journeying inland by boat

11. Inlanding to London – 1989

Grand Union

Day 11. Soulbury Three Locks to Marsworth Junction

12 miles – 13 locks – 8 hours

Todays entry in my 1989 Journal is titled ‘A Hill Climb by Water’… after leaving Soulbury Locks 

1950’s, image of the Three Locks, in working trim…

the canals meanders for a while, as it’s done for much of the last few days, beneath hump-backed bridges across open countryside, and then a gentle ascent begins; from Leighton Buzzard…

nb. Lyra entering Leighton Buzzard, 1970’s…
Grove Church Lock…
A series of images of nb. Bilster being loaded above Grove Lock, I think in the 1970’s…

to Slapton Lock – the locks keep coming at regular intervals, Horton, the couple at Ivinghoe (below),

the three at Seabrook (above) and finally  Marsworth’s couple (below) before I moor at the junction, tempted by a return to narrow locks and a diversion down the Aylesbury Arm.

[2011 note]

By this point, coming up for two weeks into my journey from Trent Lock to London, the journal entries reflect the calming effect of canal meandering, what I now tend to call ‘inlanding’, here’s a couple of quotes to illustrate the point…

“A lovely holidaying family give me a mug of tea and a bit of cake, we share the steady uphill climb, I’m ridiculously touched, feel bonded to them, smile as they weave back and forth across the cut collecting fishing tackle from the hawthorns that line the banks…”

“Marsworth feels oddly exposed, upland even, the canal is tending to give me an exaggerated sense of the rise and fall of the landscape, or perhaps it’s a more realistic sense of the pitch and roll of the landscape, whatever it is, in my minds eye I’m close to the top of the mountain just now; it’s all the kind of thing that’s evened out in the unnatural bubble of a car traveling.”

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The September Selection
  • THANKS for the positive comments on the 'new-look' rebuilt site.
  • With the children on holiday, posts are likely to be sporadic for a few weeks.
  • Have a GRAND summer, best wishes Nick.
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