Saturday, 25 March 2017

Edstone (ice creams and travelling with eyes closed)

On Friday morning Karen and I went for a walk with Buddy to Wootton Wawen.  First we crossed Edstone aqueduct and on the far side came across a pile of stanking planks.  These are ones that are used for stanking the aqueduct when it needs draining for repair or inspection.

A previously unspotted stanking plank store

We couldn’t believe that we have cruised and walked past here so many times but never noticed the store.  This was especially ironic as I said in yesterday’s blog entry that the only store remaining on the Stratford canal is at the boat yard in Wootton Wawen.

We are moored at the south end of the Edstone aqueduct by the “20 miles from Kings Norton” mile marker.  Another thing I mentioned yesterday was that we couldn’t find the 19 mile marker but we found it yesterday, hidden under undergrowth up a steep bank.

The missing 19 mile marker
Thinking about it the old GWR 19 mile marker I showed in yesterday's blog must have been the 19 1/2 mile marker.  It certainly felt like half way between he 19 and 20 markers to both of us.

After another ½ mile we turned off the towpath to follow a public footpath through some woods and across the fields into the village.  The first field had been converted to separate paddocks using electric fencing and it seemed odd that there was no way across – we weren’t happy getting Buddy through an electric fence as he gets so easily spooked.  We found a way round in the end even if it meant walking through the grounds of a large manor house.

As it was so warm we bought ice creams and sat watching the world go by for a while.

Our first ice creams of the year

We walked on a little further out the other side of Wootton Wawen and then re-joined the canal.  As we walked over the smaller aqueduct in the village we spotted yet another pile of stanking planks that we hadn’t seen before.  These were on the offside on private property so were clearly safe.  I couldn’t believe that we had obviously passed three different things in the past and not noticed them.

Planks for stanking the south side of Wootton Wawen aqueduct

For another gorgeously sunny day there was unfortunately still a chilly wind so yet another day has gone by without seeing our first butterfly of the year.  I don’t have records going back 50 years from when I was first interested (I wish I did) but I doubt there have been many, if any, years where it has been this late in the year before seeing my first.
Saturday promises to be another sunny day so our current plan is to cycle the five miles into Stratford on Avon and have a picnic by the river.

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