May 27

Bedford. We made it all the way to Bedford, and have thoroughly enjoyed the River Great Ouse. Wildlife, blossoms, lots of things to see along the low bank river: we’ve had a great journey.

I rang last night in Great Barford. We had moored there on the village green, and checked out the village. The church was reported to have 5 bells, cast during the reign of Charles I, and then retuned and rehung in 1905. However, no practice day was listed, and there was a notice on the church door that there would be no service this coming Sunday. Then, and 1945, one bell started ringing, and obviously not the clock. I wandered over and they had three ringers with two additional learners. They are trying to get a band together to ring regularly. I was invited in, and rang lots of plain hunt and rounds on 4 with the two learners getting lots of rope time. The ropes are long draught: about 20m, so handling carefully was the order of the day.

We are going into Bedford today by foot to explore, and check out the train station in preparation for departure tomorrow at 0730. I’ve had a great time, and hope that Chuck and Lois (mom and dad!) have also had a relaxing, no-stress chance to experience the waterways of East Anglia. We weren’t bored: 180 miles, 87 locks and one tunnel, made lots to see and do. Many of the big locks have electric guillotine gates (slow but no effort required) with a few that were fast- but really heavy. All in a day on the waterways.

About Ed Mortimer

I'm a retired school teacher, now living on my narrowboat in Britain. I'm touring as much of the canal and river system as I can. This blog describes what I do and where I've been
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