Not a good experience

Published: Friday, 18 June 2021

AFTER reading about the relaxing holidays on the canals my wife and I decided to go the whole hog and buy a time share in a narrowboat, writes Owen Pritchard.

This gave us four weeks holiday a year in the boat and it worked out a lot less than hiring and you did not have to have a 'there and back' holiday but could arrange with the next person to have the boat where you both agreed upon.

Leicester Ring

We took over the boat in Nottingham and after a great deal of planning decided to do what is called the Leicester Ring, with maps and information provided, and the people we took over from being very helpful, even taking us for a little cruise on the boat showing how everything worked and how to managed a lock.

But the expience was nothing like we expected, as both being in our early seventies we found it anything but relaxing but very hard work with the locks going up the Soar to Leicester as to us the locks seemed to be in very bad condition, the gates extremely difficult to move and the paddles in most cases hard to wind up.

Would have been stuck

In fact if it had not been for a very helpful man on another narrowboat we would have been stuck at one lock (sorry but I don't remember their names) all day.  He pointed out that though it was a good idea that we had been told to wind down the paddles on one side when the lock is full of water and go across the gate to open the other side, this was not working as the lock gate would not open.

The man told us that even with one side paddle wide open the lock was leaking so much that it would not hold the water to allow the gate to be opened, and that system would not work as both lots of paddles had to be left open.

I don't know if this is a young mans game. but we found everying so hard to operate and things not working, another man telling us that there was little maintenance done nowadays that made things so difficult.

Gave up

We stuggled all the way to Market Harborough with many things going wrong, and then gave up and had our son fetch us off the boat, losing a lot of money in the process.

I believe we gave it a good try, but this really is too much if you are aged.