11, 2015

    Great post, great shots!

    • northumbrianlight · June 11, 2015

      Many thanks Cate, it has been a great trip. We will be disappointed to leave the good ship Oakmere but we are back in November when it might be slightly cooler 🙂

  2. Tish Farrell · June 11, 2015

    These are great shots (and a good yarn as ever). Reminded me how much we enjoyed the Cheshire Ring – despite the multiple locks, in the rain, rampaging kids, and a bag of discarded clothes wrapped round the engine propeller…grumpy gitdom indeed. But magic too.

    • northumbrianlight · June 13, 2015

      Many thanks Tish – finally back on dry land. As ever we thoroughly enjoyed the trip but especially the Shropshire Union. You live in a fine county.

  3. LaVagabonde · June 11, 2015

    Grumpy old gits and golfballs from Heaven. In spite of the annoyances, sounds like a marvelous cruise.

    • northumbrianlight · June 13, 2015

      It was a grand trip thanks Julie – there was a different incident/annoyance every day – never a dull moment 🙂 Hope you had a good break in the mountains – looking forward to the post.

  4. janemorley2014 · June 11, 2015

    What a wonderful glimpse of a bygone era, some great images and to have a golfball in the mix too – just perfect!

    • northumbrianlight · June 13, 2015

      Many thanks Jane – it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip – next time I should take my clubs 🙂

      • janemorley2014 · June 13, 2015

        Good idea, at least then you could chip those stray golfballs back to the driving range!

  5. Pit · June 11, 2015

    I wish I could have been there: great pictures and an interesting narrative.
    Happy sailing on the canals,

    • northumbrianlight · June 13, 2015

      Many thanks Pit – as you know, it is the most relaxing way to travel and see England.

      • Pit · June 13, 2015

        It sure is.

  6. socialbridge · June 12, 2015

    Robin, ‘grumpy old gits’ will never be the same again after reading this. Brilliant!

    • northumbrianlight · June 13, 2015

      Many thanks Jean, glad you enjoyed it. Now you know, if you ever feel the need to interact with grumpy old gits, just head for the English canals 🙂

  7. greenmackenzie · June 16, 2015

    looks like a wonderful trip, with a great mixture of weather, grumpiness and stray balls….what more could one ask for!

    • northumbrianlight · June 17, 2015

      Many thanks Seonaid – it was near perfect and now we just want to go back.

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