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Monthly Archives: APRIL 2018

MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2018

Saturday 28th April Walk Report.

15 walkers set off from Blisworth for what turned out to be a challenging walk!  The plan was to walk along the footpath which heads over the Blisworth canal tunnel to Stoke Bruerne and then back on the other side over the fields. 

The weather forecasted occasional light showers.  This turned out to be rather inaccurate as it rained continuously all day.  This, added to the previous 36 hours of rain, turned the footpaths into streams, ponds and a complete quagmire in places!   The walkers slipped and paddled on without grumbling with five people finding themselves sitting in the mud at some point.  However, there was another problem as after about twenty minutes walking they encountered a heard of cows, their calves and a large bull in the middle of the narrow footpath.   There was no way round possible and after a few minutes of arm waving and shouting they conceded that in this stand off the walkers were the losers!  They reversed back to join the road and made a deviation.

Work began on the Blisworth tunnel in 1793 and is 3km in length.  It was dug by hand claiming the lives of 19 navvies over the years.   Originally the only methods of travel through the tunnel was by ‘legging’ where men lay on their backs on top of the narrowboats and pushed the boats using their feet against the tunnel walls. In 1871 steam tugs were used and extra ventilation shafts were built.  These can be seen from the footpath running parallel to the tunnel. 

The tunnel emerges near Stoke Bruerne and the walkers made their way down the old tram path to the canal side.   The previous week when the walk had been recce’d had been sunny and the canal side was buzzing with visitors and trading boats.  Today in the dismal weather it was deserted which was disappointing.   Still, not to be daunted, most of the walkers headed to the pub where they enjoyed a good meal in the dry.  Some went to the café where the bacon buttie was excellent.  The canal museum is very interesting and worth a look round.   Outside the museum the Historic boat, Sculptor, is moored.  This war time working vessel was commissioned as a firefighting boat during the London Blitz based in Middlesex.  It now part of the museum.

After the break the walkers set off back to Blisworth following a route away from the tunnel line and over fields.  Much more mud was to follow but luckily no more cattle.  Some animals were seen away in a distant field.  It can only be presumed that many people need a visit to an optician as there was considerable debate whether they were Alpaca, llama or even deer!

A large solar farm had been installed over several fields.  Not much power being generated today!

The weary eventually arrived back at Blisworth at 3.30pm after an eventful and testing walk.

The leaders would like to thank them all for being to patient, stoical and cheerful despite the conditions.  Also for walking so conscientiously on the rather long stretch of road that we were forced into doing.   

Thanks to Sue and Peter H for their heroic efforts in leading this walk under the prevailing conditions and to the walkers who were undaunted by a little drop of rain. Thanks also to Sue H for providing this report and the pictures below.


                                          N.B. Sculptor

                                        Soggy Swan.

The rice harvest looks a bit iffy this year.

posted by CHANGERINGER on  April 30, 2018 9:14  under Walk Reports

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19th April 2018 Walk Report.

On by far the hottest day of the year so far 26 walkers gathered in the car park of the Black Horse at Nassington ready for a five mile walk.
A variety of warm weather fashion was on display including a pair of khaki shorts which had probably last seen the light of day at El Alamein in 1942.

Our route took us past the parish church where a magnificent Magnolia was in full flower.
An easy walk across some fields led us to a bridge crossing the old Market Harborough to Peterborough railway line then to Ring Haw Field Centre which is run by the Wildlife Trust. 
This building was at one time the weighbridge/office from when the area was extensively quarried for both ironstone and limestone to feed the blast furnaces at various steelworks including Corby.

A nice steady pull up a gentle slope on a good track took us across old workings past banks of primulas.

After a short road stretch we entered Sulehay Woods and found some shade from the relentless sun. 
The Bluebells were just starting to appear and in another week or so will make a brilliant display.
Our break was taken over looking an old sand quarry where the chairman had to remind members that the club's liability insurance does not cover skinny dipping.

On leaving the woods a short road section took us to the outskirts of Yarwell then after a number of fields we passed under the old railway line which we had crossed earlier and back into Nassington.
On returning to the pub we slaked our thirsts and had an excellent lunch.

