Boat­ing to Bos­ton

Canal Boat - - Letters - BRIAN MAR­LOW, via email

HAV­ING TAKEN MY boat to Bos­ton and back this sum­mer, I can echo many of the com­ments in A slow boat to.....Bos­ton ( CB, Oct). How­ever, my wife and I feel that there are a num­ber of things to add.

The jour­ney down the ti­dal Trent and into Tork­sey Lock trou­bles some but our ex­pe­ri­ence showed that, with proper prepa­ra­tion (not too ar­du­ous – ba­si­cally mak­ing sure the boat is ship­shape), and ask­ing and then fol­low­ing the ad­vice of all the lock-keep­ers, both em­ployed and vol­un­tary, there was lit­tle to worry about – and a great sense of achieve­ment when accomplished.

The Foss­dyke and River Witham have long, straight stretches with high banks and not much to see. The crew, with noth­ing to do, will prob­a­bly find it bor­ing, as my wife did.

When we went, in July, there was weed in both wa­ter­ways but the weed cut­ter was out and there was, any­way, a wide chan­nel in the cen­tre. Cer­tainly we had no prob­lems with weed.

The vis­i­tor moorings in Bos­ton are very good, al­though we never did find the El­san point.

Al­though I would not class Bos­ton in this cat­e­gory, many readers will know of towns that have been ru­ined by 1960s ‘re­gen­er­a­tion’. How­ever, never be­fore have I come across a town/ city that has been ru­ined by 1990s/noughties so called re­gen­er­a­tion, un­til we sailed through the area of Lin­coln which in­cludes Bray­ford Pool.

The old part of the city, up on the hill with the cathe­dral and cas­tle, is still very worth a visit. But, Bray­ford Pool, with a col­lec­tion of sheds (newly built by the univer­sity and so bad they have ap­par­ently won ‘de­sign awards’), and new build­ings that in­clude a mul­ti­storey car park, is a dis­as­ter!

Nar­row­boaters should also be warned that the vis­i­tor moorings in the Pool are ba­si­cally for cruisers and in­cur a charge. Try to find a space among the lim­ited free moorings be­fore the bridge that marks the western bound­ary of Bray­ford Pool.

Hav­ing writ­ten the above, let me end by say­ing that, over­all, I en­joyed very much my time on the Foss­dyke and River Witham.

Not a view to ad­mire at Bray­ford

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