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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fenny Stratford to The Globe Inn.

Thursday 26th March.

Fenny Stratford to The Globe Inn North of Leighton Lock, 6.2 miles and 5 locks.

It had not been our intention to move today, as the weather forecast had said that today was going to be dire, but having woken up to a dry, reasonably bright morning, with little wind, we thought we would make the most of the day, as the weather at the moment is so unpredictable. Having decided to move, I walked down to Roy to let him know of our plans, he was staying put for the day as he wanted to walk into the town. 9.20am we slipped our mooring. I walked ahead and prepared the lock with Roy’s help, we then emptied the toilet cassette at the sanitary station below the lock before heading off into the wide blue yonder.It is always amazing when you revisit places to see that changes have taken place. The biggest change was at Soulbury Three Locks and the Three Locks Inn.
On the 19th November last year when the photo above was taken, I said in a posting the Three Locks Inn, was looking a little sad these days. It could do with a paint job outside and the broken seating replaced, not to mention all the odd curtains up at the windows. It is a shame to see it looking so forlorn, even since earlier in the year it has gotten in a visibly worse condition. Well someone must have heard me because the Three Locks Inn has become The Grand Union and is undergoing a total overhaul.All the old doors and windows are being replaced, the old place is going to look absolutely fabulous when finished. They have put in a new decked area for seating by the bottom lock as well. We certainly look forward to seeing it when it is finished. It is quite an undertaking in these uncertain times for pubs, but clearly someone thinks that the place is worth a go. As I prepared the first lock an ex-challenger boat was in the top lock, coming down, there were also a dozen British Waterways workers around the locks, with paint scrapers, wire brushes and paint brushes in their hands. The Soulbury Locks were also getting a makeover. This was all very fine and dandy, but it did mean I had to watch where I put my hands and feet. I am not sure it was the best day to be doing paintwork, with rain forecast, but I guess no day is really a good day, when this sort of work needs to be done. There was no shortage of water, it poured over the top gates, whilst Keith waited for me to operate the paddles.We slipped out of the lock, as the ex-challenger boat slipped in and I walked onto the second lock. We passed the time of day with the British Waterways work party as we entered the third lock chamber. There was no shortage of helpers to open and close the gates.We left them to their painting and made our way to our destination of The Globe Inn. The scenery is wide and varied, with some lovely views along the valley, as we followed the River Ouzel closely. At times we were joined by the railway. We arrived at The Globe Inn at 12.30pm and moored up outside of the pub, just past Bridge 111. We were last here on the 19th November, when we ate in the pub. We remember it because they were putting up the Christmas decorations around us. The oldest parts of the Inn were originally the farmhouse and stables, when the canal was built it was converted in to an inn to serve the boaters and licenced in 1830. Near Bridge 111, over £2 ½ million disappeared in 20 minutes during the Great Train Robbery, on the evening of August 7th 1963. The train carrying the bank notes was taking them to be destroyed, but the robbers had other ideas and as they say the rest is history. We had stopped just right, because the weather really began to close in, with heavy rain falling for a while.


Anonymous said...

I think you'll find the that any connection between Bridge 111 or the Globe Inn is a figment of someone's imagination... If you stop at the Grove Lock pub a little further south of Leighton Buzzard you will indeed be near the location of the Great Train Robbery, which it is said was centered around Bridego Bridge under the railway at Ledburn where the swag was loaded into the robber's vehicles.

Keith Lodge said...

Hello Anonymous. The details given were what I have read in the Nicholsons guide to the waterways. You may well be correct, but I can only go on what I have read. Thank you for posting.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't have access to the Nicholsons guide, but I do know that any tenuous links to the Great Train Robbery that may perhaps be claimed by the Globe Inn are false, because it is miles away from where it all happened! I know that area of the country very well.

Try this link for hopefully more accurate info about the so-called Great Train Robbery:

By the way, Keith and Jo, please don't take my comments the wrong way, I love your blog, envy your lifestyle, and wish you all the best of luck in your travels. Sharing your journey with us this way is terrific - you make desk-bound wage slaves like me wish so much that we could be doing it too!

Keith Lodge said...

Hi John. I also thank you for the link giving details of the robbery. I appreciate your effort in supplying us with the information.
We certainly have not taken your comments in the wrong way. Getting fed back is always appreciated. We am pleased you enjoy our blog. It is a fabulous way of life for us, but it is not for everyone. I hope your week at work is not to strenuous. Jo