We have finally left the Ashby Canal and the wars of the roses behind us. It was quite cool and breezy as we left Hinkley but the sun soon made an appearance and we had a good run down to Hawksbury. I stepped ashore at the narrows and walked over to the lock. As usual there were crowds of drinkers outside the Greyhound waiting for a disaster at the turn. With one boat coming out of the lock and a hire boat moored on the lock landing, (why do they always do that?), I kept my fingers crossed that the Captain wouldn't t disgrace himself. I needn't have worried. Oakapple negotiated the turn superbly and the drinkers returned to their pints with disappointed faces. Mooring up on the bend, it became clear that there was something going on. It was the summer beer festival with music and , of course, beers. Well it would be churlish not to take part so we hotfooted it to the marquee where the band was playing. Didn't catch their name but they were quite good, although soul music isn't really our thing. Most of the beers on offer were from Mr Grundy's brewery, with a ww1 theme, with names like, Red Barron, Lord Kitckener and Over the Top. There was even one called Big Willie, which I believe was a large gun on a railway wagon. Well, I hope it was!!!
After partaking of the beers yesterday we had a quiet day catching up with some cleaning (boring!) today. Opened the last bottle of wine on board to have with our lunch. Surprised to find it had a cork! Quite a rarity these days.
Just as we were putting our feet up this afternoon we heard the unmistakable sound of a Bollinder engine and out of the stop lock came the superbly turned out ex working boat 'Emu' , loaded down to the gunwales, just the way the Captain describes seeing working boats on the Grand Union in the early sixties. (He was quite a young boy then )