Sunday, 6 July 2014

Up the creek. Brandon Creek that is.

Friday morning we set off up the Little Ouse, a.k.a. Brandon Creek.

Once again going under the A10.

It runs for miles alongside the river but never seems really intrusive. Diesel is available at proper splits at Little Ouse Moorings, unusual around here so we'll be topping up tomorrow.

Someone up here has got a sense of humour, much more pleasant than the "No Mooring" signs that proliferate along most rivers. The fisherman didn't seem to be catching a lot.
At Hockwold cum Wilton the river crosses over the Cut-off Channel on a rather intimidating aqueduct and

then goes through a set of sluices that divert the water down into the Cut-off when the river floods. All part of the complex drainage system that keeps the fens dry.

At Brandon Staunch you reach the limit of navigation for craft over twelve metres as that is the length of the lock here.

Smaller boats can make it as far as the town bridge although there did seem to be a lack of moorings.
Below the staunch there is plenty of room to wind although the current from the weir does make it quite interesting. Nice E.A. moorings here, apparently, in the past, there have been problems with youths partying by the moorings but the local angling club has now put a locked gate across the access road,

doesn't stop people walking down but they can't get the cars with the music boxes down so they no longer bother. We have had a lovely peaceful weekend.

Brandon is a town built on and of flint, it is only about thirty years ago that the last flint knapping yard closed down. The town had been supplying gun flints to the army since before the Napoleonic Wars. In 1813 fourteen Brandon Flint Masters were supplying more than a million gun flints a month to the army and employed around one hundred and sixty knappers and diggers. In 1816 the order was zero leading to much unemployment. The industry kept going as there was still a demand from Africa and Asia until the nineteen fifties.

One of the local pubs commemorates the old industry and no, believe it or not we did not avail ourselves of its services.

This pair were on the roof of the pub, I don't recall they were ever flint knappers.

And so to bed?

Watch this space........

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