He went down by train, only an hour & 45min into London and then back out to Watford where he met the boats Archimedies & Ara with the crew of Tom & James at Iron Bridge Lock near Cassiobury Lock, Watford. The next day dawned cold & foggy and that's the way it stayed all day. They had a few good half tonne drops of coal and it was interesting to see a few famous, historic places & boats as well as meet a few infamous people in the flesh. That evening at a lock in the dark they passed Baron & Taurus (another coal carrying working pair) heading back up the GU. Archimedies & Ara tied below Uxbridge & for a second night Mike Askins (owner of GUCCCo Royalty motor Victoria) became the chauffeur to deliver the crew to the pub for dinner. A good carvery and a natter was had by all.
Today was a fairly early start (6.30am) with a quick delivery then a blast down to Bulls Bridge to load with diesel. After a full english breakfast at Tescos (apparently a tradition for GU crews in days of old) they took the motor down to the top of the Hanwell flight for a few more coal, gas & diesel deliveries. Returning to Bulls Bridge to pick up Ara, James made collecting the butty & turning the junction at the same time look very easy. After a few more deliveries they singled out the pair and Brian took the Tiller of the motor Archimedies, but rubbish on the blades meant things got a bit behind schedule. They finished the day with a few deliveries in little venice with a final delivery to the Warwick Castle Pub, then after a shower and a change, they returned to the Warwick Castle to enjoy a well earned pint and a very good rib eye steak.
All in all, it was a fun and interesting few days, Tom & James where very welcoming and it was great to see how other coal boats operate. So don't be surprised if, some time in the future you see two strapping young lads aboard Alton for a return visit (apparently some of there customers even describe them as eye-candy), so watch out ladies!
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals