Making Merry on the cut
The text from our youngest daughter and her partner read: “We’re in St Pancreas Basin, we’ve bought a narrowboat!” Several months later, another text: “We’re at Foxton Locks going to Kilby Bridge in the morning for the winter. Come and cruise with us.”
Neither Susan or I had been on a narrowboat before, although I had had a couple of holidays in the late Sixties on the Norfolk Broads. In fact, neither of us had really taken any notice of narrowboats or the canals for that matter. We were stuck in the rat race, both being totally exhausted after a day’s work and putting all of our energies and money into our house. So this experience was going to be some sort of a revelation to us.
We ordered a taxi to take us from Mountsorrel to Foxton, never having been there before. We joined our youngest daughter and partner on board nb Mercussio and off we went not knowing what to expect.
It was slow, quiet, relaxing and we were accompanied for a while by the first kingfisher I had ever seen. What a marvellous journey, so peaceful. The seed was sown!
A few weeks later I purchased my first CanalBoat magazine and then we spent time going to look at used boats of all shapes and sizes but nothing said “yes this is it”, or ticked all of the boxes. After all, we were now expert narrowboaters, having spent one whole day on a 45-footer. Not knowing if it was a trad, semi-trad or cruiser stern, or port from starboard – “there’s no red port left,” that’s how to remember it.
I purchased the local weekly paper and there was an advert for an open day at Beacon Boats. I hadn’t realised they were just five miles from our house.
I went to see the new boat on the
After just one day on a canal boat, Les decided to have a new one built, sell the house and move aboard
then he spotted an advert on eBay for a widebeam...
at Mountsorrel on the River Soar