The Cruise of the Dondevoy


Elton is a very pretty village, built on the side of the valley, with nearly all the houses being built of stone, and several having old fire insurance plates on their walls. I imagine that property prices here would be sky-high.

The man who served me at the garage gave me a metal can for petrol to replace the plastic one the landlord of The Three Tuns gave me. I duly thanked him, returned to the boat, and got under way.

In all I negotiated nine locks today, mooring just above Titchmarsh Lock, where there is a cruising club based in an old mill, which still has all the machinery intact. I walked in right in the middle of a committee meeting, but they let me stay, so I had a sit down in a comfortable chair. I even joined in when they were discussing the future of the Middle Level, about which they knew very little.

The whole day's cruising has been through green fields, with innumerable church spires pointing upwards from behind the trees, and quiet villages hiding round corners. The Nene here is often more of a canal than a river, as the channel to the locks skirts the edge of the valley several feet above the bottom, giving a pleasant view to the other side.

I had been told at Peterborough Yacht Club that only Welford Lock had water going over the top of the gates, but I have only seen two where it didn't, and this only because the water level was down by about nine inches. However, Welford Lock was the worst, as the weir was being repaired, and all the water was pouring over the lock. This is quite a frightening experience, to moor a small boat like mine just below a six-foot waterfall.

Water pouring over a lock gate on the River Nene Picture from the blog "Retirement with No Problem" at

Map Preface Introduction June 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 July 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 30 August 5 8 September 5 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26


This site is a member of the UK Waterways WebRing.
To browse visit Here.

Copyright ©1972 Ben Newsam. The author of this diary may be contacted at