Monday, July 25, 2016

Everyone goes through Braunston…

Braunston village is the canal equivalent of Clapham Junction. No matter which way you’re going, north, south, east or west, you’re likely to pass through, or very close to, Braunston.

The weather is on the turn again now, more cloud and a drop of rain is forecast, but we’ve not seen much of the wet stuff yet. The cloudy skies are welcome after the heat of the last few days.

Fields of gold

We need the rain…

I spent a little time yesterday evening trying unsuccessfully to get a picture of the swifts taking insects off the water. They’re well named, quick little blighters. But every so often they’d take a breather in the bushes opposite.

We set off for Braunston this morning, just 3½ miles up the canal so we weren’t in any rush. We hoped that by arriving late morning we wouldn’t have any trouble getting a mooring. And so it proved.

Lots of good moorings along this stretch, more either side of the skinny and fragile-looking Bridge 100.

Following the “adoption” of this 5 mile stretch between Braunston Turn and Napton Junction by the Grand Union Canal Company in the late 1920s, they improved the channel, widening and reinforcing the banks as required.IMG_0974

Approaching Braunston, the corbelled spire of the church up on the ridge is visible for miles around.
The domed top of the sail-less windmill is to the right of the spire.

The twin cast-iron bridges at Braunston Turn are one of the most recognisable features on the network.IMG_0983
Left for the North Oxford Canal, to Rugby and Coventry, right for the GU Main Line and the village.

We got into a spot opposite the Boathouse pub, and I was just getting ready for a trip up to the shops when a couple of black labs, followed by Lesley and Joe, arrived. We’d passed Yarwood on the Puddle Banks. We’d not met up for a year, since we parted company after last year’s Wash crossing, so had a bit of catching up to do.

Lesley and Joe, with Floyd and Fletcher. And no, I can’t tell you which one’s which! (The labs, that is…)

After they’d left I walked along the towpath to dispose of the rubbish on the way to the village and knocked on the roof of NB Waiouru. I had a chat with Tom and Jan, before Tom joined me to go shopping. That done we moved up to the empty space behind them (yes, an empty space!) and joined them for a brew and to put the world to rights. Although they’re facing the same way as us at the moment they’ll be turning around in the morning and heading up the North Oxford. Shame, it would have been nice to share Braunston Locks with them.

We were intending to get off fairly early in the morning, but that plan has been blown out of the water as our mail doesn’t seem to have arrived at the Post Office. So I’ll have to go up again in the morning. Ah well. If we finish up stopping here tomorrow it’s not the end of the world.

Locks 0, miles 3½

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