Summer Cruise 2013 – Day 9
Another day and another new experience, Foxton Locks, two staircases of 5 locks each dropping the canal 75 feet down from the summit level. We cast off before half past eight and were soon at the locks waiting to start the descent, once more behind nb Old Perculier, with the lock-keeping staff fortifying themselves with tea.
The process was really quite easy, the paddles and gates being very light to operate, and each lock, of course, leads directly into the next, the only tricky bit is the slight misalignment between the two staircases. At the bottom we forked right into the Market Harborough Arm where we moored up and patronised “Bridge 61” the little shop/cafe/pub operated by Foxton Boat Services, the boaters’ alternative to the Foxton Locks pub across the cut.
It was a quiet cruise down to to Market Harborough meeting very few boats, just a couple of swing bridges to contend with. This part of the canal was originally intended to go through to Northampton.. but the money ran out so terminated at the basin at Union Wharf where we winded, we then started to retrace our route and moored up on the visitor moorings opposite a house with immaculately groomed lawns.
Whilst playing a game of Scrabble in the cratch we stuck up a conversation with an gentleman of 86 who regaled us with tales of when timber & tea barges (yes barges, he was adamant) brought their cargos into the basin and how he fished, swam and skated on the canal as a lad, and remembered the first IWA Rally being held in the basin.