Narrowboat Weekend 2018

Posted on 1 May 2018

The Scout Troop had another great weekend on ‘Jubilee Venture’, a narrow boat owned and maintained by Wakefield District Scouts. Our trip took us from Wakefield to Park Nook, our overnight stop near Elland, and then back again the following day. The route took us along a mixture of river and canal and despite the heavy rain on the Friday, the river level was dropping so there were no problems for us on that score.

Saturday was uneventful, and the Scouts soon had the hang of operating the locks. Some of the older Scouts who had been before completed the requirements of the Power Coxswain badge, and all Scouts will have gained one of the stages of the ‘Time on the Water’ badge.

Sunday was a little more eventful – one of the flood gates which are in place to stop surges of water from high river levels from ‘flooding’ the canal system – was closed. A tricky manoeuvre was required to allow Donna and Jonny off the boat to open them, and after a long struggle, the gates were finally opened. The delay here was not going to really impact on the time we were due back at Wakefield – we had set off very early for the trip back! However, arriving at Thornhill Double, above Dewsbury, we came across another problem. On the lower set of locks, one of the paddles had become dislodged in an open position, and a previous user had just left it – causing the basin between the two sets of locks to be drained! An emergency call had to be made to the Canal and River Trust who sent an engineer and he managed to make a temporary fix, but this did add a further 2 hours to our journey time. Once through, we continued back to Wakefield and then experienced further delays as we met up with a boat full of merry pensioners who had wined and dined well, and were heading back to Wakefield. Whilst we were in a bit of a rush, they weren’t, so our hope of making some time up wasn’t going to happen. We finally got back to Wakefield at 7pm – a 12 hour trip!

But despite all this, a great weekend; the weather was good (but cold!) and no-one fell in – and we had a lot of fun on the way!

Don’t forget to check out the photos from the weekend in the gallery!

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