I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Friday, 8 August 2014

Bishop’s Stortford (Stort Navigation) – Thursday 7th August

Another bad night – but not as bad as the night before.

We had rain during the night and woke up to a lovely sunny morning.  Our first lock was Latton Lock where there was another sculpture – The Mill by Nicola Burrell.  There are five sculptures in total but I have only noticed three – I will look out for the other two on our way back.

"The Mill"
At Sheering Mill Lock I found another lock cottage with the red hand on it.  Fortunately there was an information sign at the lock which also mentioned the red hand and says it’s the red hand of Ulster which is in the badge of Sir George Duckett, co-founder of the Stort Navigation.  Strange as when I looked at the coat of arms I didn’t see it – maybe I found a different Duckett but at least it answers my question!

Sheering Mill Lock Cottage
Sawbridgeworth Lock is very attractive with lovely lockside cottages and a perfectly manicured lock side!

Sawbridgeworth Lock
Spellbrook Lock was interesting as just before it is the lowest bridge on the navigation.  The chimney was already down as there are other low bridges but this time we had to take the solar lights out of the plant pots and also take the two geranium plants off the roof as they would have been decapitated – the other plants went through with only a bit of a hair-cut!  Also in the lock Richard had to go down the weed hatch but it was only a plastic bag with masses of weed attached to it.

Richard down the weedhatch
We were soon up in Bishop’s Stortford and I was very disappointed.  Dot and Gordon had warned us about the Allinsons mill which works 24/7 and is right beside the river but they had told us to wind and back up to the bridge at the top of the navigation if possible and that spot was empty so we did as we had been told!  The local Council has done nothing to make the moorings boat friendly – overgrown and just dull.  Hertford was so lovely – I do feel that a town’s moorings influence the way you feel about a place.  I love the Stort but when a downtrodden mooring awaits you at the end it doesn’t make me want to come back – a great shame.  However having said all that once you get away from the moorings and into the town it does seem to be nice and clean with masses of flowers everywhere.

Bishop's Stortford moorings
At Twyford Lock we had met a lady who insisted that we go to The Star in Bishop’s Stortford as there is a nice garden and does good food.  So off we toddled.  The garden is a typical town garden and food was dreadful!  I had an overcooked burger and the ham in Richard’s ham, egg and chips was typical supermarket plastic ham – either we caught them on a bad night or the lady’s tastes are very different to ours!  We popped into Sainsburys on the way back to Mary H and I stocked up on the heavy things – Doombar, Stella and Coca Cola (that’s mine!!!!).  I will have to go back in the morning for the fresh food but it’s only a few minute’s walk from the boat.

8.17 miles
9 locks

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