An excerpt from Wind in the Willows

Nice? It's the ONLY thing, said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING - absolute nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing, he went on dreamily: messing - about - in - boats; messing----'
From 'Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

On the Hampshire Pound

Sunset at Blacksmith's Bridge
with Tundry Pond in the background
We've had a few days on the Hampshire and Mytchett Pounds enjoying the 'top end' of the Basingstoke.  We were restricted to going only as far as Blacksmith's Bridge winding hole due to land slippage in the Dogmersfield cutting.  I have seen pictures of the slippage and my choice would be not to go along there either by boat or on foot - it looks like a small earthquake (and I have experience of those having been brought up in New Zealand).

We spent a cold (sort of applies to everyone this Easter I suppose) but enjoyable time coming up from the Mytchett Pound, past the old RAE at Farnborough and to the Fox and Hounds at Fleet.  A few bits of damage for some on the very low bridge at Reading Road South - it really is low.

Spent a lovely 24 hours at Blacksmith's Bridge; we are now back at the Fox and Hounds and will head
Byfleet Boat Club at
Blacksmith's Bridge
back to Mytchett tomorrow with the descent of Deepcut and Brookwood on Friday and back on to the Wey on Saturday.

Not getting to the limit of the navigation has been disappointing but it was never the aim of the trip - the aim was to use Deepcut and that we have achieved.  Land slips will happen - just look at the issues on the Aylesbury Arm at the moment.  We are dealing with 200-year-old (plus) technology but perhaps a more appropriate maintenance regime may be more appropriate all round.

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