Another mainly bright, sunny day today as we carried on up the locks to the Tring summit. The locks are frequent now as the slope up onto the Chilterns steepens. Our first was just 10 minutes away, Horton Lock.
I mentioned a couple of days ago the 1835 additional locks, installed to improve traffic flows in the face of railway competition. I thought it was an illusion, created by the filled in bottom of the arch, but the entry to the later chambers, here on the right, looks smaller to me.
A bit more research last night revealed the fact that a lot of the duplicates were actually narrow gauge, only wide enough for one narrowboat. Hence the smaller arch. As a cost and water saving measure I’m sure they were effective, but not effective enough to prevent loss of trade to the railways.
A lot of the locks had pump houses alongside, housing steam-driven pumps to raise the water back up the hill. There’s a small building here, at Horton Lock, in the same style but smaller and standing well back from the canal.
Too small to house an engine, and no chimney anyway.
The lock-keepers cottage is beautifully kept, though no longer occupied by the lockie.
Across the valley, on the flank of the Dunstable Downs, a white lion is cut into the chalk hillside.
Sorry about the pylon! I should have taken the picture last evening with the sun behind me. It stood out far more clearly. I’m sure Sue’s got a better picture, with that fancy camera of hers!.
The lion’s presence is explained when you look at the map. Whipsnade Wild Animal Park lies just over the hill.
The locks come steadily; two at Ivinghoe and three at Seabrook.
Bridge to nowhere at Ivinghoe Bottom Lock
The three Seabrook Locks are in a pleasant, wooded setting…
…but the pounds were quite low.
Our first moorhen chicks this season.
Definitely a pump house at the top of the Seabrook Locks.
We had a mile’s relief from the locks above Seabrooks, passing Pitstone Wharf near Bridge 126
Two more locks to do, the bottom pair of the Marsworth Locks. A good sign as we arrive…
Two boats just coming out.
The girls are happy, nearly done for the day.
That’s your lot, Lock 38
We moored a couple of hundred yards on, between bridges 129 and 130, unfortunately under trees. Being out of the sun makes a big difference to the temperature!
Talking about temperature – right alongside the boats this evening!
Tempting, very tempting. But we don’t want to be carting that lot around all summer, do we?
We had a nice surprise this evening - a Facetime call from Canada!
Breakfast time there, as Mags had a good chat to son Neil, his wife Val, and Val’s sister and brother in law Eleanor and Wil. Great to see you all looking so well, folks. Thanks so much for the call. XXX
So, tomorrow another seven locks up onto the 3-mile long Tring Summit. Then there’s the long descent to the Thames, 57 locks over 35½ miles.
Locks 8, miles 4