Wednesday 19th April; Linford Lakes (Stanton Low) to Old Linslade
We woke to sunshine and it shone all day long. Fabulous!
The towpath edge was so good Dave couldn’t resist doing more work on the boat. He washed the port side then did some touching-up of the signwriting. The trouble with red is it fades rather badly and the bit he did had faded almost to vanishing.
Meanwhile I took Meg off for a walk and a play with the ball she found in the long grass last night – a rather splendid orange one with black spots. I took the opportunity to take a couple of pictures of the ruins of St Peter’s church. If you believe/are interested in werewolves you might like to follow the link. The village was seized by ‘werewolf panic’ in 1485 – unusual in England, as wolves were already extinct here and it would appear that witches were the more usual bogeypersons. Anyway after the scapegoating and death of an unfortunate farmhand named Thomas Pipe the area was eventually depopulated and subsequent attempts to re-establish settlements here mysteriously failed. The website has much more atmospheric pictures than mine which don’t look at all spooky in the bright sunshine!
Check out that sky! There were a few gravestones still visible, mostly belonging to the Selby family.
A passing dog walker had told us that the Exbury Egg was moored the other side of the bridge, so we went up to have a look – there it is, an art installation, looking more like a bizarre continuous moorer’s craft than anything else. It does open to the public so you can look inside but not till later in the day, by which time we had moved on.
We didn’t leave the mooring till 10.30 though, and cruised round the edge of Milton Keynes enjoying the beautiful parkland in the sunshine. There was plenty of mooring even at Campbell Park but we will have to stop here another time. We are planning to meet family at the weekend and are hoping to get to Marsworth by Friday. Along the way we passed NB Gulliver and admired her rather brilliant artwork. (Not only did Tom on Waiouru beat me to mentioning it, his photo is better too!).
There were some good and bad things as we went along. The parkland was beautiful, and at one point there were marsh marigolds in full flower, but on the towpath side it was clear where MK council must have been making cutbacks …
Another good thing -
and another bad – a sunken widebeam with a smell of diesel in the air, though thankfully nothing to be seen on the water.
No-one around and nothing to show that CRT knew about it so I called them and reported its position. (Update; Tom on Waiouru posted a picture showing that CRT has put booms around to contain any diesel spill).
We pulled in above Fenny Stratford lock for lunch, then stopped at the highly convenient service point before continuing, ‘uphill’ again now. Stoke Hammond lock was pretty, with the flower beds cared for by local boaters and residents.
We failed to get pictures of the Soulbury Three, which had a few drinkers and strollers to chat to and help with the gates, then after passing a few Wyvern hireboats on their first day out we pulled in at Old Linslade for the night.
13 miles, 5 locks, 1 swing bridge (Fenny Stratford).
Total this trip; 48 miles, 29 broad locks, 2 tunnels, 1 large aqueduct, 1 swing bridge