Pits Brunch. 12th July

Brampton Park GOBA Moorings to Paxton Pits GOBA Mooring

Time for us to move on and hopefully find another shady mooring. Once we’d had our cup of tea in bed we postponed breakfast and pushed off, NB Eleanor Rugby had long since gone!

Is this an Aquavista 60/40 split price?!

First things first. Water! We’d last filled up in St Ives and have been frugal with our usage. A water point was shown on our maps at Buckden Marina, we pulled up on their service mooring. Maybe we’d top up on diesel too whilst we were here. The petrol pump had a sign on it saying they were out and more was on order. The diesel pump just boasted the price £2.25. HOW MUCH!!! Yes this might be the price of a 60/40 split, but still!

Thank you for the water

We connected up our hose, it was still too early for the office to be open. Water came forth and we started to fill our tank, we’d see if anyone had a problem as we weren’t inclined to top up on diesel. Nobody came to see if they could help us even once the office was open, so we coiled up our hose once full and pushed away.

Offord Lock came next. The top guillotine gate open. As I pressed the close gate button I looked at the lock, blimey it was narrow! Having got used to the D shaped locks which fit three narrowboats side by side this was narrow. Not in the sense of a narrow canal lock but you’d never get two narrowboats in side by side and at 11ft 2″ wide some wide beams would have difficulty.

Narrow and Gongoozlers

By the time Oleanna was in the lock coming up we had four gongoozlers. One wondering if the crocodiles would get us on the river, another two not realising that the river continued on up ahead of us for quite some miles.


Onwards now for a couple more miles. We passed a couple of narrowboats including NB Jolly Lamb whom we’ve come across a couple of times in the past. Did this mean that the next mooring would have space for us, we hoped so.

Is that a space?

Yes! Just enough room for us beside a shady tree at Paxton Pits. We pulled in, I hopped off the bow with Mick staying on board as the mooring meant we’d need a plank once tied up.


Time for breakfast, well brunch and with it being a touch cooler we risked a cooked breakfast, not quite the full works but certainly a good effort and very tasty.

Covered in cobwebs

I continued hunting out panto references. Mick sat outside listening to cricket. Our route northwards at the end of the year was looked at in more detail. Tilly headed off to find friends, breaking the first rule within half an hour! She was speedily reminded of that rule whilst being forcibly removed from the boat along with her friend!

During the afternoon we got some rain showers, the sort that just seemed to add to the general mugginess of the day. Despite this I decided to go for a walk. Solutions to be found for panto are best done whilst walking . I filled a water bottle, showed Mick the route I planned on taking and headed off.

Paxton Aggregates

Paxton Pits were gravel pits, in the 1930’s the gravel was mostly used in building airfields around the country. Today gravel is still dug here but the old pits are now filled with water and have become a nature reserve.

Heron Trail

In the early 20thC the Trimmings family grew plantations of Cricket Bat Willow on islands at Little Paxton. The trees produce a wood that is light, tough and doesn’t splinter. The firm now called Hunts County Bats still continues today, producing 20,000 bats worldwide every year.

To the Kingfisher hide

There were also paper mills at Little Paxton, 184 years of production. A raised causeway gave access to the mills in times of flood. Now the area is a modern housing estate.

Viper’s Bugloss?

Much of the land in the nature reserve is gravelly as you would imagine. Plants vie for enough moisture to be able to grow. Purple flowering plants had pushed their way up, possibly Viper’s Bugloss?

No Kingfishers to be seen today

I followed the Heron trail handy hides every now and then giving me shelter from the now almost constant showers of rain. One facing towards a bank which may or may not have been Kingfisher nests. I listened out for them but sadly none were to be seen or heard. I did spot 2 Egrets , 2 Cormorants and a Heron all sitting together on a bit of mud.

Not the best photo

The nature reserve is a Dragonfly Hotspot with 26 varieties of dragonflies and damselflies. Today however there were none to be seen here, they must all have been out on the river.

I soon had walked past the active gravel pit with all it’s machinery. Wondered if quicksand is still as treacherous in a drought as it seems in the movies. The path turned again to be alongside the river. A home made banner attached to a gate. Was this advertising Matt Walsh’s film examining changing concepts of gender in the digital age? This is what Google suggested it might be.


Tilly’s white tipped tail sprung into the air to greet me back at the boat. A pleasant walk even if a touch warm, I did manage to come up with a few more ideas for work too.

With the beginning of next week likely to be too hot to do much other than breath, we spent some of the evening trying to work out a plan to try to be on the shadiest mooring on the hottest days. Will we succeed? Will we be beaten to the mooringOr will we just cook?

1 lock, 3.27 miles, 0 bins, 1 full water tank, £2.25! 0 crocodiles, 11am mooring, 2 plates of brunch, 32 more images, 3 mile walk, 0 Kingfishers, 2 solutions, 3 possibilities, 30C, 3 hours of gentle showers.


2 thoughts on “Pits Brunch. 12th July

  1. Adrian Moore

    Nice looking brunch! Taste from here!
    Good luck with the route planning north after Chippy.
    Ps sure I posted this before! Gone into the either!

    1. Pip Post author

      Mick remembers seeing your comment, but I didn’t get notified. Will have a look round for it

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