Saturday, 10 January 2015

Curious things in the bed of the Buckingham Canal

On 27th December 2014 we walked along the Buckingham Canal from Cosgrove Junction to Old Stratford. The first couple of hundred yards is used as moorings for Cosgrove Marina, then there is an infilled bridge beyond which the bed is dry.

Or, rather, almost dry. There have been experiments with allowing water to fill one or more sections between bunds with water to test for leaks (as I understand it). This curious bucket and pipe arrangement is, presumably, something to do with the experiment.

I wonder what's going on.

A little further on is an outlet with paddle gear for draining this section (photo taken from canal bed).

When we got to the dual carriageway of the A5 (referred to as the A5D when we used to live near here in the 1980s - does anyone still call it that?) the problem the road makes for restoration is immediately apparent. The road is several feet below the canal bed. An aqueduct would obviously be expensive, and it looks to me as though it wouldn't give sufficient clearance. A tunnel would also be expensive, probably more so, and would need drop locks either side, adding to the cost. I'm sorry I didn't take a photo.

At Old Stratford I was hoping to see evidence of the tunnel supposedly taking the canal under Towcester Road but we couldn't find it. After eating our sandwiches we returned along the river to the Iron Trunk Aqueduct and back along the towpath to our Galleon mooring.


Steve Parkin said...

Halfie, it's still called the A5D by locals such as me who remember its construction.

Regarding the Old Stratford "tunnel", if you happen to wait at the traffic lights on the "old" A5 at Old Stratford then if you are going south you are sitting on top of the tunnel. Wharf Close is just before the lights (a bit of a give away) and the level of the road by the lights indicates where the bridge structure remains. The convenience store by the lights is actually called Bridge Stores because lies next to the "tunnel".

Perhaps I should post about it - Steve (NB Albert)

Halfie said...

We ate our sandwiches sitting on a bench probably on top of the tunnel. But I saw no portals or any other direct sign of the tunnel.

Yes, Steve, I think you should post about it.