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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Nearly at War.

Another lovely still morning to get up to after a warm night. we weren't too late getting off, despite not having too far to travel.

Macy has enjoyed the quieter moorings away from all the cyclists and built up areas where dog walkers abound. Even here in the middle of no where you can not escape the dog walkers. They seem to be absolutely everywhere. It makes you wonder what it would be like if it has now become customary for people to pick up after their dogs.

By the time I picked up my camera I had missed the best photo of Yardley wharf buildings. It had apparently been built at the same time as the canal in 1801 and dealt in coal from the beginning. There was also a lime kiln and a brick kiln and warehouse. Soon after a public house was built and it was called the Grand Junction until 1866 when it became the Navigation. Even a boat builder arrived for a short time.

If find the undulating countryside of Northamptonshire appealing and this stretch of the canal also allows views across the fields in parts and not hemmed in by high hedges.

There even some nice bends and bridge holes to provide a bit of a challenge unlike the southern section which is more like a motorway. You can see the next bridge in the middle distance, and yes we did meet a boat at it! The Wyvern Hire boat did a great job of going astern and keeping straight etc. They should be proud, I would have been.

There are plenty of Wyvern Boats passing now. I suppose a weeks hire will be Stoke Bruerne and back. They are having some lovely weather too.

There are several spill washes on this section of the canal. I'm not really sure why they need so many as it is obviously to get rid of surplus water. The River Tove runs to the east of the canal and the spill washes drain into them. I can't see any major streams or brooks that feed into the canal. I did notice that it seems that all the spill washed may be at a slightly different level. I suppose that one will drain a bit of extra water. If there is loads too much water more of the spill ways will be utilised. The canal builders must have been very good hydro engineers. Towards the bottom of Stoke Locks there is a manifold where water can be pumped back into the canal from the River Tove.

We stopped for water at the bottom and when we were finished 'Men in Black' turned up so we shared the locks with them. Helen was steering. I detected a little hesitance from the helmsman on 'MIB' to go first. It is always a little difficult to stay to one side in a double lock and these locks are quite deep so difficult to pick a rope up to pull over to the side. Helen managed well.

The Helen got chatting and talked the guy into going into the lock together. It is much easier and on a flight like this can same a lot of time. He was very pleased and said he had learned something so Helen was very pleased too. As I was preparing the lock for them I chatted to the C&RT guys who were measuring up the bottom gates. I heard one call out the measurements in Imperial. I asked them about it and they said that they measured in Imperial and converted to Metric. I was somewhat surprised as I thought all the measurements for the gates would be in Imperial. I suppose Imperial only entered into it as they guys were a bit older. How did we ever manage with 12 22 to a foot, perches, rods and furlongs etc?

At the bottom of the long pound is a look keepers cottage I like the window so that you can see up and down the cut. Did this keeper look after the bottom locks and another in the village look after the top locks?

We thought that as it was Village at War here this weekend the moorings would be reserved so we stopped in the long pound where there was a bit of sun. We were expecting friends of Chris's to arrive so had to be somewhere close. Whilst we were waiting I managed to wash the port side of the boat. After they had had a cup of tea and some cake we repaired to the Boat for a drink and then to see them on their way.


  1. In times of flood, the Tove will flow into the canal. It comes in via the arm with the moorings by the bottom lock, and via a sort of weir a little way back, opposite where they pump water in. At times, the service moorings can be under water -- and I've heard that the level can be a foot higher on one side of Bridge 56 than the other (although I can't vouch for the truth of that!)

    1. Thanks Adam, I have had another look and I can see where you mean. It would also explain why the service moorings has what appears to be two levels. Clear folk those early canal engineers.