After a few days it came to our attention that an emergency had closed the Marsworth lock flight just a half mile ahead. This gave us little concern as the planned stoppage at Milton Keynes does not finish until mid March so there is no rush.
The building to the left of the bridge was built as a toll house for the canal company in the early mid 1800`s. Over to the right is a wet dock built over an old single lock that was widened when the building was erected. Most of the locks from here all the way to
Stoke Breurne had a single lock built
alongside the original double one to save water and speed traffic along.
All the way down to the bottom lock, pictured right, you will notice the extra space on the off side where the now in filled single locks were. The exception is the second lock down (44) that has a cottage very close to the double lock.
The explanation for this is the extra locks were built between 1835-39 and not used for long. In the picture on the right dated 1900 the single lock gates have been removed The cottage bears the date 1909 and looking at it I would guess the single lock is underneath the front garden.
Now a look at the problem with the lock.
The anchor plate is set in concrete holding the gate collar firmly in place. These are adjustable to aid a watertight seal down the post.
On the right an old gate collar from the Ohio and Erie canal.
The lock is now open but wide beams need the assistance because of the strapped gate. To be quite honest the lock should have been closed to all traffic to allow the concrete to set. There`s a lot of pressure on those gates when the lock fills and I just hope the neat job done by contractors is not weakened, time will tell.
So time to walk down the Marsworth flight and find Tom and Jan on Nb Waiouru. They had intended to go down the Aylesbury arm but ice at the time delayed that and as time was short for their intended plans, Aylesbury remains on the `to do` list.
They did get through the stoppage and we had an evening together with George and Carol on Still Rocking.
We have now gone down through the Marsworth locks with the help of Carol and George and will spend a few days by the reservoirs before getting a Tesco delivery and heading out into the countryside.