Friday, 15 August 2014

A New Use for CD’s - 15th August

This morning I took Jimmy a walk around Tiddenfoot Waterside Park which is entered by crossing the new bridge 115c to the offside. This was once a busy quarry sending sand to building sites all over England. Work began in the 1920’s and ceased in the 1960’s when it was gradually reclaimed by the wildlife and is now a place for people and wildlife.
1 Tiddenfoot water park
We set off and motored up to the water point just before bridge 114, conveniently on a bend and under a large weeping willow, but hey-ho that is narrowboating. The diesel boat and butty were moored just before the water point and a lovely sight did their stern cabins look.
3 Water Point
Having filled the tanks we moved up to the 2 hour shopping mooring right outside a 24 hr. Tesco and Aldi store. It was great because we could take the trolley right up to the boat. You can just see our bow through the entrance.
3 a Tesco
With time to spare we went into Leighton Buzzard, an old market town. The old Fire Station is now a Pizza Express, and it has a Boots, Waitrose and many other high street shops.
3 b Leighton Buzzard
Returning to the boat we passed this sculpture called “Fly Past”. Around the base is a granite ring which lists some of the 60 names and spellings of the town dating from 1086 to 1965. The discs surrounding the propeller have relief images relating to the town and its history including the Grand Junction Canal, Sand Quarry, The Vimy Bomber, and Trees and the river Ouzel. The flowers are on the bridge over the river which divides Leighton from Linslade.
3 c Bridge and prop
As we left Leighton Buzzard we past the Wyvern Shipping Hire base and counted 19 boats moored up 4 a breast waiting for their new clients. We passed another 5 of their boats on route heading back to base so they must have at least 24 boats based here.
These two boats caught our eye today, the wide beam with a mass of flowers in the forepeak and on the roof.
The narrowboat has found a new use for CD’s. It covered in them which apparently keeps it very cool and made it look like it was covered in sequins
4 boats
. These Cormorants decided to perch on a high dead tree and could be seen from a long way off.
5 Cormorants
We eventually reached the Soulbury Three Locks. These three locks have very short pounds between them and the last two look like a staircase lock from a distance.The Three Locks Pub stands next to the last lock and drinkers were sat outside when we arrived but soon disappeared inside when we had a short sharp shower lasting only a few minutes.
6 SoulburyThree locks
We moored up in a nice spot mid way between bridges 104 and 102. We were soon joined by a few more boats.
7 Mooring


  1. The Grand Union is a lovely canal, I've enjoyed seeing it all again through your camera lens. Hope Jimmy is better now. K

  2. Hi Ian Karen
    Yes the GU is much nicer than we thought it would be and we will be back to explore it in more detail in the future.
    Jimmy is fine now thanks. Hope you have managed to get the garage sorted.
    Good job we did not go on the Thames on the recent Spring tide. Did you see the narrowboat rescued from a brush with Hammersmith bridge and a houseboat.
    R J & J

  3. I knew what this blog was going to be about as soon as I saw the title -- we passed that boat at Grove Lock!

    The Black Prince boat that got into trouble on the Thames we also saw, on the Paddington Arm on Saturday. They were going very slowly and weaving all over the cut when I caught up with them. I was very grateful when they pulled over near Sainsbury's at Alperton -- except they didn't know which way to turn the tiller to get into the side, so one of the crew took the most almighty leap to the bank. From the few minutes I had sight of them, it's a mystery to me how they were ever allowed out onto the tideway.

  4. Hi Adam
    I am also surprised that they would let a hire boat out on the tidal Thames without the owners written approval particularly at a high Spring Tide. It can be very tricky for an experienced skipper let alone a potential novice.

  5. Black Prince have the tidal Thames as one of their selling points from that base -- and the website stresses the need for VHF. But I suppose having a VHF licence doesn't necessarily mean you know what you're doing!

    1. Hi Adam Just read on CWD forum that the hirers were from Canada so one does wonder what checks BP do make.

  6. Hi Adam I see what you mean about the website. As you say the VHF licence doesn't mean you know what you are doing even though their website says you must prepared for this trip. I wonder if Black Prince do any checks on the licence or skipper competence.