Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Braunston (family visitor week)

This is going to be a busy week.  Jo is down from Edinburgh uni for a few days and Polly is coming up on Thursday as she and I are off to Yorkshire to visit my parents on Friday.  Steve is also coming on Thursday for a sleepover as he has meetings in Birmingham.

Last weekend Karen and I took a few walks to decide where to move to next but first I took her on a walk to Flecknoe which is a village that had taken my fancy last week as a place to retire to.  Karen really liked it too and was tickled by this bit of gardening.

Interesting addition to garden wall in Flecknoe

There are quite a few unclassified roads in this area that cross the canal often the bridges provide ideal places to park the car and boat.

Unadopted road near Nethercote

Unfortunately when this lane met the canal it was far too muddy for the car – a pity we don’t still have the Defender.

Where unadopted road meets the canal - too muddy to park our car

Now the weather has become warmer we tend to have the side hatches open during the day but it does mean you have to keep things out of reach of the swans.

Swan hoping to grab some food

These three ducks are constantly round our boat – seems a bit odd at this time of year but she is quite content to have two males with her and they never seem to fight.

The male mallard on the right bears the marks of being attacked on his chest (it wasn't Buddy)

One of the two males that have made our boat their territory

On one of our walks we followed a bit more of the original line of the Oxford canal and found another section still in water…

Section of original Oxford canal still in water
…and this line of trees marking the route across a field.

The line of the old canal running across a field

This is bridge 100 on the Oxford canal which looks a bit precarious.  The numbering starts at 1 at Hawkesbury junction (where it joins the Coventry canal) and ends at 243 at Isis lock in the middle of Oxford.  The whole canal is 77 miles in length and also has 46 locks.

Bridge 100 on the Oxford canal

One evening we took a walk along the Grand Union up to the tunnel at Braunston which is over 2,000 yards long.  Not sure why Karen took this picture but I’ve included it anyway.

The western portal of Braunston tunnel on the Grand Union canal

We passed a mile marker a mile out of Braunston which reminded us that the Grand Union has iron mile markers all the way from Brentford to Birmingham and also along its various arms.  The stretch between Brentford and Braunston is 94 miles long and the markers count down (or up) the distance to (or from) Braunston.  This stretch was the original Grand Junction canal, hence the GJC on the mile marker.  The Grand Union canal company was formed in 1929 and combined several canals such as the Regents, Erewash, Loughborough, Leicester and Grand Junction canals to create what is now known as the Grand Union canal.

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