We only had to travel to Barby Moorings today so I spent the morning converting some plums that Steph. had brought from her garden to jam. However after over 2 hours of boiling away and using jam sugar with pectin the stuff hasn't set. I will have to have another go tonight. We finally set off about 1300 when we managed to fit in between a flow of boats. Luckily most of them seemed to be heading towards Napton and not rugby way.
Mind you it was such gorgeous weather we did barely over tick over the whole, especially so as we really didn't want the day to end and us having to head back to 'civilisation' for a week. Our last view of All Saints at Braunston. We prefer these moorings at the back of the church. It is much quieter and the path over the field means it is just as quick to get into town too.
Willoughby Wharf was built when the Oxford Canal sometime between 1769 and 1774 when it was completed to Napton. It is at the bridge where the Barby road crosses the canal. Even when the the Grand Junction Canal was built the Act of Parliament had written in to it that to protect the wharf they could levy bar tolls as compensation for loss of revenue when the Grand Junction Canal opened between 1794 and 1805.
To the west of the canal ran the Grand Central Railway and evidence of the embankments and cuttings can still be seen, as can this single post on the route. The GCR started out as the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway but obtained an Act of Parliament in 1893 to build an extension through to London. This was renamed the Grand Central Railway. It opened for coal traffic in 1898 and for goods and passengers in 1899 and was taking traffic into London Marylebone Station. In 1923 it was joined up with the London and North East Railway. This line closed in 1957 so the signal tower has stood the test of time, and vandalism too.
Helen is beavering away to get a blanket finished to give to our daughter as at the brand new school where she is teaching doesn't have any things like this for the reception class play areas. We will be able to give her it when we see her at the weekend.
We love the peace and quiet of this route before you get to the M45 with plenty of places to moor and very few roads so we were surprised to hear diggers and excavators at work until we saw this sign. I hadn't realised that this was where the new marina was going to be.
We stopped for a nosy at Bridge 81 and took these photos from there. The original plans show the site to be twice as large as those shown in the September Towpath Telegraph. This photo looks north and is the North Pool. The original plans were for a smaller pool to the west of this and it looks as though there may be some work going on there.
This is looking due west from Bg. 81 I couldn't match up this island structure with the plan in the paper of the application. I am assuming that where the caravans are is where the west pool will be.
This is looking south from Bridge 81 and I assume that the work is going on in the central pool which will be the main hub of the marina where you will enter the various other pools. They say that it has been designed by the creators of the Eden Project and half of the 36Ha will be given over to wildlife designed for it by the landscapers that are used by the Wetlands and Wildfowl Trust. It is built next to the Category C Only Prison. The entire plan was for 550 berths and was said to be costing £15million. They are hoping to have it open next spring. With luck it will be full of boats so that there are less on the waterways. However this area is bad enough on a fine summer weekend as it is, with another 550 all coming out this wont be a quiet area anymore. I expect looking at the limited plans there would be still about 300 berths. One thing I also saw was that they are opening a service wharf on the canal so boats for fuel etc wont need to enter. They say that there will also be a wharf for the delivery of stuff for the marina by canal!
Just past the M45 bridge we turned into Barby Moorings. We filled up with diesel and then went to our moorings. Helen was impressed as she had been visualising something much different for some reason.
The law mowers were hard at work as we settled in. The alpacas seemed to be doing a grand job and added a bit of something to the scenery. We plugged into the mains and filled with water then generally got the boat ready for leaving when we return.