Double the Fun

Leighton Buzzard NWR’s latest narrow boat trip along the Grand Union canal was twice as much fun as the one they made earlier this year.

Nineteen members – almost double last time’s number – signed up for the cruise, spurred on by reports of how much they’d enjoyed themselves the first time. There was also the bonus of a discount from the marina owner who was so impressed by how well they had looked after his boat.

It was a lovely, sunny day as the two narrow boats, called Victoria and Albert, set off from Cow Roast marina, near Tring, heading towards Berkhamsted and passing through five locks along the way.

They were in the best possible hands, with one boat skippered by Gwyn, a former narrow boat owner, and the other by Karen, an experienced skipper and volunteer professional lock keeper.

They were assisted by other volunteer members of the ‘crew’, who jumped out when needed to open and close the lock gates and to moor the boats. Afterwards, they admitted it was hard work, using muscles they didn’t know they had!

The original plan was to cruise as far as Berkhamsted, but that had to be abandoned because the water in the Grand Union was too shallow. It proved to be a good time for a picnic while the boats were turned around – a tricky manoeuvre in such a narrow part of the canal.

The boats travelled through one of the prettiest parts of the Grand Union, a secluded cutting lined by trees, as they made their way towards Tring Station, before returning to the marina. The verdict afterwards: “Lots of fun and lots of chat. Another grand day out.”