Leaving Cosgrove for Stoke Bruerne for the weekend
After much mind changing, we eventually decided to return to Stoke Bruerne for the weekend as the footfall should be greater there than anywhere enroute to Linslade. The Leighton/Linslade Annual Canal Festival is on this Saturday (25th July) is our next port of call in our trading diary.
View down below the bottom lock at the Stoke Bruerne flight of 7 locks
We travelled the short journey back to Stoke Bruerne and moored below the second lock in order to try to get a mooring up near the museum on Thursday morning.
Richard works the paddles and gates, whilst I largely stay on the tiller of the motor.
Our permitted 4 days' trading was quite a disappointment (apart from Saturday, which was bustling!) Footfall at Stoke Bruerne is noticably down on previous years, and seems to be due to a number of factors, but mainly;
- signs which depict a £25 overstay charge in large letters after 2 days (visitors from boats are seeing the £25 an not the wording around this ~ especially if English is not their first language)
- car park charges now at £3
- no daytrippers as there are no boats mooring up to look at!
So we left after a painfully quiet Sunday (other traders said they were quiet as well) and headed for Linslade
On a line again after not doing it for a while! The Grand Union is great for this as it is relatively wide and deep
Over the aqueduct at Cosgrove ~ cattle paddling in the river Tove below
We moored up overnight at Cosgrove, nearly in the same place as we had been 2 weeks before and then set off at 7am for Milton Keynes.
Passing through Wolverton and all it's modern flats
The previous day had been really windy towards the end of the day, but this morning, it was crisp and dry, ideal boating conditions.
The famous Wolverton steam train mural
Milton Keynes took us around 3.5 hours to pass through and actually it was quite lovely, despite the horrible concrete bridges and nauseatingly manicured grass!
Pulling up to moor above the lock at Stoke Hammond
A brief stop at Stoke Hammond, the next day for posting of birthday card for youngest and milk and bread, after Richard nearly took his shin out with the mallet whilst hammering in mooring stakes! Wow did it come up, but then just as quickly (probably the brufens) it went down without a bruise!
Arriving at Soulbury Locks (flight of 3)
The last stretch to Linslade and our stop for the night, saw us rise up the 3 locks at Soulbury and complete another couple of miles on cross straps.
Yesterday we walked into Leighton Buzzard and collected our new television (the old one Reilly the greyhound, broke) and I bought some new paintbrushes at last, things were getting desperate.
We arrived this morning at Tiddenfoot waterpark, to find that our booking had been cancelled!!! Luckily, the gentleman in charge of pitching boats did some rejiggling and fitted us in, but I have sent an email to the organisers asking how and why!! We will report on our investigations in the next post.......