Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Weed, Weed and more Weed

It was time to settle up with the marina manager and leave this delightful location and head up the 17 locks that we descended more than a week ago.

A sign of things to come

This stretch of canal is weedy at the best of times and the Environment Agency were out in force this morning dredging in preparation for an influx of boats during the Northampton Festival in August. There were three locations on our travels today where this was taking place but the trouble is that it floats to the surface and acts as prop fodder, It took us two hours to negotiate four locks due to the weed build up.

4 ft high weed mound at one of the top gates

An EA employee was of great assistance

Whilst others were asleep on the job!

As we had time on our hands we decided to turn South when completing the Northampton branch of the Grand Union canal and visit Stoke Bruerne at the end of the 3057 yard (1.74 miles) long Blisworth tunnel that took us 41 minutes to travel through. This tunnel collapsed in the 70's. There was some major rebuilding of the tunnel in the 1980s, with sections lined with pre-cast concrete rings. It was also used to test out the materials that were later used on the Channel Tunnel.

Stoke Bruerne was an important location in the war effort transporting coal from the midlands down to London. It is purported that gold bullion was sent up to Liverpool for safe keeping during the same period.
Tomorrow we shall visit the fanous Canal museum here. 

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