So there we were on the Itchen Navigation somewhere between Shawford and Compton Lock with a bull blocking the path ahead. Just as we were about to turn around and walk back to Shawford to catch the train home the bull took a few steps, reaching for some more succulent leaves. Suddenly there was a gap between his huge posterior and the edge of the path. It wasn’t the widest gap and, being mostly filled by bull, it looked a little dicey but it was now or never.
I turned to CJ and said, “let’s go. Quickly but don’t run.” Continue reading The final miles
If summer 2015 had a lesson for me it seemed to be that I should take a closer look at the places I thought I knew well. There certainly turned out to be a few surprises in store when I did. I also learned that the best way to find something was to stop looking for it when my frustratingly unsuccessful cygnet hunt came to an unexpected end. Continue reading 2015 new places and new things in old places
Back in March I paid my first visit to the viaduct and, as CJ loves all things train, I was sure he would like it. Before long we were walking up the slope and CJ, his walking stick still in his hand, looked ahead and said “cinders and ashes,” quoting Thomas The Tank Engine I believe. We set off across the viaduct with me pointing out the benches and the lovely colourful woodcarvings in the shelters where the linesmen would have stood to let trains go past. Continue reading Viaducts and more dredgers
Pretty soon we were back to where we would have been without the castle detour, looking over Blackbridge at the wharf that is the start of the Itchen Navigation. The river still looked very low to me and it wasn’t long before we found out why. I’d been hoping to take CJ over the 1760’s built Wharf Bridge, the oldest bridge on the waterway, and onto the Navigation path as far as Tunbridge. When we walked onto Domum Road the gate to the bridge was barred and a sign told us the river was being dredged. I couldn’t help thinking that dredging equipment was going to make a real mess of an already uneven and at times precarious path. Continue reading Plague pits, locked gates and dredgers