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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Well worth the effort.

Once through the bridge it was hard a starbr'd into the Melbourne arm after a pretty long day.

The corner for the turn is a little shallow so it took a little backing and filling to get round and then a little look to see where we were. You can just see by the two birch trees above there is a short landing that is for the lock and not a mooring. They are a little further down.

You can see the purple boat that came up ahead of us on one end of the 48hr moorings and the trip boat is on the other end, where the water point is. We had spoken to people from the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society (PCAS) and had been offered the use of the permanent mooring of a boat that was out for their summer cruise. To access it we had to go to the end of the arm, to the winding hole, and turn, come back and then back into the spot.

The trip boat was getting ready for a trip with a WI group. It was a lovely day for a cruise and we could hear the chatter for a long time after we lost sight of them. The basin has a few reeds and weeds but our berth was deep right to the edge. The water is full of fish of all sizes, with some very big ones chasing the smaller ones, causing regular ripples as they jump out of the water to escape. There are dragonflies too. The permanent berths have several picnic tables and I had a chat with several of the locals. We made use of the sanitary station that was nice and clean and close by. All in all a lovely spot for a mooring. The tow path side was busy with walkers and runners etc but the other side was very peaceful. There are trees surrounding but there is a good view of the sun for the solar panels for much of the summer day.

After our long trip up to the basin and being thwarted in eating out at Barmby the previous evening we made a bee line for the Melbourne Arms about a five minute walk from the basin. It is a former coaching inn and was serving some nice real ales. We had a marvelous meal that hit the right spot, nothing too flash but well cooked and presented at a good price. I would drive this way for another meal sometime. The place was busy and that must be a good recommendation too.

The Beeches on the main road is a lovely Georgian house with a beautiful aspect. It has a stone saying 1790 in the pediment. It is listed as Grade II. It has sold for around £645000 a couple of years ago. The street is full of interesting buildings that show that the village must have had a fair bit of money at the time.

There aren't many of these corrugated iron churches left now and this one is a listed building despite being a private residence now. It is the former St. Monica's that was built in 1882 by the Windsor Iron Works of Liverpool. It is made of corrugated iron and sheet iron on a timber frame. Many of the details have been saved externally and it looks in very good nick. There seems to be getting on for 100 left in the country in various states of repair. It seems that a 400 seat church could be delivered in lots to the nearest railway station for £360. Corrugated iron was first used for roofing in 1829 and full buildings started in 1832. The portability of them meant that many were sent by ship to all parts of the Empire but few are thought to remain abroad.

Our time for walking on the footpaths and bye ways of Melbourne were limited as we had to return home but the effort of getting here was well compensated by the lovely basin with the fish swimming and birds singing and one of the most tranquil moorings we have had. The walk to the canal head would be rewarding and the mile further to the market town of Pocklington and the Burnby Hall and Gardens and Museum close by would also be well worth a visit especially at this time of the year as the gardens have the largest collection of water lilies in Europe. If possible though your journey would be eased by an earlier or later visit when the weed growth is not quite so great. 

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