No More Cement Shoes at Stoke Bruerne

When we recently passed through the pound just above the bottom lock at Stoke Bruerne I noticed that they had carried out some improvements to the bank. It was in poor state.

Near bank improvements at Stoke Bruerne, 2011

This means the "cement shoes" (or more correctly concrete wellies) I reported about in 2009 have gone and the only set now left on this section of the Grand Union are near Long Buckby.

The story appears to be that a member of the gang working along the Grand Union used to embed his wellies into the bank when they had finished a concreting job. It was a form of tag or signature. Wellies obviously used to free issue in "the good old days".

Concrete wellies in the bank in 2009