Monday, June 22, 2009

Just a short trip

We woke up this morning with the pound a good 4” lower than it was last night. There must be a fair bit of leakage down through the flight.
I had a walk around Marsworth and Tringford Reservoirs, coming out onto the Wendover Arm near where the outfall from the pumping station comes into the canal. It was running quite fast to replenish the lost water.

In fact, it maybe got a bit carried away. This was the scene at each of the first 3 Marsworth locks coming down.

It makes it more difficult to open the gates when they’re weiring over.

The water in our pound was back to normal fairly quickly!

I had a run up to Ivinghoe Locks this morning, just gently to get back into it again after 5 weeks off, and spotted a likely place for a Tesco delivery. The plan was to stop in Leighton Buzzard tomorrow, but having it delivered will save time and wear and tear on my shoulders. We’ll still stop, but I’ll only need to make a quick trip to the DIY shop.

So before we left I spent some time getting a local postcode, then booking a delivery slot. It’s a lovely spot here, but the internet connection leaves a lot to be desired.

Come on, hurry up! Meg’s quite happy watching folk walk past.
We got underway about noon, to the first lock just around the corner.

Lock 39 and Lower Icknield Way Bridge.
The left hand arch was built in expectation of doubling up the locks on this busy stretch. The plan didn’t come off though.
The Icknield Way, which the bridge name implies crosses here, runs from Wiltshire through to Norfolk. It is one of the oldest tracks in Britain, predating the roman occupation. The eastern section, from Ivingoe Beacon to Knettishall Heath is now a long distance footpath, as is the western section, but this is now known as The Ridgeway.

The Aylesbury Arm branches off at Marsworth Junction.

Marsworth Junction
This runs the 6¾ miles to the town, to the terminal basin near the town centre. Unusually for this area, it was built to narrow beam standard, dropping through 16 7’ wide locks. The first 2 make up a staircase, where the bottom gates of the top chamber are also the top gates of the bottom one.

Finished in 1815, it was originally hoped to be extended through to Abingdon on the Thames, enabling a canal link through to the Kennet and Avon Canal and the Wilts and Berks Canal. Water supply problems for the proposed western section beyond Aylesbury led to protracted discussion, by which time the railways had started to have an impact on trade on the canal. So the extension was never constructed.

The Arm leaves the main line next to Marsworth BW workshops, source of the concrete piles used on this section.
This is also where the water point and other “offices” is sited, so we took advantage of them before moving on down to the next and last of the 9 Marsworth Locks.

Thatched Cottages near Marsworth
We moored shortly after the locks, in a quite spot on the bank. We’re just 15 minutes from Cook’s Wharf, where our delivery will arrive tomorrow morning.

It’s been another warm day, with hazy sunshine and just a light shower this evening. The weather is looking good for the rest of the week.

Locks 3, miles 1¼


Anonymous said...


How are you both?

We are at the mo discovering the beauty of the Soar. In fact thinking of relocating.

If you pass back thru Leicester give me a shout.

Hope to pass you soon.

Maggie (Forever Young)

Geoff and Mags said...

Hiya Maggie
Good to hear from you. We're all fine as you can no doubt tell from the posts, and enjoying our first trip on the Grand Union South. We'll be up and heading through Leicester in 2 or 3 weeks, so watch this space....