Thursday, 18 July 2013

Paxton Pits Thursday 18 July 2013

We were away at 7-30 AM , it was debatable which way we were going, we considered going back to Kempston to get in those last few yards that we failed to do as I didn’t actually run aground. In the end we decided that was silly and carried on down stream. I shot a piece of video of Castle Mill Lock filling to show the turbulence .

Castle Mill Lock filling

You can see the Penstocks (side paddles) in this photograph. Left is to fill and right to empty.DSCF2898 This photograph shows the down stream buoys that indicate where the shoal is, except it comes well past the line. Boats going upstream are instructed to stop at the bottom of the lock landing to allow boats coming down to clear the lock and shoal.DSCF2899 A short way downstream is Castle Mill Viaduct that takes the A421 over the river. Note the water line on the pillars.DSCF2901

Our next stop was behind Gt Barford Mill island, we had planned to stop here last night. The reason for the stop was I wanted to photograph the old lock. You may recall last time I visited I didn’t have a camera with me. I thought that the lock was unusual as the top edge of the lock is straight but the bottom is a series of concaves with what looks to have been a balk of timber where each concave meets. I don’t know of another lock of this construction. Maybe it should be a listed structure.DSCF2903 Moored behind the island we found Stewart and Angie on NB Corib who we had moored against at Paxton Pits last Saturday so of course we stopped a bit.
The next obstacle was Gt Barford bridge, lots of boats hit the down stream arch. DSCF8605 Its not at right angles to the river so required getting over to the left and coming back to centre as you pass through, optically its challenging as the upstream side of the arch in much larger than the down stream side and on top of that the up stream arch is slightly larger, so I went through the wrong one.

At Little Barford there is a rather strange bridge crossing a side channel. I am in two minds as to if its some sort of lift bridge, or some bit of machinery that has been pressed into service as a bridge.DSCF2909

We stopped at St Neots to take on water, there were only 2 boats on the park and one on the pontoons so very quiet again, of course the youngsters were swimming from the pontoon as well as any other vantage point they could find, but none were causing problems.

We carried on downstream, until now water flows have been at the lowest we have experienced, however when we passed the end of St Neots weir stream there was a good flow coming out, I don’t know where it was coming from unless it was a reservoir as there was hardly anything going over Eaton Socon. We planned to stop at Paxton Pits and we were in luck with the mooring vacant, we had not been here long when a cruiser tucked in behind us for the night.

The moorings are opposite the East Coast railway line and this afternoon the trains are averaging 20 per hour, thank goodness its less at night.


Baz said...

Aldermaston Lock on the K&A has sides which are a series of shallow concave brick panels separated by baulks of timber, but this treatment goes all the way up - it doesn't blend into a straight side - so the edge of the lock is wavy. I have sometimes idly wondered whether the limited strengthening benefits of the series of shallow 'arches' justified the complexities of construction but my mind has soon turned to making sure I don't step off the counter where there is a big gap.

Unknown said...

Hi Brian,

Unless I'm mistaken the funny bridge you refer to is not at little Barford.
It is in fact at Roxton just below the lock where the river Ivel enters the Gt Ouse.
The Ivel used to be navigable at least as far as Jordans mill at Broom.
Jordans are famous for their cereals and cereal bars.

************** Brian and Diana on NB Harnser******** Maps by said...

Mark, you could well be right, it can be difficult to guess where you are sometimes.

************** Brian and Diana on NB Harnser******** Maps by said...

Baz I have seen that lock, but never one like this before

************** Brian and Diana on NB Harnser******** Maps by said...

Mark I think it was between Tempsford and Wyboston Google map reference 52.182642,-0.294277

Unknown said...

Brian, I could be wrong as its about 7 years since I last navigated that section.
If you look on Google earth just below Roxton lock you can see the bridge that I thought it was, crossing the Ivel.

I'm happy to stand corrected though.

************** Brian and Diana on NB Harnser******** Maps by said...

From the timing on the photo it was an hour and a half downstream from the old lock /mill island at Gt Barford. I think the cut you are talking about comes in directly below the lock, if so it definitely was not that one as EA were up there in their weedcutter boats.