We’ve now crossed three aqueducts on the Stratford Upon Avon Canal. The first was Yarningale Aqueduct. The original was constructed from wood in 1813 and subsequently washed away in 1832 when there was a breach in the nearby Grand Union Canal. It was replaced within a month using a cast iron trough.
There is a longer aqueduct at Wootton Wawen. This one spans the A3400 . It was built by the Stratford Canal Company in 1813 and is a Grade II listed.
Something nags me about the length of this aqueduct. The roads in 1813 would have been much narrower, so is this the original structure?
The last aqueduct was the longest. Edstone Aqueduct is 137 metres long making it the longest canal aqueduct in England (remember that really long and high one is in Wales!).
At one time it was owned by the Great Western Railway, who fitted a pipe onto it and used it to refill the tanks of passing steam trains. Apparently it also had a pipe running along the base of the trough which was connected to a furnace near the base. The hot water in the pipe prevented the water in the trough freezing during winter.
It was around here we first noticed the recent cost cutting measures of the CRT grass cutting contractors. Apparently their big mowers have been replaced!
There was a day boat on the lock mooring above Bearley Lock and the entire crew was looking at the lock scratching their heads. Jan walked forward to see what the issue was.
Tow of the crew told her “We don’t know this lock!” So Jan said “I’ll introduce you. This is Lock Nigel. Nigel meet the crew of the day boat!” Damned Antipodean sense of humour. But we did help them down through the lock.
The last piece of excitement for the day was the towpath stripper. He saw us as we rounded the bend and promptly threw down his strimmer and tossed away his helmet before dancing down the towpath. He then turned towards us and stripped of his life jacket, protective vest and shirt whilst frantically waving his arms. Jan doesn’t mind the odd piece of eye candy and this guy was really bumping and grinding like a Chippendale. Then we cruised through a cloud of angry wasps and realised what he had hit with his strimmer. No photo because Jan felt sorry for him!