Thursday, 28 March 2013

It's a long trip through Milton Keynes.

Yesterday we set off, ignoring the icicles festooning the lock gates and the snow that still lay in the fields. We made it as far as Thrupp Wharf before we decided we were cold enough and packed up.
Pleased to be moving again the sight of a bit of cat ice this morning was not enough to put us off and we were soon at Cosgrove with it's amazing bridge.

I imagine that, like most fancy bridges over canals, it was built to keep the local land owner sweet but nobody seems to have a definitive answer.
On Cosgrove wharf, just above the lock I noticed, embedded in the concrete,

the remains of a set of narrow gauge rails. Investigation reveals that they are the remains of a tramway that ran for about eight hundred yards from Cosgrove gravel pit and carried the gravel to the wharf for loading into boats. It's motive power was a Simplex locomotive, possibly ex military from W.W.I. It was in use until 1962.

Opposite the wharf the Buckingham branch appears to go off into the distance but, alas, trade had finished
on the branch in the 1930's and in 1944 a "temporary" dam was built at the first bridge to prevent water loss from the main line. There is now an active restoration in progress.
Below the lock the ice thickened up but not enough to impede our travels.

Over the Great Ouse and

you arrive in Milton Keynes.

At Wolverton we stopped opposite the old L&NWR carriage works for a quick trip to Tescos.

Sculpture celebrating the old works. Is that a McConnel Bloomer it's holding?
What is it about Milton Keynes? The canal through is one of the more pleasant urban transits, very little rubbish in the water and virtually no graffiti, so why do I worry every time we go through?

Fenny Stratford lock with it's swing bridge over the chamber only has a rise of one foot one inch,

but watching Jill wrestle with the bridge added some entertainment.
The lock marks the end of the Milton Keynes conurbation so as soon as we found a decent spot we moored. It's been a long old day, can't remember the last time we were on the move for six hours in one day.
None too warm either.
Leighton Buzzard tomorrow?

Watch this space..............


Adam said...

You passed us yesterday afternoon. We're moored at Waterhall park, just south of Fenny, but pointing north again. I was topping up the batteries at the time, so I'm not surprised you didn't see me waving at the engine room porthole!

Graham and Jill Findlay said...

Sorry we didn't wave back, I should have spotted the boat but by the time we got to Fenny the only thing we were looking for was a mooring and a hot meal!!