Saturday, 4 February 2012

Chertsey and Bakewell

Today, we had the great pleasure of visiting Sarah and Jim, who now live on the Grand Union pair Chertsey and Bakewell near Stretton. We took a train from Cambridge at an ungodly hour on Saturday morning, arriving at Penkridge where Jim picked us up. We admired Chertsey's paintwork and cloths which we had not yet seen except in photos, before heading in for a cup of tea and to warm up inside. It was lovely to see them, and their new home, Bakewell, is just wonderful! The deep hold and wide shape of the butty make it perfect for a spacious home. I had made a Bakewell Tart (recipe coming up soon) and was surprised to learn that we were the first to bring such an obvious gift!
After a catch up, and having met the lovable Willow, their friendly cat, and scourge of the local rodent population, we headed out for a wander around the boatyard, which has quite a collection of historic boats, in various states of repair. We were particularly taken with Hampstead, as was Willow, who climbed in to visit it with us, even though it is out of the water! 

The famous Phyllis May of Narrow Dog fame, sadly gutted by fire.

Lunch was in a nice local pub, the Bridge in Brewood, and was quite delicious. While we were there it began to snow quite heavily, and by the time we returned to the boats, it was falling thick and fast! It was quite a lovely scene. Lots of the other boats at the yard are historic too, and became even more picturesque when covered in snow. 

By the time we reluctantly headed out, back to the station, we were beginning to wonder if the roads would still be OK. As we left, a very damp Willow rushed back into Bakewell. Later, we heard from Sarah that he'd been for an inadvertent swim in the icy cut! But he was fine, after a rub down with a towel in front of the stove. What a day to fall in for the first time!

Now we're on the train, heading home.  A wonderful day out! Thanks for having us! Sarah has also blogged about our visit.

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