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

Thursday 7 August 2014

Latton Lock (Stort Navigation) – Wednesday 6th August

I woke up grumpy :-(  I couldn’t get to sleep last night and was up playing on the computer until 1.30am when I finally felt sleepy.  It had also rained during the night which had disturbed me.

The rain was supposed to be set in for the morning but when we woke it was a lovely day.  I had planned to do all sorts as we weren’t moving on but Itchy Feet decided that we would move on.  At Hundsden Mill Lock Muffin found a Jack Russell to play with and they went berserk – actually keeping away from the lock edge for once. 

Hunsden Mill Lock
Next it was Parndon Mill Lock where the old mill is now a centre for creative activity. Since the sixties it has been occupied by artists and craftsmen who have gradually restored the premises.  The history of Parndon Mill goes back some time. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Successive buildings have stood on the site, milling flour from the grain grown on the rich farmland around. Flour can be very combustible and there have been numerous fires over the years, the last one in 1895 destroyed the mill. Construction on the current building was completed in 1900. A state of the art flat turbine mill wheel was installed in 1904. It is still in position in the wheelhouse, but stopped turning in 1960 when the well-respected miller Neville Smith died.

Also at Parndon Lock are two interesting artefacts.  One is the sculpture, "Flowing Onwards", by Angela Godfrey in 2007 and the other is “Over The Weir” a footbridge by Alan Freeman and Karen Murphy.  Each glass element is cast from specific items that were found in the vicinity of the bridge; including both natural flora as well as manmade objects that relate to the mill and the lock.
"Flowing Onwards"
"Over the Weir" 

Glass elements in the bridge

Burnt Mill Lock doesn’t have room for traditional balance beams at the bottom end so the bottom gates are now electric but the rest is done by hand.  Just after the lock is the Moorhen pub and as it was passed lunchtime we pulled over and had lunch which wasn’t brilliant. 

We availed ourselves of the services at Moorhen Marina and then continued on our way.  Knowing that mooring can be a problem along the Stort, not so much continuous moorers (oops I’m not allowed to mention them anymore) but the fact that you can’t get the boat into the bank, we found a small stretch of Armco and chained up to that.  The fact that the concrete works was behind the trees on the opposite bank was irrelevant – we had a good mooring!  However the trees and the works scuppered our TV signal so we settled down to watch “12 Years a Slave”.  It was a good film but both us found it quite difficult to understand what they were saying from time to time – are we just getting old??!

Our mooring

2.95 miles
3 locks

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