Monday, 1 April 2013

We push on to Maffers.

We've had a most pleasant stay at Grove Lock, catching up with our old boating mates Chris and Jude. A few pints of Fuller's London Pride and a really good meal in The Grove, made for a most enjoyable weekend. Yesterday we watched the Boat Race, why the whole country avidly watches a race between two universities that very few have attended and with such partisanship is somewhat baffling, but unmissable!

The Grove and it's eponymous lock, there was no ice today but a really bitter wind was cutting across from the east. Just as we were leaving the top of the lock another boat hove into view below the lock so we gave them a quick shout and waited at Church Lock.

Below the lock is one of the double bridges that are a common sight along the G.U. They were originally built to allow the locks to be paired, an ambitious plan that never came to fruition.

Above the lock is the tiny church that gives it's name to the lock.

I must confess I failed to note which lock this engine house was beside. But it once housed a steam pump that pushed water back up the locks.
We pushed on up the locks with their names redolent of the English countryside we were traversing, Slapton, Horton, Ivinghoe and Seabrook. As we climbed we looked across to the Dunstable Downs which still have snow clinging to their flanks, I do wish it would warm up.
Mick, on Lizzie, the boat we were sharing locks with, then came up with the news, the Aylesbury Arm is shut, one of the walls at lock twelve has collapsed and the stoppage is listed on Waterscape with those three worrying letters, U.F.N. We had planned a trip down to Aylesbury, cross that off then.
We finally gave up at Marsworth, or Maffers as the working boatmen knew it, the cold having finally got the better of us.
Dare I suggest the Wendover Arm tomorrow?

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


Adam said...

I'm pretty sure there actually were pairs of locks. The second one is still very much in evidence at Stoke Bruerne, and at some of the ones further south you can clearly see where there was a narrow lock alongside.

There's a photo of the lock wall collapse on the Aylesbury arm on the Morgana Le Fay blog.

Jo (Boatwoman) said...

It was lovely to see you again today on the Marsworth Locks.Hope you get on to the Thames ;0) Jo