Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Bridge repair impedes my progress; tart words about a boat*

… but not by water. We passed safely under Bridge 41 on the GU, but I was slightly concerned when, at the moment of our passing, one of the workers on the bridge casually threw a couple of scaffolding clamps down to ground level with a great clatter. I'm not sure he knew we were there.

I'll come back to this bridge later (in two ways).

At Bugbrooke we were hailed from a boat, Blue Goose, tied up outside the Wharf pub. I slammed on the anchors (hey - not literally: anchors are no joke) and we breasted up to them. David and Fran, fellow BCF members whom we hadn't met before, were waiting for their friends John and Jenny to join them for a meal in the pub followed by a trip on their boat. In the meantime they welcomed us on board and were convivial hosts.

When John and Jenny arrived I took the opportunity for a group photo ...

John (standing), Fran, Jenny, Jan, me, David

… followed by another in the pub (yes, we were invited to join them and it would have been rude not to).

David, Jan, John, Fran, me, Jenny

It was great meeting you all - let's do it again sometime.

After this we carried on for another hour to Weedon, where we tied up so I could cycle back to Stoke Bruerne to get the car. I had planned to do most of this by road as it's generally quicker than the towpath, and I get to see some lovely villages and countryside. Initially, though, I took the towpath to the Narrowboat pub where I could cross the A5 and cycle along lanes to Nether Heyford, Bugbrooke, Gayton and Blisworth en route to Stoke Bruerne. I remembered much of the route from the last time I cycled it. (Was it last year or earlier this year? Probably both.)

Just back from where we tied up I saw this boat, which will be recognised by at least one regular reader. I'll put up a shot with the name later in this post.

On my cycle ride the first impediment was the bridge with the scaffolding. It had been the victim of a strike by motor vehicle and was being repaired - but was completely fenced off to all while this was happening. This was my route to Gayton. Grr.

Consulting the map showed me that all I had to do was take the towpath to the next road bridge and get to Gayton that way.

And this is where I came unstuck for the second time. My OS map shows a level crossing adjacent to Bridge 43; this has now been dismantled and I was met by another fence.

If I had looked at Google Maps on my phone I would have seen that a matter of yards away was a "new" bridge over the railway, easily accessible from the stub of road I was on. As it was, I returned to the towpath, cycled under the new bridge (which I had erroneously thought was the A43) and eventually joined a narrow steep road to Gayton, where I picked up my original route. I really must get a newer OS map 152.

Oh, I got slightly damp in the drizzle. Can't complain, though: it was the first rain I've cycled in during this year's boating, which started in April.

And the boat near us? Bakewell.


Update to say that I received an e-mail from CRT this morning promising to pass on my concerns about Lock 18 on the Stoke Bruerne flight to the "local team".

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Yup, I recognised my former home - and got the joke. I always said I'd rather be the Bakewell Tart than the Bakewell Pudding (even if the latter is more authentic).