Saturday, 12 December 2009

Aylsham Lock, River Bure Norfolk

Aylsham Lock
River Bure / Aylsham Navigation
November 2009

It's an irritating fact that Aylsham Lock is nowhere near Aylsham. Instead it sits a mile or so downstream from Aylsham Mill, at the far end of the longest canal section on the navigation, stepping down to the river level near its confluence with the main channel above Burgh Bridge.

Aylsham Lock 1928

This location makes access tricky, which is a long winded way of saying that I didn't manage to reach the lock on my recent exploration of the navigation. My on line research via Google Earth identified a useful looking track, but on reaching it I found it to be very clearly markerd 'Private Road, No Admittance'. This seemed like a very specific instruction and there was no way I could convince mother Ahab (aged 78 and 10 days) that an investigation was a good idea.

Confluence of the millstream and lock cut south of Aylsham

I could have taken a wander down the riverbank on foot, but given the pouring rain I decided to give it a miss and rely on library photos for the time being. Aylsham lock has always been a bit beyond my reach. I have tried unsuccessfully to get to it on two previous occasions, the first  being at the very end of a long solo canoe trip up from Mayton Bridge when I ran out of light and ended up with a two hour paddle in the darkness, and another an attempt to reach it down the lock cut from Aylsham Mill, when I ran out of water.

Never mind, there is always another year and a missing bit provides a good reason for a return visit.

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