Monday, 10 April 2017

To Leighton Buzzard and beyond

More Wyvern ‘Terrors’ today.  The second was rather unusual being breasted up to a private boat.  It looked to be on hire and I wondered whether the hire crew were insured?


A couple of interesting boat names.  I thought this one was supposed to be on the South Oxford Canal at Thrupp?



The popular moorings at the Globe pub are starting to look empty in anticipation of the floating market Easter weekend.


A number of the locks on this section of the canal have Grade II listed former pump houses.  The building appear to have been converted to residences with the steam powered pumps replaced with electric.  One assumes there was a shortage of water sources when the canal was built resulting in the need to back pump.


It must be quite a squeeze for a wide beam to pass the Wyvern hire boat base where they are three abreast.


We briefly stopped on the 2 hour moorings at Leighton Buzzard for quick visits to both Tesco and Aldi.  It was only 30 minutes later that we moored below Grove Lock where the Grove Pub looked like a suitable location for Sunday lunch.


Later in the afternoon there was a knock on the side of Waiouru.  It was blog reader <dammit I’ve forgotten his name.  I apologise and plead age Smile.  Please leave a comment with your name>.  His boat is moored in Grove Lock Marina and amongst many interesting comments he mentioned the remains of the narrow gauge railway on the towpath.  I subsequently walked back to have a look.


The area around Leighton Buzzard had significant deposits of Lower Cretaceous sand.  Until the end of WW1 the sand was transported by horse and cart.  However this resulted in significant road damage and in 1919 an extensive narrow gauge (2ft) light rail network was constructed.  This operated until after WW2 where the product reverted back to road.  Wikipedia has a network map showing the spur running down to the canal where it presumably was loaded into narrowboats.  The railway is now being developed into a tourist attraction.

We had our Sunday roast at the Grove Pub.  One of our more expensive meals, but tasty.



Marilyn McDonald said...

Hi Tom,
Les Biggs did a post about Leighton Buzzrd and the rail and the car manufacturer a couple of years ago. Very interesting it was too. I am sure you could find it on nb Valerie's archive.
That is an area I am interested in as I had an aunt who lived in Soulbury and Leighton Buzzard was her closest shopping area.
Also we first hired from Wyvern Shipping back in 1990 - good heavens, that is 27 years ago!
Cheers, Marilyn

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Marilyn,
I'm too old, fat and unfit to walk up all those steps to ask Les but we should see Jaq within a week! :-) She is the researcher so I'll ask her! I suspect Wyvern might still have your boat...albeit with a new coat of paint. We might stop at Leighton Buzzard for an extra day on the way back north so I can have a better look around the area.