20 years ago we were in Leek, also on a canal boat. We’d just done our shopping and were about to go back to the boat when something made us all look at a truck parked on the side of the hill. A massive roll of paper came out of the back of the truck and hit the driver as he was walking around. Sadly, he was immediately killed. I was standing in pretty much the same the spot today and had just walked away and had stopped again when a truck rolled backwards and smashed into the exact spot we were standing. It had been parked and turned off. The first I heard of it was when it hit the wall. I was very careful crossing the roads for the rest of the day.
We headed back to the boat as we had done all we were going to do in Leek. We are heading back to Stoke, where we were leaving the boat, and planned to fill with water on the way. A boat had pulled out before us and was puttering along at snails pace, churning up lots of water as they went. It’s very narrow and weedy around this stretch so there was nothing much we could do but follow. And it was only a mile to the water point so no point in rushing, or any need to really. Suddenly -there was a big puff of smoke and their engine completely died. I slowly cruised past them and offered a tow, and pulled them up to the water point with us which is where they were going anyhow. Towing a boat – a first for me.
And today was also the first time I single-handed down a lock. I must admit I messed around a bit washing my face, using the loo and generally stalling hoping that someone would come along and help or another boat would turn up. But no. Not to be. So nothing for it but to do it all by myself. Very very slowly. I’d just started pulling the boat out of the lock when Howie caught up with me. It wont be so hard next time.
We moored up at the bottom of the flight of locks we were doing and were joined by the team on NB Areandare (R&R) who blog as NB Northern Pride.