19th June 20149 miles, 4 locks
A gentle trip, despite grey, chilly and rather windy weather. We spotted a couple of parachutists despite the wind. What is the collective noun for caravans? A grot, a motley, a convention, an irritation (I like that one), a tailback?? I am sure someone can up with something better. It should applied to a site at Yarwell Lock where there are caravans as far as the eye can see and even further.
Some are so big I am sure they must house the entire extended family. These must be on site almost permanently, so at least they do not block too many roads.
Another lovely property
The excitement of the day came at the last lock - this family decided to try and join us in the lock. Dad was around as well, but at this point was busy hissing at Monty. It took a lot of banging of windlasses on the lock gate and many shouts of 'shoo' from the Captain and I to persuade them to go back and leave us alone.
Before we knew it we were going under the bridge that carries the Great North Road - now designated as a 'weak bridge' with a weight limit in place.
Past this house - is she finishing or starting that border? It must be like the Forth Bridge - a never ending job
We were finally moored up at the visitor moorings at the Nene Valley Railway, Wansford.
Chris, Monty and I then headed out across the railway bridge to follow the Nene Way along the side of the railway track. The going was okay to start with
But it got considerably worse as we went along
Then better again
but then the going got so tough - really uneven surface, that we gave up and went back to the boat. Shortly after our return (about 18:30) nb Tess from Calcutt arrived and breasted up with us. They had come from Islip, having moored the night before at around 8pm. They were off again at 07:15 this morning! We are all so pleased we have the time to take this gently and enjoy the surrounding areas as well as the boating.
Friday 20th June - Three go to Wansford
But first an unexpected surprise, not one, but two school parties arrived at the picnic area where we are moored, dressed as 1940's evacuees complete with cardboard suitcases, gas mask bags, teddies etc. A quick talk by the teacher in charge and off they went to complete the school trip elsewhere.
Then Monty, Chris and I set off to Wansford along the Nene Way in the opposite direction to the one we took yesterday. Unfortunately Boatwif was unwell, so she and the Captain remained on board. The walk was going to be fairly long, but was it a good one? Well it was a bit like the curate's egg - good in parts. First the going was easy and we arrived in Sutton without any issues. This is The Grange complete with tennis court.
Past St Michael's and AllAngels
To this sports field - does anyone know what sport takes place here that needs a net and a hoop?
They expect spectators
It was here that we took the wrong path we think and Monty (after just 35 mins of chasing rabbits) gave up and threw himself into the long grass for a rest
He even drank lying down
We found ourselves having to go across a field with three horses and one in particular was very inquisitive
Monty, however, was completely relaxed despite the fact they were nose to nose at one point
The only way through the electric fence was round the pole at the end
On we went
Until we had to concede defeat, re-trace our steps and we did eventually find a better route alongside the river. Two downsides to the walk - inconsiderate people
and constant noise for quite a bit of the way from the A47
A bit further on we saw a sign to say that the Nene Way had been diverted and to look for signs - we did not see any and ended up here - definitely the wrong route! Chris is in there somewhere!
This looked better
but it bought us out to this pumping station which we had to walk round. We set off the intruder alert (you have been recognised as intruders please leave immediately), not once, but twice! If the blogs stop you know we are in custody!
Back onto the right track, which takes you along a lorry park
Across a picnic site with many waste bins - all over flowing
Until at last, after nearly two hours, we reached the outskirts of Wansford and the Church of St Mary the Virgin
Then into the main street - main it may be, but busy it isn't, to find this shop with this sign on the wall. Mr Google informed me that Tom Guy was a restaurateur that owned a place called Fiddlesticks, so we are assuming that this was the building that housed the restaurant.
This is where we were aiming for - the Paper Mills
Where we enjoyed a really excellent sandwich (but a bit pricey) in the lovely garden. Dogs are allowed in the bar and the garden
Refreshed and rested we continued on and just had to go and see where this led to
An intriguing sign
it led us on
to a cornucopia of delights
a garden to admire
and a 13 week old Wire Haired Terrier called Bingo. He was very nervous of Monty to start with, but they were soon nose to nose
Just as well we were not in the car, or Chris would have gone home with this croquet set (we don't have a big enough lawn!)
that becomes a push chair. I have to say that the mechanism that effects the change is a lot easier than some of our grandchildren's pushchairs we have done battle with over the last few years!
Then a quick stop for essential supplies
and off to take the short route home. We could not find the footpath we wanted, so ended up walking along the A1. Not the best of places, but it seemed safe enough despite the road being a lot busier than it appears in the photo
Then over the top of the A1 and right turn along the road
past the Stibbington Diner
Back to the boat. Not a pleasant trip, but a lot faster than the outwards route.
Next stop was a visit to the Nene Valley Railway
This was the first ever engine they bought - The City of Peterborough
and this the second - Jacks Green
This was under steam - we gather it is moving on tomorrow
A view of the original Station Building which they have purchased and are fund raising as it is in
need of a lot of renovation
Not just trains - also a London routemaster bus from the 60's - a blast from the past for me. Either the 126 or the 54 from Beckenham to Bromley
Does anyone watch 'Coronation Street'? This was the Pump Trolley that was used to get the bride to the ceremony when Hayley married Roy!
and finally to the workshop - where do you begin!
and so to bed after a fabulous sunset, which we hope means another lovely day tomorrow and that Boatwif is feeling better. At least with two boats it means we can continue on with her horizontal if need be. Next stop Ferry Meadows.
Stats to date: 133.75 miles 175 locks