Thanks to Keith B and Lou L for organising and leading the walk.

posted by CHANGERINGER on  April 21, 2018 10:48  under Walk Reports

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FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2018

2018 London Walk Report

28 members (including three first timers) set off from Kettering station on the 8.26 Happy Wanderers Express bound for the annual London walk. They were met at St. Pancras by David and Sarah S and Ian B . Unfortunately Carna B was unable to join him as she was looking after her mother who had been in hospital.

Travelling by underground overground Wombling Free we arrived at Kew Bridge station and after a short walk we had a leisurely refreshment stop at the nearby Empire pub where we were joined by Sue and Peter H.

In brilliant Spring sunshine everyone opted to sit outside. What a change from all the recent rain

On leaving the pub our route took us towards the River Thames for a short stretch. The tidal nature of the Thames was very noticeable. Then via a number of streets to Brentford Dock and onto the Grand Union Canal where our walk started in earnest.

Our perambulation along the towpath was only slightly disturbed by numerous cyclists none of seemed to possess a bell.
A couple of nesting swans were observed en route.
A welcome rest was taken at a set of locks before proceeding to our end point at Hanwell Locks where some of the thirstier members availed them selves of the nearby Fox Inn.

London has a number of secret rivers and we then followed one of them namely the River Brent till we reached the Wharncliff Viaduct on the GWR mainline out of London. This is one of Brunel's lesser known masterpieces but is impressive never the less.
A short walk brought us to a bus stop close to Hanwell station where we took the bus to Northfields tube station for a bum numbing thirteen station underground ride to Russell Square.
Twas then but a short hop to the President Hotel for some well deserved pre-prandial refreshmentsand then the usual excellent three course meal with coffee.
Prior to the meal the Chairman offered a vote of thanks to Sue and Jem C and Ian and Carna B for all their hard work n organising and leading another excellent London walk.

Footsore but not downhearted we made our way back to St. Pancras by a somewhat circuitous route in some cases for the 20.01 train back to Kettering

posted by CHANGERINGER on  April 20, 2018 15:06  under Walk Reports

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London Walk Phot Request.

if anyone has any pictures from the London walk on Saturday that they would like to appear in the walk report could they send them to me at the usual email address please?
David H.

posted by CHANGERINGER on  April 17, 2018 7:16  under General

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Thursday 5th April 2018 Walk Report.

A terrific turnout of 34 including two visitors ( plus Harry their dog) met up in the car park adjacent to the Billing Mill pub on a gloriously sunny Spring morning.
The route took us along the River Nene the over the bridge to Clifton Mill then via a slight detour due to ground conditions up the hill to Little Houghton.

From the outskirts of the village there were terrific views over the Northampton Washlands and Northampton itself. Descending the hill we joined the Old Nene Valley railway line for a short distance before starting around the perimeter of the Washlands. This is a dual purpose nature reserve/ flood alleviation scheme where flood water from the Nene is fed into a vast basin to reduce excess flow downstream and when the river level has dropped water is fed out from the Washlands via sluice gates.

Shortly after our break we passed the carcass of a swan. On a happier note their were several live ones to be seen.

On completing the circuit we entered the mysterious world of moorings, backwaters, ponds, pools and paths of all descriptions which took us back to Billing Aquadrome which stretches for a very long distance which surprised many walkers.

On returning to the pub there was a fairly long wait to get drinks but the food actually came bit quicker than we had been advised it would be. The meal deals on offer were the best seen in a long time.
We were also joined for lunch by Margaret B.
Note to pub chain owners: during school holidays and with large parties booked in for meals why not put on a few more bar staff on to avoid queues?

Thanks to Sue and Peter H for organising and leading a brilliant walk and to Carna B for providing the pictures below.

       "And the award for the best view from a car park in Northamptonshire goes to....."

                                           Around the Washlands

                                               Tranquil Moorings

                                         Dog takes man for walk.

                                      A ghostly galleon amidst the floods.

posted by CHANGERINGER on  April 07, 2018 9:10  under Walk Reports

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 Thursday 6th January 2020 Walk Report. 

-February 16, 2020

 Pre ordering for 20th Feb Walk. 

-January 30, 2020

 AOB items for 2020 AGM. 

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 LONDON TRIP : 18.04.2020 

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