Sunday 15 September 2013

Four and a Pigeon

Last night we had the good fortune to pay a visit on Adam and Adrian aboard Briar Rose who had stopped off at Chester on their big trip having completed their passage along the Manchester shipping canal the other day.  They  made Chris and I very welcome and we chatted away the evening but was surprised how the time had passed.  We had talked about all things boaty and our plans for AmyJo.  As it was getting late we said our goodbyes and, as they were moving on today, Chris can I volunteered our services to help lock them through the Chester staircase locks.

Just remembered a photo of Adam before we left.
So hence the title of this post.  Its the answer to Chris's comment, how many people does it take to lock Briar Rose up Chester staircase locks.  The answer was 4 people and a pigeon.

The bottom of the staircase view is marred by the railway bridge

This morning Chris and I were up early and arrived at the locks to find the bottom and top chambers full but the middle one empty.  Adam text us to say he was on his way so Chris and I emptied the lower chamber in readiness after checking no boats were coming or waiting to come down.  We had bought the windlasses we purchased for AmyJo so have now christened them on the very locks that started us of on our adventure to own a narrowboat (The Beginning)

Right on que Adrian arrived with Briar Rose as we opened the gates
Whilst starting to work the lock another gentleman who's name we did not get, offered his assistance as the bottom gates were a trifle hard going to move and Chris was struggling a bit with her one.  He then helped us with the others.  If you are that gentleman reading this we did not get chance to thank you so, sir we were grateful for your help.  Thank you.

Chris chats to Adrian and a council worker gongoozles
So that was where four people came in to the story, not including Adrian in Briar Rose as he was helming her, but Chris, Adam, the unknown gentleman and myself working the locks

But where does the pigeon come in to the story I hear you ask?  Well here it is

The pigeon of our story
When Chris and I arrived it was sitting on the top gate of the lower chamber but as we emptied out the water it flew down to the lower gates.  There, it proceeded to keep a wary eye on us and sat still whilst the chamber filled and we opened the gate.  Then, when the gate was fully opened and without a noise, it flew back to the upper gates and sat waiting patiently.  We were astounded when we opened these gates once more it sat still until the gate was fully opened and then it set off for the next gates.  It would seem our pigeon enjoys joy riding on the lock gates!

With out much ado Briar Rose reach the upper level and we bade the boys farewell promising to meet up again at Crick next year.

As we started home this sculpture caught my attention.  Chris and I have been to the locks several times but I don't recall seeing it before though from the look of it it must have been there for some time.  I wonder how many boaters lock through without realising it is in plain view to them?
Putting a dead tree trunk to good use as a stack of cups and plates.


Adam said...

Thanks for your help! I didn't spot the sculpture - although I have seen quite a few along the route from Ellesmere Port.

nb AmyJo said...

You are welcome and chris and I enjoyed your hospitality. Do hope the weather holds for your trip home.
See you on the cut or at crick

nb Bonjour said...

I wonder if that unknown gentleman was the same one who gave us a hand last summer? 'Just passing' I think he said
best wishes

nb AmyJo said...

hi Debby
That is interesting, perhaps he was the same gent because this one just appeared, helped out, then disappeared before we could thank him.

We've been following Chuffed's progress and guess you are pleased with her, she looks lovely in the photos