Following the successful air show charter week, our original trip boat John Pinkerton made a cruise from Mytchett to Woking on 21st July, returning on 25th July, as part of the Society’s plans to promote the canal attractions to local Councillors.
Although dates had to be re-arranged at short notice, both transit trips were advertised as open to Enthusiast passengers; we were pleased to welcome several to enjoy the scenery of parts of the canal less visited, and provide crew members with lasting memories of JP1.
Mytchett to Woking (Contributed by Andy Beale)
When I saw the opportunity to Skipper JP1 from Mytchett to Woking I leapt at the chance.
I have walked and cycled that part of the canal but perhaps for obvious reasons, never boated it. So at 7:30 on the Monday morning, 4 crew and 4 passengers assembled at the Canal Centre. After the usual checks we departed at 8:00 in order to be at Deepcut lock by 09:00 as instructed. Well, we were there, but it appears that BCA start this trip at 09:30 so we twiddled thumbs for a while. There was one boat in front of us and eventually another behind. We let the two ‘narrow’ boats lock share, accompanied by a BCS volunteer, while we meandered on behind. With enthusiastic crew and passengers the locks were swiftly accomplished giving us time to enjoy the delights of this particular piece of water. Some of the locks, though, show exactly why they need caulking! We even had time to celebrate Ian Johnson’s birthday as we cruised the long pound towards St Johns. We caught up with the other two boats at St Johns when they found that if you can’t open both gates fully, neither boat can exit the lock. So they refilled and went down one by one. As we moored at Bridge Barn it didn’t feel like it had taken 8 hrs to do this trip.
I thoroughly enjoyed the journey and felt it a fitting way to end my 21 year association with ‘JP1’. Many thanks to the crew: Ian Johnson, Janet Quinell & Duncan Paine and our four passengers for making this a memorable trip.
Woking to Mytchett (Contributed by Dick King)
With the promotion trips finishing in the late evening at Bridge Barn, a sleep-over on board was decidedly a good option for myself and Brenda, to avoid a 5.00am start from home. A leisurely breakfast allowed us time to prepare the boat for the very early arrival of both crew and passengers – one all the way from Farnborough in Kent. Leaving before 8.00am, we again waited the arrival at 8.30am of the lock-keepers to unlock the lower St Johns paddles; crew soon mulled into an efficient team to make short work of St Johns and Brookwood flights. Onto Deepcut where we were assisted by BCS volunteers Graham Hornsey, Jan Byrnes and husband. They thumbed a lift in between locks. We caught up the 3 other ascending boats at lock 17, where we discovered that the pound between locks 17 and 18 had run dry overnight. The rangers flushed water down with descending boats to allow each set of boats to continue their journey in turn, so we lost about an hour waiting for water.
Once past lock 18, we were able to enjoy the views. Our passenger, a self-confessed non-boating canal enthusiast, took obvious delight in being able to add to the locking team (under supervision), and greatly enjoyed the cruise. At lock 28, we again met the rangers, who related the extent of the rain cloudburst at Odiham – a little of which we had encountered. Some 90mm had apparently been added to the level of the Hampshire pound in less than an hour – water some of which would eventually go towards that lost at Deepcut.
We moored back at the home mooring in Mytchett after nine hours. Thanks go to the volunteers, and the crew of Duncan Paine, Nigel Bird, Derek Taylor and Brenda King – by the end of the trip, a skilled locking team all set for 2015 perhaps!
Completion of Sale
John Pinkerton was handed over to her new owners a week later, when they left for a brief exploration of the Basingtoke Canal over the weekend. We hope the transit off the Canal to her new home on the Kennet and Avon canal was uneventful.
We wish Josh Kerry (alias Bert – at the helm above) every success in his new business venture as a floating cycle workshop, and no doubt there will be forays to see how the old gal is shaping up in the New Year.
See a further post here.