In the morning we met up with Nick from Weltonfield Narrowboats, where Oliver was born back in 2004. He still remembered a remarkable amount about how Oliver was built; we’re hoping they can help restore the window frames to their original glory, after some damage from damp over the years.
We were amused to hear a couple of stories about the original owners. In their first week out on the boat, the water stopped working although the pump was still going OK. They phoned up the marina…who eventually realised they’d never refilled the water tank so it had just run dry! The next week, the inverter “broke down”. Turned out that running a hairdryer, washing machine and dishwasher simultaneously along with goodness knows what else had blown the 12V 500A fuse!
After meeting with Nick and having a good look at the window frames, we set off, well togged up in winter gear as the wind was decidedly chilly and the sun wasn’t coming out to play either.
What a cool name for a boat!
We met up with Mickey at the top of the Buckby flight. He’s doing a boat delivery with his partner, and clearly knew what he was doing steering the boat and doing the locks. We stormed through them in double-quick time, despite having to fill every lock following a boat in front of us. When he’s not delivering narrowboats, he’s the main man in his rock band Sonic Gypsy.
Sarah steered like a pro; not often she’ll do double locks with another boat, but I think the thought of pushing open those Buckby lock gates was enough to decide her.
We moored up after the locks to have a mosey around the Heart of the Shires shopping village. We were both appalled to walk into one store and hear Christmas carols playing, and a large selection of Christmas goodies on sale already. Outrageous!
We walked back to Oliver for some bread and soup for lunch, and then moored up a little further up the cut, away from the M1. Sarah was feeling a bit chilly so we put the stove on for the first time since springtime, and now the boat is lovely and toasty! Please ignore the dust circle, Oliver will get a deep clean back at the marina.
Tomorrow Oliver will have to settle down at the marina, and it will be the end of us moving on each day. It brings to mind one of Sarah’s childhood memories of watching The Littlest Hobo.