Wednesday, July 07, 2010

To Stoke Hammond to Marsworth to Boxmoor

Stoke Bruerne to Stoke Hammond
Miles 20.6 Locks 7
Today was dominated by the journey round greater Milton Keynes it is not until Fenny Stratford that the old places appear. Th lock at Fenny Stratford is the first rise since we left Stoke Bruerne but the rise is only about 4 inches however the lock is grand enough to have a bridge running right across the middle which has to be opened before you can pass through the lock. As the sign below shows there are very stern warning to anyone who wants to cross the bridge in a vehicle.
Stoke Hammond to Marsworth
Miles 11.7 Locks 14
The day began with a disaster, the instruments gave all the indications that the drive belt to the alternator and water pump had come off or broken. On checking it was worse, a bracket that holds the alternator to the engine had fractured an this caused the belt to run slack. Pic of broken bracket below.
The plan was to run into Leighton Buzzard and find a place where the bracket could be repaired by welding it back together. The almost fairy tale part of the story is that within half an hour of setting off we came upon a floating blacksmith who re welded it up in about 5 minutes. See below.

The bracket was refitted when we moored up outside Tesco at Leighton Buzzard whilst the crew went and did the laundry and food shopping. I ill be keeping an eye on the fixings for the next few days. We moored for the night opposite the Dunstable Boat Club
Marsworth to Boxmoor
Miles 11.9 locks 26
We are now in the heavy locked section of the Grand Union Canal and we have crossed the summit and it is downhill all the way to the Thames. Although we have seen plenty of wide beam boats they all seem to be of the Continuous Mooring type, this morning the exception passed us just before we reached the summit level.
Since we moored at Boxmoor we have see 3 motors and two motors with buttys passing loaded with gravel. we tried to find out where up the canal it was going but, maybe because us northerners cannot understand the local accents, we could not figure out where the cargo was going. If you know send an E-Mail to

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