This morning Jimmy’s walk took us around Campbell Park with its off side mooring and and cricket stumps artwork.
We had a very pleasant cruise around Milton Keynes and were soon crossing the Grafton Aqueduct and then the trains painted on the wall adjacent to the railway which give distances to the various villages and towns along the canal.
Next came the Great Ouse Aqueduct (a square cast iron trough carried on stone pillars) followed by the Cosgrove moorings where we spotted another Autumn Mist although spelt differently.
Just above Cosgrove Lock there is an arm which was once the Buckingham and Stratford Canal but now used for moorings. There are some nice moorings above the lock and as we left Cosgrove we passed under Solomon's Bridge a splendid stone gothic style bridge built in 1808. There does not appear to be any obvious reason why such a unique bridge should have been built here. Perhaps the owner of the Cosgrove Hall had some influence with the Canal Company.
All along this stretch of the canal there were lots of Crab Apples trees loaded with fruit so Nb. Wandering Bark will have a field day if they venture down this way in the next few weeks.
Yardley Wharf has a couple of interesting signs, the first on the bridge urges boats to slow down due to “Elderly Ducks Crossing” and the one on the wharf suggests that you “Do not let your dog pump out on the wharf”
Baxter's have their dry dock here where Nb. Briar Rose had her bright new paint job done.
A Surprise awaited us outside Kingfisher Marina for who should be there but Nb. Tacet of Ian and Karen fame. Hope that you two are not missing her too much. Thought that these pictures would bring back some very happy memories.
We moored up on the visitors mooring just below Stoke Bruerne Locks and after lunch walked up to the village. It was very busy with tourists from all over the world and the Cheese Boat was doing a roaring trade. The entrance to the car park was framed by this Iron Support form the Pontcysytte Aqueduct in North Wales. The trip boat was also doing a good trade taking people up to and into the mouth of the tunnel.
Beside the last lock is one of the abandoned original locks with iron gates and tubular beams and it contains an old boat. The village does have a few nice cottages like the one below.
I took a tour of the museum, which although only small has some interesting exhibits including these painted wears, boatman dress and back cabin and details of how gauging was carried out to charge boats for the use of the canal.
At the entrance to the 3057 yd. Blissworth Tunnel is a ring beam which was used in the rebuilding of the middle section of the tunnel. The protrusions on the inside of the ring are where the water level will be and the wooden protector strips fitted.
The Navigation Pub below the top lock is a very popular place to eat; and several of the locks still have their side pond together with paddle gear but they are no longer used and just form a wild life habitat. Bridge 54 has some interesting Mosaic pictures underneath its span.
A couple of interesting boats we passed today, the blue one Nb. Woodbine is steered from the front and we have seen it several times across the network. The Bolinder and Russell Newbury Engines are exhibited in the Museum Shop and Cafe, which is a shame as you cannot get a good look at them with people enjoying their coffee.