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Tuesday 2 July 2019

Tide Time.

We had a lazy day today as we were locking out at Salter's Lode Lock after 1700. We celebrated by heading to the local Weatherspoon's to have breakfast each. We then had a short walk to wait for Lidl to open at 1000 and there were about 40 there waiting to as the clock struck the hour. Most headed to the baked goods section.

We finally left about 1130, after the Archer's of course and headed ever east wards. It seemed to take ages to get out of March as it was shallow and there were loads of boats moored. The Old River Nene was wider and deeper and we made good time. Having previously wondered why the swan families had so few cygnets it seems that here abouts the numbers are much greater than the two or three previously.

The lock at Marmont Priory Lock is roughly have way between March and Salter's Lode. It was named after a Gilbertine Prior that was founded in 1204 but now there is no longer any trace of it. It seems to  be 'governed by Maureen who has been looking after the lock since the Middle Level Link route was created, in about 1979 I think. She is shortly due for retirement I think.

I have made a cursory search to find out what this building was the offices for. I will have to come back to it I think. It looks like E and S but can't be sure.

There are lots of nice old buildings in Upwell  along the roads on either side of Well Creek. Upwell and Outwell seem to merge. There is plenty to see, which is just as well as after the lock Well Creek is narrow and shallow and has lots of  moored cruisers that slow you down even more.

There is a rather plain aqueduct across the wide water of the Middle Level Main Drain.

I don't think I have ever seen a line of electricity pylons extending away into infinity due to the flat lands round here.

The flood bank of the Well Creek provides a suitable elevated spot to place a triangulation point for the map makers of old. You can see for miles due to the lack of undulations.

We got to Salter's Lode about 1600 after 4.5 hours. There were two other boats going ahead of us. The first was too long so had to go out before the height of the river got above that of Well Creek and had to wait until there was sufficient water to float over the mud bank at the entrance into the river. This photo was just about low water on the tidal Great Ouse.

This was about an hour later and not long before we penned out. High water was about 1830.

There isn't rtoom on the moorings at the lock for two narrow boats so you have to make do with what is available. The first boat had left so we now had room.

The boat before us is just in the lock ready to leave. You can see the gates into Well Creek are open low down and the inner river gates, pointing the opposite way are closed. These have to be opened manually but the sluices are hydraulic.

The leaving of Salter's Lode is easy really you just ease out over the mud bank (with plenty of water over it this late on the tide. As the bow pokes out the incoming tide takes it round quite easily. We had just left the lock that is just by the house extreme right above.

As soon as you come out of Salter's Lode you can see your destination. To the right is the New Bedford River that is tidal. Ahead are the sluices for the River Great Ouse and the structure to the left is the guillotine gate of the Denver Sluice. The first sluice was built here when the New Bedford River had been dug to move the water down from towards Bedford towards the sea. It was completed in 1637. The present structure was built in 1827 and altered to guillotine gates in the 1980's. The new river outlet moved the water away from Bedford, but the restrictions in the river at King's Lynn caused flooding there, so further works had to be carried out over the centuries to cure it.


Brian and Diana on NB Harnser said...

Maureen was about to retire when we were that way, I don't think she will ever give up. Her husband was not long out of hospital when we left

NB Holderness said...

Hi Both, I think you maybe right as she certainly seemed the 'indomitable' type. I'm not 100% sure why she has to work the lock at all as there are times that she is not there etc and you are still allowed to pass through. Still, everybody needs a hobby!! See you soon, Tony and Helen.