Saturday, 8th October 2005:
We are now the proud owners of Narrow Boat 'Alnwick', a 62 ft. all steel replica motor tug built by R W Davis & Son Ltd. of Saul Junction, Gloucestershire.
We collected 'Alnwick' from its previous owners Geoff and Wendy Towersey, on 30th September 2005, at their residential mooring at Osney Mill in the centre of Oxford. Our northbound journey along the Oxford Canal was accompanied by excellent weather and we enjoyed peaceful moorings at Thrupp, Lower Heyford and Aynho Wharf. The only real excitement was when 'GC' caught a mouse on the tow path at Aynho!
On Friday, 7th October 2005 we tied up at Banbury just up from the Town lock (adjacent to the Castle Quay shopping centre) to enjoy the Banbury Folk Festival and Canal Day - our mooring in Banbury is booked until Monday, 10th October 2005 after which we expect to move northwards to Cropredy and beyond . . .
This is the second time we have been aboard 'Alnwick' at Banbury - the first time we helped to move it to Tooley's old dry dock for an inspection by Marine Surveyor, Barrie Morse on 8th September 2005. That day at Banbury was not entirely successful - a 'Northwich Trader' has a draft of 3ft and, although the depth of water at the dry dock was supposed to be sufficient to enable a boat of this draft to enter, 'Alnwick' got stuck and despite the efforts of BW staff who tried, in vain, to raise the water level and men with winches who tried to haul the boat into the dock, it just would not go in and was stuck half in and half out! After several attempts, the effort of getting it into the dry dock had to be abandoned and with the aid of another boat towing, we managed to reverse out again into deeper water! Nevertheless, Barrie Morse was able to carry out a very detailed survey and the summary of his twelve page report advised us that: "Alnwick has been soundly constructed by a competent boatbuilder. A robust and fine craft has been created." He also commented favourably on the quality of the fitout and the performance of the classic machinery.
The 'Classic Machinery' that powers Narrowboat 'Alnwick'
Certainly we are very pleased with our purchase and hope to enjoy our
adventures afloat. Nevertheless, we do miss all the friends who made us welcome
in Leicestershire and who supported us at Eaton Post Office.
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© Graham & Jane Oliver 2006