Thursday 10 May 2018

Kingswood Junction

Today's canals - Stratford, Grand  Union

The day was again bright and sunny although a fair breeze kept temperatures at a level more suited to working locks than sunbathing! We have also decided on a rather slow few days and so only set ourselves a target of reaching Kingswood Junction where the Stratford connects to the Grand Union.

We also enjoyed a slow start although this gave Mike the opportunity to take a further look around the immediate vicinity including the tiny St Luke's church. Perhaps unsurprisingly it was closed and the noticeboard suggested that only one service a month is held here. At other times, villagers have to travel two miles to Rowington!

A better picture than yesterday evening of the characteristic lock cottage at Lowsonford, now Landmark Trust. A young family were enjoying their holiday here.

There are no shops in the village now - not even sure whether there were any in times past as the population seems quite small - the whole civil parish has just over 900 population. There used to be a Post Office (which at one time gave its name to the nearby lock). However,there is now a modern village hall.

Eventually we set off. At first the locks are spread out and we took it in turns to work the gates and paddles but after passing under a motorway they became closer, easy walking distance so that Christine walked ahead to empty a lock, open the gate and stat to full before moving on to the next, leaving Mike to complete the process and shut the top gate afterwards.

At Lock 28 the same gongoozlers that we spotted last trip on he way down engaged Mike in friendly conversation.

The cottage at Dicks Lane Lock has the same barrel roof as all of the others but at some point it seems to have been an excuse for building a house that extended it several times over!

By mid day we arrived at the top lock where we used the full range of services and then moved on to the junction, though the narrow link, and then reversing back a short distance up the Grand Union to the one remaining slot on the 48 hour mooring closer to the village bridge.

After lunch Mike walked to the village shop where he was able to pick up their last copy of our newspaper. He then continued in a round trip to walk back down the towpath to Kingswood, passing a few locks and the former canal workshop and wharf.

A small picnic area has some interesting and individual benches each made from reclaimed wood with carved backs.

The rest of the day? We did very little indeed!

At the end of the afternoon, Christine went for a walk to the road bridge and took some photos of the wisteria and lilac that adorn the Navigation Inn.

2.5 Miles - 9 Locks

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