Saturday, 22 February 2014

February half term cruise day 5: New Bradwell to Thrupp Wharf

This morning we returned to the railway walk and set off in the other direction, i.e. towards Wolverton. We soon came to a bridge over Grafton Street parallel to the aqueduct. I resolved to take a photo of Jan steering Jubilee across this when we moved later in the day.

In a short while we'd left the course of the former railway and found ourselves alongside the canal, but opposite the towpath. This brought us to Bill Billings's black-and-white mural depicting scenes from Wolverton's history, mainly railway related. Then this fascinating path turned sharp left under the west coast main line and into the Secret Garden. This is a community garden on the site of two "railway villas" and other buildings from the very first days of Wolverton's long association with rail. Volunteers have, over the last ten years, uncovered the "footprint" of the two villas and planted out a peaceful space for relaxation. We sat on a wooden seat for a few moments in the warm February sun. And watched the Virgin trains thundering by on the other side of the canal.

As we were now in Wolverton we called in on Ally to see how the painting was going, then the three of us went for lunch at the North Western. Three meals for £12.90 - not bad!

As soon as Jan and I walked back to the boat we started up and headed for the marina. In no time we'd reached the Grafton Street Aqueduct, so I hopped off with my camera, legged it to the railway walk bridge (relatively recently constructed as neither Milton Keynes nor Grafton Street existed when the Wolverton - Newport Pagnell line did), took some photos and rejoined Jan after she'd crossed the aqueduct.

After a stop at Cosgrove to empty the Elsan and deposit some rubbish we carried on the short distance to the marina. I had decided to reverse in to the mooring for a change, so that we would have a more interesting view (of the canal now, rather than a steep grassy bank a few feet away) from the bow. This operation went smoothly, and I was pleased to find that the mooring rings were perfectly placed (as they had been for mooring bow first).

This evening we ate at the Navigation Inn next to the marina. It seemed quiet for a Saturday night - but I suppose 6.30 pm was early. The food was served quickly and was acceptable (fish pie with mash and veg; lamb pudding with chips and veg. Each meal cost £8.95).

Now I've made a list of jobs for the morning including checking the batteries (thanks to Brian of Harnser for reminding me about that). Then we'll drive home after what's been an excellent short holiday. The weather has been amazing for the time of year: yes, there's been a cold wind most of the time, but we've had plenty of sunshine and hardly any rain. Certainly no ice or even frosts which might have been expected.


Val Poore said...

Sounds lovely, Halfie. It hardly sounds like the same country as the one that took such a battering a week or more ago.

Anonymous said...

Ooh glad to hear that the Navigation Inn is open again.

I'd heard it was closed last year and I was disappointed, having had a nice evening there with hounds the year before (timings may be off - years fly by these days!).

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

Halfie said...

Val, yes, a lovely short cruise.

Sue, I agree it's good it's reopened. It was a pain when it was shut for a while - we had to change some eating plans...