Thursday 20 March 2008

Birmingham to Boston Introduction

A record of an Easter journey from the Midlands to the Lincolnshire coast

Index of posts in this series:

1. - Introduction - this post
2. - Calf Heath to Great Haywood
3. - Great Haywood to Alrewas
4. - Alrewas to Stenson
5. - Stenson to Nottingham
6. - Nottingham to Newark
7. - Newark to Lincoln
8. - Lincoln to Kirkstead Bridge
9. - Kirkstead Bridge to Boston
10. - Boston to Lincoln
11. - Lincoln to Torksey
12. - Torksey to Newark
13. - Newark to Nottingham
14. - Nottingham to Ilkeston
15. - Erewash Canal to Sandiacre
16. - Sandiacre to Burton on Trent
17. - Burton on Trent to Tixall
18. - Tixall to Calf Heath
19. - Conclusion

As much as anything this is a trip back in time. The industrial Midlands have been my home for nearly twenty years and feel light years from the fenland towns where I spent the formative part of my working life. What better way to revisit Lincolnshire than a slow trip by water, pausing in the cities of Nottingham and Lincoln along the way.

Boston isn’t a destination that quickens the pulse of many boaters, who are largely unaware of this eastern outpost of the connected waterways network. So, why Boston? Well, I have a vivid memory of arriving in the town during a cold and wet November in the early 1980’s and noticing a dilapidated narrow-boat moored in the reeds on the salty side of the Grand Sluice, and wondering how it got there. I found a map and traced the probable course of its journey back through the Ancient Fossdyke, a Roman canal from the 1st century, then up the Tidal Trent and into the Trent and Mersey canal, which was familiar territory from family boating holidays in the 70’s. I always promised myself a narrow-boat if I lived in the Midlands and, one day, to make my own passage to the town and moor alongside my first house.

This is an account of how I realised a peculiar ambition in n.b. Wand’ring Bark (WB).

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