Saturday, 23 June 2007

New tree genus found on K and A.

0 Locks, 4½ Miles. Now moored at Bath top lock.
438 locks, 564½ miles, 17 Tunnels, 18 swing bridges and 9 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Dundas Aqueduct turned up the best fish caught so far in a large Bream. We did see another fish cruising around this morning which was either a Pike or a Trout but he wasn’t interested in my spinner.
After some heavy overnight rain the towpath was awash with puddles. We wanted to move down to the water point on the wharf but had to wait for a queue of hire boats to finish using the pump out facilities.
Eventually we got watered up and got under way for Bath. This stretch of canal has moored boats along its entire length so travel was very slow today. As well as half built, derelict and unlicensed boats there were plenty of alternative life style boats with artists, wood carvers and dress makers working from their boats.
This is where we spotted the new genus of tree growing alongside the canal. I wonder if the people at Kew Gardens are aware of its presence.

Now we have seen a teapot tree in New Zealand but never a Cycle tree.

We found some 72 hour moorings at Sydney Gardens but chose to carry on to the top lock where we hoped to find moorings which are closer to town.
We passed through the Cleveland house tunnel which has the magnificent Cleveland house built over it. This was the headquarters of the K and A canal company and it is rumoured that there was a trap door in the tunnel roof through which office staff and bargees could exchange paperwork.

We also passed under 2 ornate iron bridges built in 1800. We were in luck as there were only 2 moorings available just above the top lock. After mooring we had a quick scout around and found that another boat on the moorings had a citation from the powers to be for overstaying the time limit, tut tut. It will be interesting to see if the boat gets moved or not over the week-end.

After lunch we went for a walk along the canal where we passed the chimney at Abbey View lock which was part of the original back pumping system. We were trying to get to where we were led to believe was a Sainsbury’s supermarket. Well the Pearson’s book has got it a trifle wrong in that it is no where near the canal but closer to the river Avon at Green Park. In fact it is built on the site of the old Somerset and Dorset Green Park railway station which ran from Bath to Bournemouth. The actual entrance way and booking hall are still in tact as is the platform canopy which is now an open air market and shopping centre.

While on the subject of the Somerset and Dorset railway I forgot to mention that the Radstock arm of the Somerset Coal canal was never a success and was converted to a tramway to link to the main canal and eventually was taken over by the S and D railway as part of the line to Bournemouth.

After getting a few essentials we walked back a different route which took us through the old Roman baths district, past the Abbey and out towards Pulteney Bridge and the famous weir on the river which is upstream from where the K and A joins the Avon. We found the Sally Lunn shop and museum which we will visit over the weekend and then down past the District court house, under the railway viaduct and on up the hill past the local allotments to come out within 100 yards of where the boat is moored. Not bad considering we had no map or GPS to guide us.


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