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The 1998 Cruise

Harefield Marina to March and back. Grand Union Canal inc. Northampton Arm. Northampton Westbridge Arm to Council Depot, River Nene to Dog-In-A-Doublet Sluice, Middle Level 20ft River and Bevill's Leam.

 


We are just coming out of the little entrance cut at the bottom of the Rothersthorpe flight. The River Nene runs is the distance, left to right.

Looking back at Rothersthorpe Bottom Lock No17. Northampton Arm, Grand Union Canal.

We are just turning to go up the River Nene, from the Northampton Arm. Northampton. Carlsberg Chemical factory on far bank.

Looking down the River Nene to Northampton Bridge, from the junction.

Going up the River Nene, the Westbridge Arm is to the right.

We have just started up the Westbridge Arm. Carlsberg Brewery site to right. We found that the navigation channel is hard to right, by pilings. First footbridge in distance to left.

We have just successfully navigated the first footbridge.

The first railway bridge.

The newish road bridge, built with insufficient water depth. Even "Beatty" with it's 25" draught bumped over the bridge foundations.

We have successfully bumped our way through this bridge. 

The straight section between the railway bridges, surprisingly clear of rushes. Pizza Hut to left.

We have just come to the end of the straight section. Underneath the footbridge we got stuck on two supermarket trolleys that we were unable to remove. We managed to go round them. Also here we got a large piece of rotten carpet round the prop.

At the end of the straight. Here there is an old wharf (to left) and a Winding point (60ft at a push). Second railway bridge is to the left. 

Passing under the second railway bridge. In distance is an old tree bough swept down in last years floods.

We ram the tree trunk and it splits in two!

The sharp corner by the council depot.

We just get under the council depot bridge then grind to a halt. "Beatty" still in gear!

The next bridge is tantalisingly close, but this was to be our limit of navigation. Even with depth of water you would be had pushed to get a 50ft narrowboat round this corner.

John Fleming whizzing away at Elton Lock's over geared paddles. River Nene.

"Elton" John. John F. wanted me to film this.

The entrance to the Middle Levels under the railway bridge. This is the top navigable section of Morton's Leam, which was the original course of the River Nene, before it meandered back inland towards Yaxley. You skirt round Stanground until you come to Stanground Lock where you lock down to King's Dyke. Peterborough, River Nene.

The start of our cruise down to the tidal  Dog-In-A-Doublet Lock. River Nene, Peterborough.

John F. steering, putting "Beatty" through it's paces after it's earlier overheating problems. The de-restricted mile, just below Peterborough, River Nene.

The kink in the other wise straight drain half way between Peterborough and Dog-In-A-Doublet. (Well even a bend is exciting around here!) River Nene, new outfall channel.

The final straight. The spec in the distance is Dog-In-A-Doublet Sluices.

Approaching  Dog-In-A-Doublet Sluice. The white building is the pub of the same name (This was here first). Short landing stage for lock to left. River Nene New Outfall Channel, end of the non tidal section. 

Walking up to the Sluice.

The "Dog-In-A-Doublet" pub.

Looking down stream from the sluice. Tide out, Guyhirn in the distance.

Looking back at the sluice from the tidal side.

"Beatty" on the waiting pontoon at Dog-In-A-Doublet Sluice

Close up of the sluice, showing the top, middle and bottom guillotines. 

Dog-In-A-Doublet sluice was 50 years old in 1987.

The Middle Level. We are on Whittlesey Dyke, heading in the direction of March. Cross roads at Angle Corner Bridge. 20ft River under bridge to left and Bevill's Leam to right.

We have just started up Bevill's Leam in driving rain.

On the approach to Pondersbridge. Bevill's Leam, Middle Level.

Pondersbridge. Bevill's Leam, Middle Level.

Tebbit's Bridge. The end at Bevill's Leam Pumping Station in distance. The lens could not be kept dry even for a few seconds!

Bevill's Leam Pumping Station. You could wind a 60ft narrowboat here. Bevill's Leam, Middle Level.

Back at Angle Corner Bridge Junction. We are heading straight on, onto the 20ft River. The weather has cheered up a bit, but is still windy. Middle Level.

View behind of Infields Bridge (The last one on the first straight). This is one of the three lowest bridges on the navigable bits of the Middle Levels. (1.80m, "Beatty" is 1.78m to top of front roof fender mount, with cratch removed.)

The first railway bridge. The track is now lifted over this bridge, to the right is the remains of the huge March marshalling yard. Middle Level.

The second railway bridge, 20ft River, Middle Level.

Ahead is the end of the 20ft River, at 20ft at twenty Foot End. This makes a "T" junction with River Nene Old Course, just to the East of March.

 


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