Our new home!
Like a bear hibernating in a cave: Felucca’s berth in Braunston marina
The marina on a sunny day. The canal is in the valley, the village is perched on the hill above.
Handsome industrial machine.
You wouldn’t want to be there when the person who’s built that expensive yacht tries to sail it out under the bridge.
Crane and marina office.
The stop house, Braunston
Gongoozlers’ Rest, our local cafe, famous on the canals for its bacon sarnie with fried spuds.
Braunston Church. As I type, they are ringing the bells.
Black and white cast iron forged in the Industrial Revolution.
The famous double bridge at the junction. Turn left here to go to Rugby, Coventry, the Trent and the Mersey. Turn right to get to London. The branch I’m standing on leads to Oxford or to Birmingham.
Refurbished working boats. Braunston was once a centre for trade on the canals.
Some sheep. This field is ridge and furrow: a relic from feudal times when peasants each had their own strip of land.
Cathedral of the Canals
Pretty stone houses.
Boozer. One of four.
Butcher. One of one. Go in for a pork chop and the owner will sell you half a cow.
Braunston Pocket Park.
Chandlery and canal workshops. Nowadays, it’s all leisure traffic. Back in the day it was a hub of work traffic shuttling goods all over the country. in 1923, there was a canal boat strike here, one of the first organised by the TGWU.
The strikers’ demands included a weekly wage of £1.25 and education for their children; the employers were insisting instead on a pay cut of 15%. After 14 weeks of striking, a settlement was reached, but not until wharf manager Mr Harris was thrown into the canal by one of the boaters. Despite this satisfying soaking, the boaters had to make do with a 5% pay cut, with little progress made on women’s pay and education; many of the boat captains could not even sign their names when collecting their strike pay.
Braunston bottom lock.
The chimney has “GJC [Grand Junction Canal] 1897” picked out in blue bricks. Perhaps a pumping station taking water from the bottom of the locks back to the top.