Saturday, September 15, 2007

Flight Times And Another Sort of Gig

Yesterday we came down Caen Hill flight with Salix Alpha - Terry and Liz. Now some people set out to "make a record", break "The Record" or just to do it as fast as they can! We just wanted to go down the flight.

As soon as the locks opened at 8.05 am we set off.

It was a grey dull day, cool to start with but we soon warmed up! There were no boats coming up as far as the eye could see but ALL the locks were set against us as the lock keeper raises a bottom paddle on all locks before he goes off for the day.

We got into a rhythm of raising the ground paddle for the next lock or even two whilst the other member of the locking crew saw the boats through.

We met no other boats coming up at all and we left the bottom lock at 10.05 am - 2 hours exactly. Now we have been told that "The Record" is something around 2 hours 10 minutes - so do we claim the "New Record"? Readers you be the judge! We have some video footage which I shall sort out and put on the web soon. I am getting a bit behind with videos!

We were both making for Sells Green so continued through the next 7 locks using the same method. We arrived here at 12.15. That is 2.86 miles and 22 locks in 4 hours 10 minutes, pretty good. Our whole journey from Devizes Wharf has taken 6 hours 10 minutes (with an overnight stop!).

So how did the evening pan out? Well we had a drink with the guys from Bath Narrowboats at the Three Magpies - always a good time and then dashed back for a quick meal before going back to the big marquee for the evening.

I t seemed a long wait for the top of the Bill artists who were due on at 10 pm, but the supporting artists were good, particularly the 2 guitarists who rocked away a good hour with some classic songs, including some Beatles. It was a real sing along hour, hands clapping and foot tapping too. I was too tired from the lock exertions to get on the dance floor! The Blues Brothers came on with their unique style - running about, falling over and singing, of course. Then a piano-accordion playing comedian filled in before the night's star billing.

However it was worth the wait. The Drifters were brilliant. A glimpse via a phone photo!

They were on stage for a good 90 minutes singing all their hits, all the movements and all the usual humour and comments. What voices, what harmony! It was a really good evening - although it got a bit cold towards the end - thank goodness for fleeces. A bit different from when we saw them in the Fire House in Salisbury - that's Salisbury, Maryland, US of A not Salisbury, Wilts. Then it was a hot humid summer evening, made even hotter by the intimacy of the venue.

This morning le soleil brille - this is the view from the bow.

We have a new garden.
The Three Magpies Music Weekend carries on tonight with Alvin Stardust but we will enjoy that from Epiphany as I am sure we will hear it from the towpath.

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