Friday, 2 November 2012

Wartime Kennet and Avon

It was a fairly long day today (that’s the consequence of too many short days!).  We left Kintbury at 8:30 this morning and moored up in Thatcham at 4 o’clock – stopping in Newbury for an hour to get provisions and a pasty for lunch.  However, we had a great run – the weather stayed dry again and the sun shone quite often.

One thing that can’t be ignored when travelling on the Kennet and Avon are the large number of  World War 2 pillboxes - every quarter of a mile in some cases.  They were built in expectation of a German invasion where the waterways (rivers and canals) where deemed just as viable a route for enemy troops as roadways.  The K and A was designated a Blue line defence by the government of the day.


A World War II bunker (or pillbox) next to the canal.


Our first lock (Dreweat’s Lock No 79) was having major renovations carried out on the nearby culvert.  As there was no lock landing available ‘Chance’ got well and truly caught up in the “heavy plant” as the wind blew us onto the equipment while waiting for the lock to fill.


The next lock was very different – total serenity!  Very much in the middle of nowhere we enjoyed the surroundings of this lock on our outward journey as well as today.


We are taking part in our own “Autumn Watch” every day and today was no exception – this Kingfisher was sitting on the lock gate when we arrived at Hampstead Lock.  Added to this we saw several more Kingfishers plus Red Kite, Herons, Cormorants and Kestrels.  The wildlife on the K & A is amazing!


Another lurker – no not Doug, the pillbox!


Heading towards Newbury we pass under the A34 – a road we use quite a lot (when we’re not boating) and we always watch out for the canal when we pass over it.


A nice approach to Newbury. 

After a stop off in Newbury we continued for a couple of hours and moored up at Thatcham for the night.

IMG_0319cChance in turf  lock at Monkey Marsh (an artistic impression!)


A ‘Chance’ sunset.

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