On Wednesday (20/8), we left Grove in showery conditions. The showers continued on and off for most of the day. We met NB Mrs Armitage around Kings Langley and continued going up locks with them for some time.

When we went down to London we completely missed the changes at the former Ovaltine factory and farm. Going south we saw the new developments but didn’t connect them to the site. This time we specifically took note and made the connection. The new housing looks very impressive but it is a shame that nothing appears to relate to the site's former use. Perhaps they have named a road Ovaltine Way, or something similar, but we couldn’t tell from the canal.

Since the above was written we found out that the factory facade has been kept. You just can't see it from the canal.

Mrs Armitage stopped for services at Winkwell and we went on through the electrically operated swing bridge. Edward operated the bridge console. He particularly enjoyed stopping the traffic. Because boats were also coming south he managed to delay the traffic even longer than normal. The drivers appeared to be particularly good natured and didn’t complain.

Winkwell Swing Bridge

Just before Berkhamsted we came across an unoccupied boat whose stern mooring rope had broken and was blocking the navigation. A neighbouring boat owner tried bringing the boat alongside but he was having trouble. We assisted with poles and ropes and after some time got it moored up. The original mooring rope was much frayed and well passed its “sell by date”. It was not surprising that it had broken.

We moored up at Castle Wharf in Berkhamsted close to hotel boat Wood Owl and opposite the former site of Bridgewater Boats. The weather had improved sufficiently for Steve to do some much need brass cleaning before we went out for an excellent meal at Chez Gerard.