A cruise in two (unequal) parts
Stoke Bruerne is a hugely popular area and obviously great pride is taken in the local environment. Efforts are made to persuade dog walkers to behave responsibly by this
Towards the lower end of the flight there are some side ponds, no longer in use as water saving reservoirs for the locks, but there is a positive invitation to investigate wildlife.
Attractive murals created by local children and students ten years ago come as a surprise feature beneath a bridge.
Sturdy weirs are fairly frequent on the long pound below Stoke Bruerne
– a reminder of the shock of coming across sunken boats, trapped debris and flooded fields in the aftermath of the Easter 1998 floods, floods that were so devastating in Northamptonshire.
Was it because it was Monday morning that the next few miles were so pleasant? There was no road traffic noise, no train service noise and little boat movement. Birdsong accompanied the boat in its unhurried progress towards Cosgrove. There are open views to the right and to the left, in the fields were closely shorn sheep, horses (one in a horse blanket) and cattle,
differing in colour from Cheshire’s black and whites – and there was also a large colony of Canada geese.
On the northern end of Cosgrove is Bridge 65, the exceptionally graceful Solomon’s Bridge, built in the 1790s in Gothic style.
There was an easy mooring just beyond it – a good place to be in the gathering thunderstorm. Blackening clouds above the church
– and rainwater on the windows!
Cosgrove Park is a huge static and touring caravan park – with a shop. “It has everything, everything!” emphasised another boater. ”Even tent pegs!” Not needing tent pegs but in search of some lemons and equipped with rucksack, umbrellas and waterproofs an expedition was mounted. Success!
brought Cleddau to the very boundary of Milton Keynes. Close by is the newly restored aqueduct, modelled on the Pontcysyllte cast iron one. Below is the narrow horse tunnel
– and if you brave the cows there’s a grassy lock
to mark where the canal’s temporary course had once been. Two boat pics from today: one amusing,(short fella)