A long if solitary weekend on the boat – arrived after work on Friday and left early on Monday – so this scores as four days on board. Short trip to Littleport on Friday, then an early start on Saturday in order to get to Brandon at about 1130 (first breakfast at Brandon Creek, second breakfast at Lakenheath). After lunch I walked up the non-navigable river towards Thetford, then cut north into the Brecks (more information here and here) to visit Grime’s Graves, managed by English Heritage. This is the only neolithic flint mine open to the public. I then walked back to Brandon through Thetford Forest and the village of Santon Downham.
On Sunday, a more gentle start. Replaced a cracked glass on the stove – liberal application of copper grease to make this easier next time (I hope). Paused to investigate the syphon at Hockwold, lunch at Lakenheath, tea at Brandon Creek, and supper near the mouth of the Lark. Listened to the Proms (Faure Requiem, a choir from some place called Kings). Evening cruise back to the marina, mooring 2215. Navigation lights deployed. Saw only two other boats moving on the Little Ouse – why is it so quiet?
Captions are above the photos to which they relate.
Breakfast at the very fine GOBA mooring on Hockwith Fen – on the Norfolk bank of the river.
Ely to Brandon and Norwich railway – I’ve been over here many times in the 1980s. If you look carefully you can see the TfL logo on the wagons – I guess they were off to collect ballast for the Underground?
The un-navigable stretch above Brandon. Lots of stinging nettles, walking on the Norfolk bank.
The Brecks – definitely Norfolk now.
You can just see the filled in mine shafts – dozens of these indentations (700 shafts, according to one source!). This photo from English Heritage gives a better flavour of the landscape
The view from Santon Downham bridge – some EA weedcutters. They must have got there by land, as the river is blocked by two very large trees right across at water level. Downsteam view first, then upstream.
Santon Downham church – a village wedding had just finished
The syphon at Lakenheath / Hockwith. The sluices on the right let water down into the cut-off channel, which wends its way to the Denver sluice complex. The two sluices ahead are lowered in time of flood to stop water going down the main river channel. I moored on the right, just though the sluice. All of this was in Norfolk as the boundary follows the old course of the river, just to the south.
… and from below. I didn’t get my tape measure out, but the difference in level must be no more than two feet. The concrete walls mean that the level in the cutoff channel could easily be above that in the main river.
Returning to Ely at Dusk, with the Captain’s Table restaurant boat following behind