Narrow Boat or Ambulance Boat?
The great spring cruise continued on Saturday and I was rather amazed when all four of my crew stepped off the train wrapped up like northern explorers.
All the enthusiasm lasted until we met the first hurdle 10minutes into the journey. We couldn’t lift the lift bridge at Heyford. Our crew tried various things before they could jump ship and get back on the train station to go home I whizzed up the road and found a willing volunteer in one of the houses. In no time we were through the bridge and back under way.
It was going well as we cruised through the snow. It was actually quite picturesque until an unfortunate incident at Somerton Deep lock.
Joy stood up just as the boat banged and she fell over and broke her arm. Fortunately the front doors opened and we were able to see that she was wounded. We stopped everything and went straight to her side which must have felt like AGES to her, but it wasn’t. Despite being in terrible pain she was frightfully brave. We wrapped her up, stuck her in a chair and started to head off to get her to civilisation as soon as possible. We weren’t sure how badly her arm was hurt but it seemed clear she would be scooped into a taxi and taken to the hospital as soon as it was possible.
I was rather worried as shock was setting in for Joy. I am sure you can imagine the relief when I discovered that the towing pair ahead had left two of their crew to open the lift bridge for me. The two were just about to give up holding the bridge when we came around the corner. I briefed them shovelled them in the front door, did a quick introduction and left them to it. Now with two nurses on board to take charge and keep Joy safe I couldn’t believe our good fortune! It was a great blessing because Joy was getting even colder. They grabbed more blankets and wrapped her up even more.
On arriving at Aynho the Good Dr Saffin, another nurse, was there to greet us and had arranged for her friend Martin (aka knight in shining armour) to pick Joy up and take her off to the hospital. Joy was wrapped up, scooped up and sent to hospital. That left 5 of us to get the three boats, one without an engine, up to Banbury. Amazingly we made it! 5 became 6 when a friend cycled down the towpath to greet us at Grants just as we were flaking and Peter (NB Futurest) was there to lock us through Banbury lock and through the lift bridge – both baring fresh smiles and good cheer.
What a trip. It was epic. We were exhausted. On Sunday the exhaustion completely overtook me and I was shovelled off in a proverbial wheel barrow out of the supermarket and in to bed. I am still fuzzy around the edges. As I imagine, are the others!
Joy has been checked out and has a broken shoulder and some unhelpful bruises. She was frightfully brave, didn’t create a fuss and was very sweet about the whole injury. She is bandaged up and is now instructed to get well soon.
GET WELL SOON JOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!