Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Wendover Arm - 13th August

We were just about to have dinner last night when we heard shouting and grunting and these two boats came charging along the canal, turned at the winding hole and went back down the canal. It looked like they were training for an event. 1 Racing Canoes
Moored opposite to us is Nb. Hart of February which was the 10th Sandhills boat  and is featured on their website.
2 Hart of February
We left our mooring and followed a wide beam for a short while and then he kindly pulled over to allow us to pass as he said he was only ambling along. We continued on through the Tring Cutting which forms the summit pound and came out at the old Bulbourne BW Workshops which are now an Iron Works design company for your garden figures.
1 BulbourneWorkshops
We made the sharp turn into the Wendover Arm and struggled up the very shallow and narrow arm. About half way to the current terminus are a couple of very sharp bends around a flour mill and then we reached the final winding hole at Little Tring Farm. We had intended to stay the day here but the 48 hr moorings were full, I think because we were a little early arriving there and people had not moved off. The terminus is marked by a plaque commemorating Tim Wilkinson author of “Hold on a Minute”, whose legacy enabled the arm to be restored in 2004. So we decided to head off back down the arm and negotiate the Marsworth flight of locks.
2 Wendover Arm
At the top lock of the flight is a dry dock and sign post which gives the distance to Braunston as 55 miles and Brentford 38 miles. At Lock 42 is a house which offers Bed and Breakfast and also a shop of local crafts. The bottom lock is adjacent to a road bridge where the White Lion pub is now closed down.
5 Marsworth Bottom Lock
We decided to give the Anglers Retreat a try for a late lunch. However the chef was off and they had a rush of people all at once so we had to wait about 1.5 hours for a meal. Regulars said that this was unusual but that the food would be worth waiting for. I must say my Steak and Ale pie and June’s Hand Carved Ham, Egg and Chips was very tasty and good value.The pub has its name on the chimney because it is just at the right level for people walking around the reservoir.
3 lock 42 Anglers Retreat
There are three reservoirs in this cluster and they have a variety of wild life on them including these Great Crested Grebe with their three very young chicks.
4 Resevoirs and Grebe
I walked down to the Aylesbury Arm Junction. The first lock 9Marsworth) is a Staircase of 2 locks and has just had the lower lock beam replaced after it failed a couple of weeks ago. There is a new development being built at the junction which is just at the iron work stage.
6 Aylesbury Arm

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