Friday, 2 August 2013

Heading back to London again

We've now been right up the Bishop's Stortford at the end of the River Stort Navigation and are retracing our steps back towards London. 

Having said our goodbyes to our guests, William and Daphne, we walked into Sawbridgeworth on Monday morning and found Dorrington's the Bakers.  Nothing odd there you might think except that Helen's grandmother was a Dorrington from nearby Little Hallingbury.  So we've done a bit of family history searching while we've been up here.
Dorrington's the Bakers at Sawbridgeworth
From Sawbridgeworth we carried on up the River Stort towards Bishop's Stortford.  We really like the River Stort: it is narrow, windy and goes through some pretty scenery.

This is Tednambury Lock which is out in open country, but seems to have a lot of passing pedestrians, many of them walking dogs from the marina on the backwater here.

Seen across the fields from Tednambury Lock, this is Little  Hallingbury Mill.

An artist who lives on the narrowboat to the left has this fun painted tender.

This futuristic curved bridge crosses the Stort just before coming into Bishop's Stortford.  It has the convenience of ramps for those that need them but can be crossed easily using steps that take a much shorter route.  Very sensible.

We spent Monday night and much of Tuesday in Bishop's Stortford, which has many historic buildings but does not make as much as it could of its navigation which seems to be stuck between a couple of blocks of flats.

This is the High Street with a splendid selection of old buildings.

I hope you can read this memorial which is in St Michael's Church.  It is to the most famous son of Bishop's Stortford, Cecil Rhodes.  A museum concentrates on his history and his impact on Africa.  In many ways he invented the concept of 'separate development' which became known as Apartheid.  This aspect of his achievements was handled very sensitively by the museum displays.

 The memorial below had to be included too.  Thomas Adderley was instrumental in bringing the navigation to Bishop's Stortford and we would not be here but for his efforts.

On Monday evening we enjoyed a meal out with Lucy who drove down from Cambridge which is not far away.  On Tuesday we spent the afternoon cycling around Great and Little Hallingbury looking for family members.

Our cycling foray brought us back to Little Hallingbury Mill and it is now a restaurant.  So we stopped for a nice meal and then cycled back to the boat which we had moored above Twyford Lock.

Since then we've been working our way back down the Stort so here are some fun sights along the way:

This boat, with a willow tree fallen on it was moored on the Visitor Moorings at Sawbridgeworth.  It doesn't seem that the boat is damaged at all, but it must have been quite a shock when it fell.

This is the King William IV at Sawbridgeworth where we had lunch.  A good friendly family pub.

Look at all the flowers!!  Don't look at the washing though.

We think the apparatus up the pole is a solar still to allow hot water showers without paying to heat the water.  Clearly there would be problems in getting under the low bridges up here though.

As I type this we are moored back at Stanstead Abbots on the River Lee at a boatyard hoping that someone is going to repair our gearbox leak.  It has been leaking a little bit for a long time but now seems to be getting worse.  Whether or not we can get this fixed here our plan is to spend the weekend with relatives in Surrey and come back to the boat on Sunday to continue our cruise into London to pick up the Grand Union Canal heading back to the Midlands.

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