The wind picked up in the early hours, and by this morning it was a bit fresh. Fine and sunny, though, when I took Meg out for a stroll.
Gunthorpe Marina moorings.
…and the lower lock landing.
You can see the stream cutting across the floating pontoon which makes it difficult to come alongside.
A bright morning
We had about an hour to go to the first (and only, as it turned out) lock of the day. But first we had Gunthorpe Bridge to go under. There aren’t that many crossings on the open river…
The current reinforced concrete bridge dates from 1927. Up until 1875 the only crossing here was by ferry, then The Gunthorpe Bridge Company was formed, a share issue raised capital, and a toll bridge was built. It had an iron bowstring section crossing half the river allowing a navigable channel, the rest of the span was an iron deck supported on trusses.
I thought the wind might be a problem, but it wasn’t too bad and it was from the south-west so not cold.
It started to get a bit cloudy and we even had a few spots of rain, but it didn’t amount to anything.
The Ferry Boat Inn, unsurprisingly at an old ferry crossing.
The ferry would have connected Stoke Bardolph with Shelford on the east bank. Some of these now-discontinued ferries were official, others were run by enterprising locals with spare time and a boat. An inn would often be built nearby to accommodate waiting travelers.
Flocks of gulls wheeling across the river
The sun’s trying to come out again!
Stoke Lock has a sensible lower landing; a fixed dock tucked into the entrance to the lock. The chamber had to be emptied as the top paddles were left up, but it didn’t take long. I’m surprised that you can do that. The controls don’t appear to be interlocked; you can retrieve your key without closing the paddles, and you can raise the bottom paddles while the top ones are up.
Stoke Lock, probably the prettiest on the river.
The moorings just above the lock were free, so we pulled in. Very pleasant here, too.
Looking at tomorrow’s weather I think we’ll be off early-ish, intending to be tied up before those blustery showers blow in from the west. That’s the plan, anyway.
Locks 1, miles 4½