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Monday, October 30, 2006


From below Marsworth bottom lock 39 the canal climbs 42` through 7 locks within a mile. The last of these locks is Bulbourne jct. where the Wendover Arm leaves the Gd. Union.
The arm is being restored by the Wendover Arm Trust. About 1 1/2 miles is navigable from the Gd. Union and it is from here the trust is restoring the canal to join up with the 4 miles that is in water going into Wendover Basin.
Bulbourne Jct. is the dry dock of Bates Boatbuilders where "maid of Oak" was fitted out. This narrowboat as it`s name suggests is made of wood and is the first wooden narrowboat to be built for some 40 plus years. The hull was built at Bates yard on the Aylesbury Arm and the oak used came from Luton Hoo estate in Luton.
I last saw this boat at Crick in May and was given a guided tour by Julie who together with husband Peter are the proud owners.
The boat uses hydraulics powered from the engine located half way down the the boat on the port side. The result is an almost silent boat gliding through the water.
Just along from the junction stands the British Waterways Bulbourne Workshops. In years gone by lock gates were made here. Alongside the workshops 2 sets of gates were loaded ready for water transport to Ivinghoe and i believe Bulbourne to be fitted during the coming winter maintenance programme. I guess they arrived by road from another BW workshop but could not find anyone to verify this.
Bates Boatbuilders dry dock at Bulbourne.

The wooden narrowboat "Maid of Oak"

Extra large windows on "Maid of Oak"

British Waterways Bulbourne Workshops.

New lock gates ready for installation during winter stoppages.

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NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs