Monday, 1 May 2017


Tuesday 25th April; Stoke Hammond to Campbell Park

We woke to glorious sunshine but it was very cold outside.  Nevertheless, with the starboard side by the towpath it seemed a good opportunity to finally wash and polish it.

1 leaving stoke hammond

There was a keen wind and apart from the activity at Stoke Hammond lock the only way to be warm on the move was to have lots of layers on.  At Fenny Stratford we went straight into the open lock as the hire boat in front had prepped it thinking the water point was above it.  They kindly locked us and the boat behind us through as they had nothing else to do while the water filled!  Saved us having to mess about with the swing bridge too. 

We knew Jaq on NB Valerie was moored here so paused for a chat before we went on.  Lovely to see you Jaq!

2 jaq at fenny stratford

We decided we would try and get in at Campbell Park for lunch before deciding where to stop for the night.  The sunken widebeam was still there, though now with a boom to stop any diesel spill spreading.

6  sunk widebeam

Luckily there was no smell of diesel.  I wonder how long it’ll be before the boat is recovered?

We were lucky enough to get the best mooring on the park side, and took Meg for a long walk round the park as the forecast for later is decidedly dodgy.  There we are, in the middle of the picture, right at the end of the moorings.

22 campbell park

The park is huge and we certainly didn’t cover it all.  In part of it is a patch of woodland with lovely cowslips and bluebells.

13 cowslips bluebells  14 bluebells

Then we saw a tall pointy thing up a hill which turned out to be called the Light Pyramid and is supposed to be illuminated at night (but we forgot to check on that later).  Yes, we did walk right to the top and the wind was whipping across the hill too.

18 light pyramid

Not far away was a totem pole called Onward and Upward with the top figure raising its arms to the rising sun (I think).  I couldn’t get the dog to join in the picture though – she was just wondering when Dave was going to throw her ball again.

15 onward and upward  16 onward and upward

We got back to the boat as black clouds were threatening and decided to stay put for the night.  To start with there was only a light shower so I went for a quick run to take in some of the other parts of the park.  I discovered the labyrinth, though didn’t walk it, and the Milton Keynes Rose. This consists of a series of pillars arranged on a geometric design of a flower.  23 the MK Rose

There are 105 pillars some of which have information inscribed on them about a date significant to the people of Milton Keynes.  These ranged from the serious, (photos all turned sideways to save your neck muscles), …..

24 rose pillar 7    to the interesting …..

24 rose pillar 4

24 rose pillar 2

(‘once a Guide, always a Guide’)

to the frankly bizarre.  But it is local.

24 rose pillar 5

I also found a planning application notice on a telegraph pole by bridge 81B.

25 planning permission

We did see a mini roundabout in the area south of the bridge, on the Campbell Park side, currently leading nowhere apart from a large heap of fly-tipped rubbish, so we thought this has probably been a gleam in the planners’ eyes for many years.

I hadn’t been back at the boat for long when the black clouds finally did their wet work, along with thunder and lightning.

6½ miles, 2 locks, 1 swing bridge

Total this trip; 79 miles, 64 broad locks, 2 tunnels, 1 large aqueduct, 4 swing bridges

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