Stoke Bruerne Day Trip

In the past we have taken groups of friends on local day trips. By judicious planning it is possible to take make quite a sociable party by taking one group to a specified location in the morning, meeting another group for a joint picnic lunch, and then returning with the second group to the start. It only requires a little bit of jiggery-pokery moving cars for around a around dozen people to enjoy a "day" trip on Albert.

So where do we normally go? Obviously, given its attractions, and distance away, Stoke Bruerne is the usual choice. A trip to Stoke Bruerne from Yardley Gobion, with seven locks and great countryside with views over the Rive Tove, gives plenty of opportunity for waterways newcomers to enjoy (perhaps experience is a better word) locking and socialise together. It's a bit like company team-building, but perhaps on a more gentle scale than some pastimes.

So why am I explaining this? Well a couple of weekends ago we had such a trip with a group of colleagues from the Institution of Agricultural Engineers. We were celebrating a significant event, which I won't explain further.

This sort of exercise really requires decent weather. The weather forecast was not that great but the Sunday morning was actually fine and sunny. The afternoon was less good and it became a bit chilly. The newly-initiated crew (trained by Maggie) worked well travelling up the lock flight and going up as a pair with a hire boat from Gayton made it even easier. With no shortage of hands to help we got to the top efficiently and in resonable time .

The picnic on the bank at Stoke Bruerne was good fun with both "shifts" joining together and lots of food and drink supplied. The rain even held off. Being a Sunday there were quite a few visitors walking along the towpath to Blisworth Tunnel. Some of the working boats for the coming gala weekend were arriving. I helped NB Victoria moor up just ahead of us - Victoria & Albert again.

Because there were more people onboard than normal, and some of our visitors were located in the engine room and elsewhere onboard, the photographs were more varied than normal.  We hope you like them - they are all from our friends. The video clip from the engine room is particularly welcome since it gives a view that is out of the ordinary and another chance to listen to the engine!

Preparing to leave Kingfisher Marina

Albert near Grafton Regis

Enjoying the trip

Entering Stoke Bruerne Bottom Lock

Raising a reluctant ground paddle

Working the gates

Freeing a trapped line at the lockside
Why do they always get caught in cracks?

Entering Stoke Bruerne Top Lock

Picnic Lunch
The crowd behind were admiring a 67 year-old tortoise!

It was cold on the way back