Saturday, 15 July 2017

Friday 14 July Great Barford to Bedford (8 miles, 4 locks)

Friday 14 July Great Barford to Bedford (8 miles, 4 locks)

Someone saved pennies when they widened and repaired Great Barford Bridge, using bricks instead of the lovely old stone. The Anchor pub and village green, where we moored, next to the bridge are popular with the locals.
We passed the derelict old lock, gateless, before reaching 0508 Willington Lock, the first of several deeper locks today. Passing the Danish Camp, once a safe harbour deepened for 30 long boats and 2500 Danes, behind embankments and moat, it had lots of information boards and walks to enjoy.
Liana pointed out the second Kingfisher of the day as we passed high banks as the river narrowed, willows overhanging, making for some beautiful views.

"Look, a Kingfisher!"

Chalets bordered the river

approaching Castle Mill Lock

Deep Castle Mill Lock
Castle Mill Lock was the deepest encountered, as the water falling over the sluices shows.
Cardington Lock

At Cardington Lock we encountered cheery canoeists, near the slalom course. A kind fisherman helped us keep the bottom gates shut while Liana ran to the top to press the button on the first electrical guillotine gate we had met for days.
Passing Bedford Boat Club, at BWML's Priory Marina, we emptied loo holding tanks and filled up with 171 litres of diesel (72p/L), used since Langrick Bridge on the Witham.
Bedford Boat Club was 100% cruisers

getting diesel at Priory Marina below Bedford

Engineers Bridge was very low

Bedford Lock Bridge was about 2m headroom
Despite advice to moor below the lock, we inched under the low Engineers and Bedford Lock bridges, went up onto the upper river and enjoyed the riverside view to the Sovereign Quay mooring opposite County Hall, which has a water point.
Liana nibbling by Bedford Bridge

Bedford Riverside

Annie moored at Bedford Riverside

Friday night and no other boats! We saw rowing eights, but to our delight water polo practice took place right by Annie. Goals were raised high above the water as two teams of five played, refereed from the bank. They use yellow and red cards, too! The club was Bedford Vikings Polo Club. Our daughter Jo, a kayaker, knew of the slalom centre at Cardington nearby, too. Their mentor was ex-RAF from Coningsby, Lincolnshire, when John chatted to learn more.

No comments:

Post a Comment