Friday, 16 February 2007

Starry night and windy morning.

5 locks / 21/2 miles.

What a lovely peaceful night it was with a clear sky and all the stars clearly visible. It put us in mind of our caravan club friends back in NZ at a recent rally sitting out under a clear sky spotting satellites as they pass overhead.

This morning dawned very windy and cold, so porridge was back on the menu.

Before we pulled the pins we had a wander and took some photos and read the information board which outlined the restoration progress. The Wendover Arm Trust plan to restore a further two miles to Drayton Beauchamp by 2010. The work on this is well under way as there are no obstacles in the way. The final stretch into Wendover is in water but needs dredging and there are 3 bridges that need to be raised for the canal to be passable.
Marsworth Flight

The journey back to Marsworth Junction was a bit tricky with the wind pushing us sideways but we made it unscathed.

We are now going downhill after passing through the Tring summit yesterday. We had planned to do the Marsworth flight which is locks 39 to 45 and moor up by bridge 130 but after leaving lock 40 we found the diesel and coal boats Bletchley and Argus moored just above lock 39. There was no sign of Peter so we made a phone call to ascertain his whereabouts’ to find that he will be back on board first thing tomorrow for his next run south. With this in mind and the fact that we could probably take on another 60+ litres we opted to wait until the morning.

As it was a fine day we walked into Marsworth village where we had a look around All Saints church which is mentioned in the Doomsday book of 1086.

It was interesting to see the family names of West and Seare were evident in the village for many generations. The last male heir of the West’s died in 1700.

From the high ground that the church was built on you could see back across the canal out over the 4 reservoirs’ one of which covers 100 acres. These feed the Grand Union canal via the Tringford pumping station and Wendover arm. The pumping station is a big building as it used to house big beam engines but now is electrically powered.
We walked back to the boat via the BW yard at the entrance to the Aylesbury arm. The first lock is the only staircase on the Grand Union south which is very deep and narrow. You go from the first lock straight into the second and there is a very definite sequence of events that must be followed. We had planned on visiting this canal but as there are 16 locks each way we decided that this was at least a 4 day trip and we have insufficient time as we have to be through Ivinghoe locks by Sunday. So this will have to wait until next time we are in the area.

After a short walk along the towpath we climbed the embankment to have a closer look at the reservoirs and some of the different bird life that abound on the water before retiring to the boat and a well deserved cuppa.

Last photo shows the well attended cemetery at All Saints Church in Marsworth

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