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Tour 2001

Index

Fenland Tour Summer 2001

15 - Brandon Creek to Outwell - Ely Ouse, Tidal River Great Ouse, Middle Level - Well Creek.

Thursday 12th July 2001

We started off from The Ship Inn, junction with Brandon Creek at 06.35. We soon breasted up with Frogmoore II and had a mass breakfast. We did a de-breast coasting up to the Cut Off Channel AG Wright Sluice weir steam (08.10). The Denver free self pump out worked OK, then both Earnest and Frogmoore II had a water fill up. After this we moved the boats to Denver Lock waiting area, for the 11.00ish traverse to Salter's Lode. 
John Chapman introduced us to Seymour, the Denver Complex Superintendent. We wandered around and looked at new lock down to Cut Off Channel. This was meant to open the next Tuesday, but we penned through the TNC Fleet Auxiliary - EA “Hardy Boat”. 
Mike Fairweather the Denver Sluice locky got a bit annoyed at our late departure from Denver to Salter's Lode so we set of individually at 11.30. Earnest adopted the direct approach, but still had to fly up into Salter's Lode Lock Cut as the flood was now well coming in. Only a small piece of concrete was removed from the entrance piling! . Captain Beeky got lumbered with the Frog boat and adopted the go downstream / wind and come flying up in the flood. Neil was fortunately videoing this comedy caper. The outer channel pile with a red maker on was given a severe shaking and a corresponding thump on the piles opposite. Paul (still hanging out his washing and JC seemed non plussed), no harm done, Nothing broken. 
Next followed a long talk with Paul about getting out of the Old Bedford, through the Salter's Lode Old Bedford Sluice. Although this is EA and Paul is MLC, he still is in control of it. He said that the only boat he ever got through it was eight years ago, not long after he was became the Salter's Lode Locky. He showed us some piccies. This formed part of an article in Canal and River Boat. 
After that we still had time to kill, so firstly we did some depth sounding in the Old Bedford, by the last bridge - it was not good news, only 2ft 4ins deep!! Then Neil and John go to play with the Old Bedford Sluice as the tide makes a level. At this point (this was a falling tide) we pushed the pointy gates open and used the winches to winch the gates apart. Although we don't have a windlass we managed to turn the spindles by hand and then jump up and down on the hawsers to jerk the gates apart, then have another twiddle on the winch. At low water we gave up, as we did not want to get caught with the gates cranked open. Neil measured the gap at this point.....7ft 2ins...........it would now be possible!!!….we had stared off with a gap of only 6ft!!! 
After this we retreated back to the boats (17.00) and cast off for Outwell Basin. On the way Earnest stopped on the Mullicourt Aqueduct and we took a lot of photies and video of this and the Middle Level Main Drain. We arrived at Outwell. Basin at 19.00. No other boats apart from Frogmoore was there. We had a jolly dredging time to get Earnest in to the bank. 
That evening the crew, minus Neil go for a pint in the Red Lion, the Elgoods Bitter was off, so we don’t return. After this we all had a fish and chips supper on the picnic table. John Chapman invited his new found friend, a recently redundant Pedleys Chicken preparation woman – AKA as “Chicken Lady”. Fairly early to bed.

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Departure from the Ship Inn, Brandon Creek (the village!) Ely Ouse.

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Departure from the Ship Inn, Brandon Creek (the village!) Ely Ouse.

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Denver Cruising Club. Ely Ouse.

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Rare sight of JC steering the breasted pair! Ely Ouse.

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Our normal Ely Ouse breasted up posture.

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Hilgay Bridge. Closed Windmill pub to left. Ely Ouse.

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Confluence with River Wissey. Ely Ouse.

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Frogmoore coming on to Denver Sanitary Station. Ely Ouse.

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The AG Wright Sluice into the Cut Off Channel at Denver.

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The new lock down to the Cut Off Channel. Denver Complex.

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The siltation island in the Tidal Great Ouse below Denver Sluice.

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Denver Sluice.

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Denver Sluice. looking down Tidal Great Ouse.

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Denver Lock.

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Denver locking times.

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Denver Sluice.

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Denver Sluice - the lock section.

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The AG Wright Sluice to the Cut Off Channel from the Denver Sluice Channel.

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The AG Wright Sluice.

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I've got a Denver Complex.

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Denver Complex control block.

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The AG Wright Sluice.

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Looking up the Cut off Channel at the Diversion Sluice (for sending water back to Essex) and the new lock down to the Cut Off Channel.

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The new lock down to the Cut Off Channel.

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The new lock down to the Cut Off Channel.

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The new lock down to the Cut Off Channel.

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The AG Wright Sluice.

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Locking the EA boat down to the Cut Off Channel.

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Locking the EA boat down to the Cut Off Channel.

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The Jenyns Arms at Denver Sluice.

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Locking the EA boat down to the Cut Off Channel.

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Locking the EA boat down to the Cut Off Channel.

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The Tidal Great Ouse from Denver Lock - tide now nearly in and silt bar just covered.

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Mike Fairweather, the Denver Locky and JC

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Leaving Denver Lock. Tidal River Great Ouse

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Earnest going down to Salter's Lode. Tidal River Great Ouse

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Earnest approaching Salter's Lode. Tidal River Great Ouse

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Safely in Salter's Lode Lock.

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Safely in Salter's Lode Lock. Paul the locky waits in his shed as the slow  guillotine comes down.

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A new wang to Earnest's Bow!

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The Frog Boat approaches Salter's Lode. Tidal River Great Ouse

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Frogmoore passing Salter's Lode. Tidal River Great Ouse

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Frogmoore turning..............Tidal River Great Ouse

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Frogmoore about to wang the marker post!.............Tidal River Great Ouse

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Frogmoore wang's the marker post!..............Tidal River Great Ouse

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Frogmoore bounces into piling!.............Tidal River Great Ouse

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Cap'n Beeky........we award you dix points for style!!!

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Frogmoore moors up above Salter's Lode.

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JC, Terry S and Cap'n Beeky get ready to survey the Old Bedford River.

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Depth sounding the Old Bedford River at Salter's Lode.

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Salter's Lode - Well Creek Sluice.

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The Old Bedford Sluice. Old Bedford River side.

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The Old Bedford Sluice - the seaward side pointy flood doors - somewhat silted up. Old Bedford River.

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Looking out of the Old Bedford River, tidal side.

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Middle Level Main Drain (north, non navigable side) from Mullicourt Aqueduct. Well Creek. Middle Level.

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Mullicourt Aqueduct. Well Creek. Middle Level.

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Mullicourt Aqueduct. Well Creek. Middle Level.

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Mullicourt Aqueduct. Well Creek. Middle Level.

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Looking down from the Mullicourt Aqueduct to the Middle Level Main Drain (south, navigable side). Well Creek. Middle Level.

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Mullicourt Aqueduct. Well Creek. Middle Level.

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Leaving Mullicourt for Outwell. Well Creek. Middle Level.

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Leaving Mullicourt for Outwell. Well Creek. Middle Level.

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The Crown Lodge Hotel, Outwell. Well Creek. Middle Level.

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St Clement's Church, Outwell. Well Creek. Middle Level.

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Outwell. Well Creek. Middle Level.

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Outwell. Well Creek. Middle Level.

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Outwell. The narrows beside the church. Well Creek. Middle Level.

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Outwell. The narrows beside the church. Well Creek. Middle Level.

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At rest in the Basin! Outwell. Well Creek. Middle Level.

The Tour continues


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